Conservation Areas

Conservation Areas Overview

PLEASE NOTE: Parks and paths may be slippery please use with caution and always wear the proper gear to keep you safe.

April 17 Update: NPCA conservations areas remain open and continue to provide natural spaces for safe, local day-use visits for outdoor, passive recreation. Passive activities such as walking, hiking, bird watching and nature photography are permitted. Some facilities such as washrooms at Ball’s Falls remain open during operating hours. Masks are required at all times in indoors and when physical distancing is difficult. When stepping into nature, please visit the conservation area in your local community, and follow all conservation area rules and regulations and public health guidelines.
 

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The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.

Check out the map below and come visit a Conservation Area near you! For more information on recreational opportunities such as birding, hiking, swimming, and fishing, visit npca.ca/recreation.

Visitors are encouraged to experience the Niagara Peninsula watershed with a NaturePlus Pass - a fantastic value for regular conservation area visitors, providing unlimited access to our conservation areas. Membership Passes are now available!

Our Conservation Areas are currently open for passive recreation only, such as winter hiking, nature photography, and bird watching.

Please note that during the winter season, there are no washroom faciltiies available, trails are not maintained and parking lot and sidewalks will be maintained on an as-required basis in the event of snow. The NPCA cannot guarantee timeframe of snow removal. During the winter months, visitors are using the areas at their own risk and they must comply with CA rules and regulations and opening/closing times.

Visitors are asked to follow these guidelines when at NPCA conservation areas: EN FRANÇAIS

  • Wear a mandatory face mask or covering in all public enclosed spaces, including washrooms, buildings, and gatehouses 
  • Practice physical distance by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart from other visitors
  • Do not gather in large groups of more than 10 people
  • All visitors must vacate conservation area by posted park closure time.
  • Stay on trail. Respect wildlife and plant-life.
  • Dispose of trash in designated receptacle or take your trash with you when leaving the property.
  • Littering is prohibited.
  • All pets must remain on leash at all times, and owners must clean up after them. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches.
  • Alcohol is prohibited at all NPCA Conservation Area day-use areas.
  • Damage to or removal of wildlife, vegetation or natural features is prohibited.
  • Gas-powered watercraft, all-terrain and off-road vehicles are prohibited.
  • All visitors must adhere to provincial and municipal public health guidelines at all times.
  • NPCA reserves the right to restrict access to Conservation Areas at any time due to capacity limits, public health restrictions, and/or health and safety purposes.
Research within NPCA Conservation Areas

If you are a student, member of a research group or academic institution seeking to conduct research within an NPCA conservation area, you will need to apply for an NPCA Research Permit and receive approval in advance. Please contact NPCA Ecologist Kim Frohlich at kfrohlich@npca.ca or at 905-788-3135 ext. 241

ORGANIZED GROUP VISIT TO PASSIVE CONSERVATION AREAS 

School Groups and Organized Groups wishing to visit NPCA Conservation Areas for self-guided activities are subject to admission fees. Ecological tour or demonstrations by experts are available for school groups wishing to visit NPCA Conservation Areas. Click here to find out more

TOUR GUIDE BUSINESSES OPERATING IN NPCA CONSERVATION AREAS 

As per the Conservation Authorities Act R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 123, s. 4, the NPCA regulates the operation of businesses within conservation areas. An NPCA Tour Guide Business Permit is required for operators planning to conduct tours within NPCA Conservation Areas. Operators must apply in advance for a permit and must hold an NPCA NaturePlus Membership Pass.

If you are a tour guide business operator please contact NPCA Manager, Conservation Area Services at apowell@npca.ca or ext. 326 to receive a NPCA Tour Guide Business Permit Application. These are $60 (inc. HST) and are valid through December 31 of the calendar year in which they are approved.