Copeland Forest Update – Trails Moratorium to Protect Forest

Over the past two years, many community residents have reached out to Copeland Forest Friends Association expressing concern about the continued building of single-track trails in the Copeland Forest, despite it being already saturated with trails. Copeland Forest Friends Association (CFFA), a not-for-profit organization charged
read more...

Download the Trails Map

Download a map of all the major trails in the Copeland Forest.

Copeland Forest Friends

The Copeland Forest is a 4,400 acre Resource Management Area  in Simcoe County, Ontario,  Canada, owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests. The size, beauty, and unfettered use of the forest by a wide variety of recreational users inspired an initiative to conserve the natural integrity of the forest and facilitate compatible recreational use.

In October 2015 the Copeland Forest Friends Association formed a Non-Profit Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the MNRF, and began offering memberships. The organization has been structured to ensure that all of the major recreational user groups are represented equally. There are many ways to join us including becoming a member, volunteering, making a donation, and signing up for our newsletter. We look forward to seeing you in the forest!

Copleland Friends on Facebook

COPELAND FOREST FRIENDS SUMMER UPDATEAt our June 17th Board meeting, we elected our Executive for the upcoming year. David Kennedy is returning as Board President, while Ray Gingras was re-elected as Vice-President, Sandra McLoughlin as Treasurer, and Kyra Howes will be taking over the position of Secretary. David’s experience and knowledge make his return as President timely, especially in light of the increased pressures on the Forest since the start of the pandemic. David said, “I am looking forward to working with all user groups to put the health of the forest first and put in place a process to develop a new vision for the Association’s future.” Over the course of the summer and beyond, David will also lead the development of new board policies and procedures and help improve our membership process. David reported, “We now have over 250 members and many new volunteers, so we need to refine our processes for engaging members and volunteers. To help facilitate this, a task group is working to revamp our web site and our membership system.” Brad Turner, outgoing President, will be chairing an interim trail committee that will focus on developing terms of reference and recommendations for composition of a permanent Trails Committee. The new committee will be governed by the need to consider the health of the forest first and foremost while considering the interests of all users. While the interim committee addresses these items, the moratorium on trail building will remain in effect, and the public is reminded that, if they see any trail building activity, to contact trails@copelandfriends.ca. Kyra Howes, who is also Chair of the Ecology and Sustainability Committee, will be looking at how to strengthen this committee. Their work will enable us to update our understanding of the forest and ensure effective ecological input into trail stewardship. Looking beyond the summer, David concluded, “We will also develop new ways of reaching out to our membership and community to get input on future directions for the Forest and the trails. We will be back in touch with all concerned in the fall. In the meantime, enjoy the forest this summer.” For more information and updates, please visit the Copeland Forest Friends Association website at: www.copelandfriends.ca/. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Copeland Forest Update – Trails Moratorium to Protect ForestOver the past two years, many community residents have reached out to Copeland Forest Friends Association expressing concern about the continued building of single-track trails in the Copeland Forest, despite it being already saturated with trails.Copeland Forest Friends Association (CFFA), a not-for-profit organization charged with conserving the natural integrity of the forest, has recently received approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to take on a more active stewardship role over the Copeland Forest. Given the accelerated and damaging increase in trail building and use, particularly since the beginning of the pandemic, CFFA is imposing a moratorium on all new trail builds, effective immediately.According to Brad Turner, CFFA Board President, “Currently, there are approximately 54 km of single-track trail in the Forest. The MNRF has always prohibited trail building of any type without prior authorization, but the message has maybe not been as clear as it could be. This ‘no-new-build’ moratorium will remain in place while the organization’s new Trail Committee reviews and updates the existing framework and makes recommendations to the Board.”The Trail Committee will also be mandated to focus on new, unauthorized trail builds as well as trail maintenance. To facilitate this, a process will be established whereby the Trail Committee oversees all trail maintenance in the Copeland Forest and reviews all new trail requests before presenting them to the Board for a decision. Ray Gingras, Vice-President of the Board, said, “This process will be transparent, consultative and will put the ecology of the forest first.” Gingras notes, however, that this process will not be required for regular trail maintenance (removal of logs and clearing of an existing approved trail).The Trail Committee will also be recruiting representatives from all CFFA user groups as well as other stakeholders and members of the community to offer a fuller perspective to trail use and related issues for consideration by the Board.Finally, with the moratorium now in place, the Committee is actively encouraging users to report any new trail builds to the CFFA. Gingras is requesting support from the community to help monitor any unauthorized activity: “If you see any trail building activity that does not have a Copeland Forest Friends sign, please photograph the area of concern and email your photos to trails@copelandfriends.ca.” ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Georgian Paving Makes Parking at Copeland Forest a Smoother ExperienceThe next time you are in Parking Lot 1 or 2 off Ingram Road, you and your vehicle might just notice how much smoother those parking lots now are. Recently, Georgian Paving donated time and resources to grade P1 and P2 and add 5 loads of granular to the surfaces. The result is the elimination of potholes and improved drainage. On behalf of the many users of Copeland Forest, we would like to acknowledge and thank Georgian Paving for this incredible contribution. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook