Protecting Our Forest

Altona Forest is ours to enjoy - and also to protect. While most people use the forest for the right reasons - wildlife watching, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing - there are some who misuse the forest and ruin everyone's safety and enjoyment of this beautiful public space. Altona Forest was created by local citizens and for local citizens - let's do all we can to keep our forest safe, user-friendly, and beautiful for a long time to come!


Off-Leash Dogs

Everyone has the right to feel safe and comfortable in Altona Forest. On-leash pets are welcome in Altona Forest, as long as their owners carry out all waste. Dogs need to be on their leashes - because even the most well trained dog may react unpredictably to other pets, wildlife, or children. This is not a suggestion: it's the law. Be aware that there is poison ivy and lyme disease ticks in the forest and your dog's coat can bring both to your home: educate yourself and stay on trail.

Please report off-leash animals to the City of Pickering immediately at 905.683.7575



Bicycling of any kind is not permitted in Altona Forest due to the ecological sensitivity of the lands. The no-bikes rule protects not only the sensitive species of animal and plant along the trails, but also other trail users. If you see cyclists in Altona Forest please let them know that it's not an approved activity for the area - they are likely unaware of the rules.



Litter is an ongoing challenge for any natural area since there is a segment of people who are ignorant about the appropriate use of conservation lands. Also, on extremely windy days, neighbourhood garbage can blow into the forest. Since Altona Forest is not a 'park', there are no garbage cans along the trails. However, there are garbage receptacles provided by the City of Pickering at most of the entrances. Please carry out all your waste, and kindly carry out an extra item or two to make a difference in our forest.



Dumping is illegal. The culprits might be neighbours who dump their yard waste rather than bagging it, people throwing garbage into the woods, or commercial companies who dump fill and other materials illegally. If you see any form of dumping in Altona Forest please notify the authorities immediately: call the police (888.579.1520) if it's in progress, or call the city to report it if it's already there.


Crime or Criminal Activity

In the past there have been situations where vandals have built 'camp fires', removed or bent the fences to create new access points to the forest, removed or burned a tree, built bike ramps or used the forest for mountain biking, drug use, and illicit activity. Damage to our natural areas costs us all. Regular trail use by hikers and friends of the forest will help deter the criminals - especially if citizens immediately contact the authorities to ensure that the issues are dealt with.

If you see ANY criminal activity occurring in the forest, call Pickering Police 888.579.1520 immediately. Do not approach or confront the perpetrators for safety reasons.

If you see results of crime or damage in the forest, please report it immediately to the City of Pickering at 905.683.7575. Our city and councilors can't support Altona Forest if they are unaware of ongoing issues.