FAQs during the Coronavirus pandemic

In the ever-changing and evolving times of the Coronavirus pandemic, we want to offer some answers to your frequently asked questions about our trails, Conservation Areas, closures, and modifications to our services. If you still have questions, please refer to the links on the right, or let us know by emailing us at: otonabeeca@otonabeeconservation.com

What are Conservation Areas?

Conservation Areas are owned by Conservation Authorities who manage their lands on a watershed basis. There are 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario who manage their Conservation Areas based on the unique set of factors in each watershed. Consequently, each Conservation Authority has its own set of measures they are taking during the global pandemic. Visit conservationontario.ca to access a list of all 36 Conservation Authorities.

What Conservation Areas are owned by Otonabee Conservation and can I visit them during the coronavirus pandemic?

Our most well known Conservation Areas (CAs) are Warsaw Caves CA, Harold Town CA, Selwyn Beach CA, and Jackson Creek Trail but we have several other CAs that are available for hiking, walking, biking, and birdwatching during the Coronavirus pandemic. Visit otonabeeconservation.com for a list of our CAs, or check out our interactive ‘Map App’ to see where these areas are located in the watershed.

Are Any of Otonabee Conservation’s Conservation Areas or Trails Closed right now?

Yes. Currently, the Caves and the Caves Trail are closed at Warsaw Caves CA because hikers would be unable to ensure physical distancing while spelunking. Also, there are several trails at Harold Town CA that are closed during the spring due to wet conditions. All closed trails are signed and we ask that visitors obey the closures to ensure distance and avoid damaging trails. At this time we are only allowing walkthrough/bike through access to our properties. Parking areas at Warsaw Caves and Selwyn Beach will remain closed until further notice.

Currently, Squirrel Creek CA and Beavermead Campground are closed, as well. These closures are in place due to our agreements with member municipalities who we partner with to operate these two areas.

Is it safe to access trails right now during the state of emergency?

We are taking precautions to continue to offer our services in a way that is safe for everyone. We are closely monitoring guidance from Peterborough Public Health to ensure that our practices are aligned with their latest recommendations. This includes physical distancing and limiting group sizes while accessing our Conservation Areas and trails.

For a full list of guidelines for physical distancing while accessing our CAs and trails, please visit otonabeeconservation.com/physical-distancing

When will Beavermead Campground and Warsaw Caves CA be open for camping?

At this time, we have postponed the opening of the camping season. Campsite bookings for the month of May 2020 have been cancelled and campers have received a full refund. We will re-assess the situation by the end of May.

We are grateful for your patience as we assess our staffing requirements, prepare a plan for getting these locations ready for operation, and complete construction projects that have been delayed at each of these sites.

When will the public be able to access Otonabee Conservation’s boat launches?

At this time, our boat launches remain closed along with all park facilities including picnic shelters, washrooms, garbage receptacles, observation towers, and beaches. Thank you for your patience as we prepare a plan for re-opening these facilities in a way that is safe for our staff and our visitors, and that corresponds with the local and provincial states of emergency.

Beach season is approaching. When will Selwyn Beach be open?

We understand that beach season is a favourite time of year for many! At this time, we are unable to open beaches at Selwyn Beach CA, Warsaw Caves CA, or Squirrel Creek CA. We assure you that we are following the changing landscape and as restrictions are lifted, we will respond in a way that is safe for our staff and visitors.