Explore our Visitor Rules
- Entry Policies
- Visitor Rules
- Fines and Enforcement
- Commercial Photography or Videography
- Be Considerate in Our Parks
- Trail Etiquette
- Fishing Etiquette
- Picnicking Etiquette
- COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines
- User Liability Waiver
Admission to our parks, conservation areas and trails may require the payment of entry fees.
Individual admission fees are waived for Conservation Park members.
We also require rental fees to be paid for the use of some of our facilities.
We offer a Conservation Parks membership program in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority that include admissions for individuals and families.
This joint membership provides unlimited admission to all TRCA and CVC parks and conservation areas during the membership period. This program can represent big cost savings for frequent visitors.
Conservation Parks memberships make a great gift! Help us conserve natural areas for everyone to enjoy by gifting a membership to friends, family members or your employees.
Plan to visit more than one CVC park on the same day? Show your admission, reservation or parking receipt from your visit to Island Lake, Ken Whillans, Terra Cotta or the Cheltenham Badlands at the Island Lake, Ken Whillans or Terra Cotta gatehouses on the same day of purchase and receive the value of the receipt off of your admission.
Please note that visits to the Cheltenham Badlands are by reservation only and are not eligible for the same day discount offer.
Sometimes, you will travel to a park or conservation area by use of active transportation. This includes travel from a destination by walking, biking, jogging, running, cycling, in-line skating, skateboarding, non-mechanized wheel chairing, skiing and snowshoeing. We will reward your efforts by providing free admission!
Please note, free entry will not apply to visitors who park illegally or unsafely outside the park.
Enter at designated entry points only. Please present a valid admission receipt or membership card when requested.
Conservation Parks memberships are available to sign out for one week at libraries across the Credit River Watershed. Contact your local branch for availability.
Participating libraries include:
- Grand Valley
- Select Wellington locations
Support persons are permitted on all CVC properties and meeting rooms which are open to the public. We will not charge admission fees to a support person who accompanies a paying guest on a one to one ratio at the following CVC Conservation Areas: Island Lake, Ken Whillans and Terra Cotta. Where confidentiality is a concern, CVC may ask the support person to sign a confidentiality agreement.
Service animals are permitted on all CVC properties, including meeting rooms, which are open to the public. Service animals are not permitted where disallowed by law. Where a service animal is excluded by law from the premises, the reason why the animal is excluded will be explained to the person with disabilities.
Service animals include, but are not limited to, seizure response dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs and other certified service animals.
We own and/or manage 62 properties for the protection and appreciation of important natural resources. Unfortunately, some visitor choices and behaviours can put these natural resources at risk.
We have implemented sensible policies to protect our properties and our visitors to help everyone safely enjoy our facilities.
In our conservation areas, it is illegal to pick or remove vegetation of any kind. This includes live or dead branches, plants, soil or other natural items.
It is illegal to enter or remain in a park or conservation area outside posted hours of operation. You must observe and respect all posted closure notices. Posted signs ensure your safety.
It is illegal to remove, destroy and/ or damage any animal, property or structure.
We do not allow camping in any of our conservation areas.
We do not allow campfires in any of our conservation areas without a permit. Barbecues are welcome where picnicking is permitted.
Alcoholic beverages and drugs, including cannabis, are not allowed in any of our conservation areas.
Smoking or vaping, including cannabis or other drugs, is prohibited:
- At all CVC picnic shelters and/or pavilions
- Within nine metres from an entrance or exit door to any building or structure, or if no door, from the footprint of the structure
- At all permanent and temporary reserved seating areas and designated event, festival or entertainment areas
- Within twenty metres of a playground and designated sports areas
To limit the risks of fire, we strongly discourage smoking in our parks, conservations areas and along our trails.
It is illegal to possess or discharge firearms or fireworks in conservation areas.
You must keep pets on a six-foot leash (or less) at all times. Please pick up after your pet.
ATVs, snowmobiles, gas powered motorboats or other motorized all-terrain vehicles are strictly prohibited at our conservation areas.
Snowmobiles are permitted on the Elora Cataract Trailway, in season. Participants must have a current Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) permit. The trail is only open for snowmobiling when OFSC allows.
Please do not damage or (re)move picnic tables or other area property.
We do not permit drones on or above CVC property. For educational and research purposes drone operators may apply for a Conservation Lands Access Permit.
Fines and Enforcement
Fines may be levied under the Conservation Authorities Act (R.S.O. 1990, Chapter C.27) and Regulations as well as the Trespass to Property Act (R.S.O. 1990, Chapter T.21).
To report an occurrence, please contact us at 1-800-367-0890.
Commercial Photography or Videography
We may require a permit for any commercial photography and filming activities. Visit our page on photography and filming for more information.
Be Considerate in Our Parks
Park and conservation area etiquette help protect the land we love and the visitors we love to welcome.
- Please stay on designated trails. Don’t go off trails. For your safety and to protect soil from erosion do not take shortcuts.
- Respect the sounds of nature. Avoid using loud voices and creating noise from mobile phones and music.
- Be predictable and travel consistently so other trail users know what to expect. Always look behind before changing positions on a trail.
- Don’t block trails. Please stay within your own half-width of a trail.
