Two years ago, Ontario adventurers were shocked at the sudden closure of the Cheltenham Badlands, a popular tourist attraction and one of the province's most incredible natural wonders.
The Badlands, which are located near Caledon, are a series of striking rock formations that developed due to poor farming practices in the 1930s. Soil erosion occurring overtime revealed the underlying shale, which turned a characteristic red colour due to iron oxide deposits. Green streaks run over the undulating rock surface, producing a bizarre but interesting pattern.
In the past, the Badlands were completely open to the public, and people were free to walk on the rocks and examine them closely. But a rising number of safety concerns and increased incidences of vandalism by past visitors led to the erection of a protective fence around the site, closing it temporarily and prohibiting any visitors from accessing it.
Since then, a set of provincial organizations have been developing a long-term plan for the conservation and development of the Badlands. New concept designs include a large parking lot and a series of elevated boardwalks leading to viewing platforms. According to the Region of Peel website, construction of such is anticipated to begin this year, on April 3, 2017.
While it is unfortunate that visitors will no longer be able to gain complete access to the Badlands, the proposed solutions offer the best alternative for the preservation of the site. There is no word on when the Badlands will reopen again, but it could take several years for the new development plan to be implemented.
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