Nestled in the suburb of Altona in Pickering, Altona Forest is a special reserve of 102 acres of beautiful forest. Owned and managed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Altona Forest features 4.24 kilometres of trail made available to the public.
When the Altona suburb was developing in the 1980’s, there were efforts to protect the section now known as Altona Forest. Also in the region, directly to the south of Altona Forest, is a donated ecological reserve that is not available for public access.
Altona Forest is made up of forest, pond, and wetland areas. In the winter, these areas can freeze over and become icy. In the summer in and especially in wetter weather, the trail can become muddy near the pond and wetland areas. You can spot wildlife such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, frogs and amphibians. During my visit in February ’21, I could hear woodpeckers, squirrels, chickadees, and crows (although I didn’t manage to photograph any)!
Located centrally in Altona Forest is Lacey’s Pond, featuring a lovely wooden lookout point to stop and enjoy the marshland scenery. In the summer, the brush and wetland plants flourish and the wetland marsh approaches the side of the boardwalk. In the winter, the landscape freezes over to provide a great space for bird watching.
There is also another observation deck overlooking wetlands near the northern section of Altona Forest, however this area was closed during the time we visited.
The best way to access the trail by car is to enter through the parking lot on Altona Road, just west of the forest. The parking lot is directly adjacent to Pine Grove Avenue. Other access points include through Chickadee Crescent, Summerpark Crescent, and Stroud’s Lane.
Visit here to download a detailed version of the Altona Forest trail map.
Have you visited Altona Forest? Let us know your experience by leaving a reply!