- All modes of active transportation, including cycling, non-mechanical wheel chairing, skiing and snowshoeing, must yield to pedestrians. If a pathway is busy with pedestrians, consider walking instead of cycling or stepping to the side to allow them to cross. Dismount when meeting pedestrians on narrow bridges at Island Lake CA.
- Be cautious. All boardwalks are slippery when wet.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach wild animals.
- Never feed wildlife. Feeding animals in the wild damages their health and alters natural behaviours.
- We have garbage and recycling stations throughout each conservation area. Please use them and don’t litter.
Property rights and trespassing can be complicated and confusing. Anglers accessing fishing spots should always respect the property rights of others.
- Do not cross:
- Any visible property or fence lines
- Areas posted “No Trespassing”
- Areas marked with the round red international “No Trespassing” symbol
- Where a round yellow symbol is posted, access under certain conditions is allowed. Some properties on the Credit River are accessible as long as anglers follow a prescribed set of rules.
Water itself is a public resource, but the stream bed and banks on which anglers walk may be private.
- Water conditions can be dangerous at times and too shallow at others.
- If canoeing or boating, please observe and obey all federal and provincial regulations.
Please keep the following in mind when angling or walking along the river:
- If you are unsure about accessing a piece of property, do not enter.
- Do not litter. Bring a small bag and pick up litter on your way out.
- Landowners really appreciate this and will be more likely to grant you access in the future.
- Restrict harvest according to the landowner’s wishes.
- Do not set fires or cut vegetation.
- Respect other anglers who have arrived before you. Don’t intrude on their casting area. Walk quietly around others.
- Yell “fish on” when you hook a fish near other anglers. The other anglers will appreciate not getting their lines tangled.
- Limit your catch. Do not take more than your legal limit.
- Offer to help those with less experience.
- Have fun and learn something every time you go out.
Learn about fishing regulations in the Credit River Watershed.
Reduce your waste
- Use reusable, compostable, biodegradable or recyclable containers. Hot/cold drink bottles are for sale at Terra Cotta and Island Lake Conservation Areas.
- Don’t package fresh fruit –it “wraps” itself.
- Choose washable, reusable cloth napkins and tablecloths.
- Skip the individually packaged drinks. Choose drinks in jugs or coolers to share.
- Use a canvas bag or other reusable totes for your food and picnic supplies.
- Throw any unwanted items in the proper bins.
- Take leftovers home to enjoy later.
- Protect habitat. Our parks are home to nesting birds, native plants, and other species that are easily trampled. Make sure your children and pets stay on trails and in open spaces.
- Observe and learn. Take field guides, binoculars, even a nature journal to learn about wildlife and habitat. Start a fun “life list” of species you see.
- Use natural bug repellant and sunscreen. They’re less toxic for your family and safer for nature.
- Carpool. You’ll reduce emissions and save on park admission!
Manage your impact
- Onsite recycling includes plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans.
- Don’t contaminate recycling bins. All contaminated recycling ends up in the landfill.
- Break down large cardboard, and leave it stacked beside recycling bins.
- All types of coffee cups and lids, as well as Styrofoam containers are NOT recyclable and belong in the garbage can. Use reusable container instead.
- Reduce your noise footprint, be courteous to those picnicking around you and limit your use of amplified sound. Restrictions apply.
- Picnics with a reservation at Island Lake Conservation Area will also have access to compost bins. We provide signage on what is acceptable onsite
COVID-19 Visitor Guidelines
- Practice physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) apart.
- Consider wearing a mask where physical distancing is a challenge.
- Adhere to provincial social gathering guidelines.
- Keep your dog on a leash and at least two metres (six feet) away from other dogs and people.
- Respect the instructions provided by our dedicated staff.
- Consider bringing your own hand sanitizer.
- Respect all signage, facility closures and no parking areas. Illegal parking subject to fines and towing.
- Read all park rules.
- Check park advisories before leaving home for the latest updates at each park.
- Use online payment for contactless entry. Debit and credit card purchases are available with tap. Use cash only when you don’t have another option.
- Visitor and parking capacity limits are in effect to ensure physical distancing. Be prepared to turn back if a property is full.
- Limit your stay. Leave time for others to visit while reducing the number of people onsite at one time.
- Be patient and prepare for extended wait times while we process you safely.
- Obey all in-park directional signage.
- Yield to oncoming traffic on bridges and boardwalks.
- Read all trail etiquette guidelines.
User Liability Waiver
As a condition of your use of the facilities, properties or bodies of water, you assume all risk of personal injury, death, or property loss resulting from any cause whatsoever including but not limited to cycling, hiking and all other permitted activities, travel within or beyond the park boundaries, or negligence, breach of contract, or breach of statutory duty of care or breach of the Occupier’s Liability Act on the part of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority, its employees, agents, volunteers, independent contractors, representatives, sponsors, officers, Board of Directors, successors and assigns (collectively referred to as the Credit Valley Conservation Authority).
You agree that the Credit Valley Conservation Authority shall not be liable for any personal injury or death or property loss and you release the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and waive all claims with respect hereto.
You agree that any litigation involving the Credit Valley Conservation Authority shall be brought solely within the Province of Ontario and shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario.
You further agree that these conditions and any rights, duties, and obligations or litigations as between the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and you shall be governed by and interpreted solely in accordance with the laws of the Province of Ontario and no other jurisdiction.