Over three years ago, the red clay hills of the Cheltenham Badlands closed to the public. The epic hiking trail was temporarily put out of commission in order to develop a plan to protect the landscape.
On September 22, the Instagramable terrain will reopen and has been completely transformed to include new, exciting features.
The Badlands site looks like a gorgeous red desert scene. The landscape was formed over 400 million years ago at the base of an ancient sea. The rolling red hills were exposed in the early 1900s and today, the site is known as one of the most visited natural heritage landmarks in Southern Ontario.
The Badlands have seen a spike in tourism over the years. In order to accommodate the increasing number of visitors, a 33-vehicle parking lot was constructed in 2017. The lot also features a bus turnaround area.
However, prior to the trails closing, it was also recognized that the trail was beginning to suffer. With more and more people walking the trails, the unique and sensitive surface of the landscape was eroding resulting in a permanent change to its appearance.
To fix the issue, Ontario Heritage Trust implemented the plan to put in a boardwalk. This would be a place to view and walk through the landscape without actually damaging it. Today, it’s complete as well as some new features.
“Access to the property has been enhanced and made safer with a series of new features and operational procedures, including paid parking and staff during peak visitation,” Kelly Johnston of Ontario Heritage Trust told Toronto Star.
The Badlands are sure to be stunning in the fall, so get out there before the snow hits!