The Badlands


Cheltenham Badlands is now managed by Credit Valley Conservation.

During their operating hours, CVC may close the trails (including the Bruce Trail that passes through it) if they deem conditions unsafe.  Please obey their signs.  If necessary, through hikers should follow Olde Baseline and Creditview Roads to rejoin the main trail.  Park conditions are found on CVC’s webpage.

For more information on visiting the site, and site winter closure dates (which is not applicable to Main Bruce Trail), see Credit Valley Conservation’s website.


The exposed bedrock at the Cheltenham Badlands is Queenston Shale, and this iron-rich shale was deposited over 445 million years ago. Due to the removal of vegetation during land clearing and livestock grazing in the early 1900s, the shale has eroded into a series of hummocks and gullies, producing the distinctive landscape.  The striking landscape of the Cheltenham Badlands is one of Ontario’s geological treasures and is one of the best examples of Badland topography in the province.  Today, the Cheltenham Badlands is recognized as a provincially significant Earth Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, and is owned  by Ontario Heritage Trust and managed by Credit Valley Conservation Authority.


Over the years, the distinctive landscape of the Cheltenham Badlands has been attracting increasing numbers of visitors, resulting in accelerated erosion of the sensitive red shale surface and permanently changing its unique appearance.


Although the Badlands site re-opened in September 2018, to protect the fragile and picturesque topography of the Cheltenham Badlands, the exposed red shale landscape is still closed to the public .


The Bruce Trail has been rerouted back through the Cheltenham Badlands.  Although the Badlands site will close for winter, the Main Trail will remain open to hikers.

The parking area and Badlands Trail are now maintained by Credit Valley Conservation and provide access to a wheelchair accessible platform which offers views of this significant landmark.  A 230 m roadside walkway leads from the viewing platform to the parking area.  You can get more information about accessing the Badlands site from Credit Valley Conservation’s website.

The parking lot is only open during operating hours and parking (if space is available) is limited to 2 hours maximum.

  • Parking rate: $6.50 per hour or $10 for two hours (cost per vehicle)
  • Please pay at the pay station. Machines accept credit and coin.

* Show your receipt at any CVC parks location on the same day it’s purchased to receive a discount (equal to your Badlands receipt) off your general admission fees at other CVC parks.

Roadside parking is NO LONGER permitted on the east side of Creditview Road, near the Trail access into the Badlands.

A map and more details are available on the BTC website.