Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) maintains an extensive network of hiking and snow shoeing trails on two properties: Dahl Forest and Barnum Creek Nature Reserve. Before you go, we ask that you read our page on trail safety and dog walking etiquette.
Here are some recommended hiking routes through the Dahl Forest:
North Road Trail Loop (approx. 4 km measured from the trailhead - easy)
From the trailhead on Geeza Road, follow the main trail (Dahl Forest Access Road) to the North Road Trail. Turn left and follow the North Road Trail to the Concession Road (be sure to follow the right hand fork, not the Old Farmstead Trail). Turn left (west) on the Concession Road and walk until you reach the Old Farmstead Trail. Turn left and follow the Old Farmstead Trail until it intersects the North Road Trail. Turn right on the North Road Trail and follow it until you reach the Dahl Forest Access Road. Turn right and follow the signs to the trailhead.
Red Squirrel Trail Plus Black Rock Rapids Trail (approx. 0.6 km measured from the trailhead - moderate)
From the trailhead on Geeza Road, follow the main trail (Dahl Forest Access Road) to the Red Squirrel Trail turnoff. Turn right and follow the Red Squirrel Trail to the Black Rock Rapids Trail. Turn right and follow the Black Rock Rapids trail to the Burnt River. After viewing the river, return the way you came until you intersect the Red Squirrel Trail and turn right. Follow the Red Squirrel Trail until you reach the Dahl Forest Access Road and turn left towards the trailhead.
Big Bend Trail Loop (approx. 1.8 km measured from the trailhead - easy)
From the trailhead on Geeza Road, follow the main trail (Dahl Forest Access Road) to the Big Bend Trail Loop. Turn right on the Big Bend Trail Loop and keep going straight at the fork to hike the loop in a clockwise direction. Once you return to the intersection point, turn left. You'll come to the Dahl Forest Access Road. Turn left towards the trailhead.
Ridge Trail Loop (approx. 3 km measured from the trailhead - moderate)
From the trailhead on Geeza Road, follow the main trail (Dahl Forest Access Road), past the junction with the North Road Trail until you come to the intersection with the Big Bend Trail. Turn left. At the next junction with the North Road Trail, turn right onto the Big Bend Trail. Follow the loop around until you return to the junction with the North Road Trail. This time, take the North Road Trail towards the trailhead. When you come to the intersection with the Dahl Forest Access Road, turn right towards the trailhead.
Hiking at Barnum Creek Nature Reserve
The map below is also available as a PDF. Please click here to download.
Barnum Creek Nature Reserve Trail Update: Caution! As of January 4th, Parts of Heritage Hike Trail (between km 2 and km 3 and second creek crossing) may be very wet and or icy due to flooding in December 2022. Trail may not be passable.
Here are some recommended hiking routes through the Barnum Creek Nature Reserve:
Heritage Hike (approx. 5 km - easy to moderate)
The trail winds its way across the property through forests and open fields, passing nearby wetlands. The trail is wide and generally flat with some sections of moderately steep inclines. Bicycles are permitted on this trail.
Waterfall Way (approx. .75 km - easy to moderate)
This lovely trail follows Barnum Creek for a short distance and passes through forest and old farm fields. Part of the trail is narrow and passes near a wetland. Bicycles are not allowed.
Ridge Trail (approx. 1 km - challenging)
This is primarily a narrow forest trail. The climb to the top is steep and includes an additional climb on the other side of the ridge. It is not advisable to hike this trail if it is wet and slippery or snowshoe if conditions are icy. Take care along the edge of the ridge as there is a steep cliff near the trail. No bicycles allowed.
For your safety as well as for the safety of the many species of plants and animals who call our nature reserves home, we ask you to stay on the trails at all times. Many of the plants and animals that live on our properties are considered to be Species at Risk and any disturbance caused by visitors going off trail may put them further at risk. Please help us to conserve the natural biodiversity of our property by “taking only pictures and leaving only footprints”.
Trail Etiquette for Dog Owners
Most of us consider our dog to be a member of our family and HHLT encourages families and their dogs to enjoy our trails and the beauty of the natural world. We must ask however, that you abide by two simple rules:
- Dogs must be on a leash and under control at all times
- You must clean up after your dog. There is no poop fairy!