For its reddish hue, rolling hills with streaks of greyish-green and leafy trees surrounding the area, the Cheltenham Badlands offer an incredible view in Ontario. Composed of iron-rich Queenston Shale, the unique red landscape was created due to poor farming practices in the 1930's which caused overgrazing of the land. The exposed bedrock eroded into a series of striking ridges and gullies. Because the rock is so sensitive, it erodes easily, creating those rolling, red dunes that look like you're on Mars. As one of the best examples of "badlands topography" in Ontario, the Cheltenham Badlands are a geological treasure!
Let's get started!
Off Hwy 10, turn onto Old Baseline Road and head down until you reach the badlands. There's a small parking lot off the side of the road.
- The term "badlands" refers to land that is highly eroded, barren and dry.
- The area is very fragile, so don't climb on the hills when the ground appears soft.
- Be sure to check it out before it's temporarily closed. A protective fence will be placed along Olde Baseline Road at the end of May 2015.
- Update: Public access to the badlands is only available at the viewing area at the top of the badlands slope.