Where are the Trails in Southern Ontario?
“Where are the trails in Southern Ontario?” This is a common question asked by many new offroaders, but an easier question to answer is “Where are the Crown Land trails in Southern Ontario?” The simple answer is there are none, because there is no Crown Land in Southern Ontario. On the map at the end of this article the grey areas are private land, and wheeling on private land without permission is trespassing. This image is from the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas ( https://www.ontario.ca/page/crown-land-use-policy-atlas).
Some areas members of the off roading community go in Southern Ontario that they believe is Crown Land is actually municipal land or conservation land. You can be charged with trespassing on these lands. Also, not all crown land is legal for wheeling. Land owned by provincial parks is technically crown land, but has designated uses. Wheeling is generally not one of them. If you look at the Crown Land Atlas, we generally rely on “general use” areas for off roading.
Another place people go in Southern Ontario is unassumed/unmaintained roads. While some of these are technically legal, in some municipalities they have passed bylaws making it illegal for the public to be on them. For example, the Township of West Lincoln passed a bylaw making it illegal to be on unassumed roads for recreational purposes. All of their unassumed/unmaintained roads have signs at the start stating “Not For Private Use”.
In areas where unassumed roads are not illegal, some are used as access to farmers fields, and being on them interferes with their livelihood, or are near people’s homes. Using these roads does not put our sport in a good light, and makes it harder to keep the trails we do have.
As a member of OF4WD, you have access to the Trail Index. It lists all of the trails that we are aware of and believe are legal for the 4×4 community to use. The trail index includes a downloadable GPX file for use in your GPS or your smartphone, and trail descriptions that are updated throughout the season. Have a trail that you want us to verify is legal to use? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with all of the information you can, and we will investigate for you.