COVID-19 Update: Please note that some outdoor recreation amenities have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the new information on the COVID-19 webpage and check regularly for up-to-date program and scheduling information.
Please be advised: at their regular meeting on September 1, 2020, Council authorized the temporary closure of all lands and parks, under ownership of the Municipality, that border the Ganaraska River, effective September 2, 2020 until October 15, 2020, in an effort to limit group gatherings during the annual salmon migration while the global pandemic is ongoing. This closure includes all green spaces and trails from Molson Street South to Lake Ontario, as well as access to the Fishway (also known as the Fish Ladder or Cobett’s Dam) and prevents access to the River through municipal properties. Read the media release for more details.
*Note that beaches and beach access points are closed Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. until Monday mornings at 10 a.m. On holiday weekends, this closure extends to the Monday and beaches will re-open at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday. These temporary closures will remain in effect until further notice.
The Port Hope waterfront offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, swimming, boating and leisure. The redesign of the waterfront area will see many new facilities available. The Port Hope Consolidated Waterfront Master Plan provides an overview of the exciting changes to come!
The Port Hope marina facilities will be closed in 2020. The boat launch is now open.
The fish cleaning station is open year round, located along Mill St. S. near the Marina. There is no charge for the upkeep and use of the facilities but donations are gratefully accepted at the Municipal Office at 56 Queen St.
The Municipality of Port Hope offers some of the most diverse year-round fishing opportunities in Ontario. Anglers can fly fish in the quiet, clean, cold waters of the Ganaraska River that runs through the heart of town, emptying into Lake Ontario. This majestic river offers some of the best trout and salmon fishing in the province and draws people from great distances to fish the spectacular trout and salmon runs that occur in the spring and fall.
The Ganaraska River Fishway, better known locally as the fish ladder, is operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and local volunteers. In April up to 8,000 migratory Rainbow Trout (Steelhead) make the run upstream to spawn. Staging and spawning also takes place in the riverbed below the ladder. Fishing is excellent from the beginning of May to the end of July. Mid-Summer will see many species entering the river, including Pike, Walleye, Perch, Catfish, Smallmouth Bass and Freshwater Drum
The Municipality of Port Hope provides space in the Fall Fair Centre (unheated building) at 62 McCaul St., for storage of cars,trucks, boats & trailers during the months of October - March. For information on space availability and fees call 905-885-2474 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The waterfront trail runs along Lakeshore Rd., and features a hilly terrain with beautiful lake views of Lake Ontario. With the dedicated work of volunteers, this trail provides benches, bird feeders and gazebos. The Ganaraska Trail Pine Ridge Section starts at the cairn opposite the Town Hall in Rotary Park beside the Ganaraska River. With 65 kilometers of varied terrain, this section is easy and novices should have no difficulties. Be sure to see the fish ladder that allows fish to bypass the dam near Highway 401.
Lace up your hiking boots and start doing your stretching exercises. The Municipality of Port Hope offers diverse and interesting walking and hiking trails that can provide either a leisurely afternoon stroll or a scenic nature hike.
The Waterfront Trail has a beautiful unobstructed view of Lake Ontario. This trail follows along the lake shore from the Port Hope Marina, east to Gages Creek, where special wetlands offer an abundance of wetland wildlife.
The Ganaraska Hiking Trail was started in 1968. It now connects with the Bruce Trail near Collingwood, making the total trail almost 450 kilometers. The Ganaraska section forms the start of this trail, beginning at the trail head cairn, across from the Town Hall. The trail offers a picturesque walk along the banks of the Ganaraska River to the Port Hope Conservation Area. All sections are challenging and geared towards walkers only. The walk also provides many opportunities to see wildlife and old growth trees. Sturdy shoes are advised for this trail. During the wet spring, the area should be avoided as river flows can be dangerously high and is not recommended for young children.
Of special interest is the fish ladder at Corbett's Dam, beside the Highway 401 underpass. During early spring the fish ladder is filled with spawning trout making their way north up the river. In the fall, immense Chinook salmon, achieving sizes of thirty to forty pounds jump the ladder. Beyond the local section, the trail passes from the sandy hills of the Ganaraska Forest through the Kawarthas to the rugged wilderness of the Canadian Shield.
The Ravine Lands Trail is a connecting trail from the Ganaraska River that runs west to Port Hope High School. Hiking booklets are available at the Port Hope Tourism Office. Happy hiking!
Year round recreational opportunities at the Ganaraska Forest located within an hour's drive of Toronto, straddling the Counties of Northumberland, Peterborough, Victoria and the Region of Durham, the Ganaraska Forest offers the best in outdoor recreation. This 4,000 hectare (10,500 acre), multi-use area encompasses over 100 trails passing through sandy, rolling terrain typical of the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The Ganaraska Forest provides year-round recreational opportunities for a variety of activities including hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding and in the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on groomed trails. The trails are ideal for nature appreciation with a wide variety of animal and plant life to observe.
The Central section of the forest is maintained as a passive use area, while the East and West Forests allow motorized use including such activities as off-road motorcycle riding, ATVing and snowmobiling.
There are several access points but many activities begin at the Ganaraska Forest Centre on Cold Springs Road near Kendal. From Port Hope, take County Road 28 north from Highway 401. Turn west on County Road 9 and travel 2 kilometers just past Garden Hill. On your way to the forest, don't miss the wonderful view of Rice Lake at Richardson's Lookout. Watch for signs, continue on to Elizabethville. Turn north at Cold Springs Camp Road and proceed 4 kilometers to the Forest Centre. For more information call the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority at (905) 885-8173.
Are you ready to challenge the hills and valleys of this beautiful area? Start off in the downtown with a tour of the Heritage District. Cycle around town and see over 230 historically restored homes and buildings. Tour out into the rolling hills and take in the scenic beauty. There are numerous quiet roads offering majestic views of the countryside and lakes. Most of the roads in this area are paved and friendly to cyclists. The Oak Ridges Moraine just north of town makes for some of the most exciting cycling anywhere, while the ride along Lakeshore Road to the west is breathtaking. Take a tour into the Village of Wesleyville past the old school and church. Cyclists are cautioned that most trails will involve hilly areas due to the natural terrain of this area. Cycling maps are available at the Port Hope Tourism Office.
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