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Conservation Lands

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) protects 3,635 hectares of land through ownership.

Conservation lands were purchased for conservation reasons such as soil conservation, flood plain management, forest management, wildlife management, conserving ecosystems and protecting source areas to improve the overall health of water, soil, and living things in the watershed.

Secondary uses for these conservation lands are passive recreational uses such as hiking (where permitted), nature appreciation, fishing, canoeing, cross-country skiing and picnicking. Hunting is permitted on designated properties and you must obtain an ABCA Conservation Lands Pass.

For a list of permitted uses on ABCA Conservation Lands visit the Permitted Uses Page.

Visit the conservation authority mapping portal at camaps.ca for maps of conservation lands in the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed.

As the predominant land use of the ABCA watershed is 85 per cent agricultural, conservation land properties are considered islands of nature for visitors to appreciate and explore.  Links below are for more information on our most popular Conservation Areas with facilities.

Our management areas are forested tracts that were purchased for preservation and protection of source areas, flood plain areas, and environmentally significant areas and as such are not as publicly accessible.

For information on a high-tech new way to expand your trail visiting experience take the professionally-narrated audio and video tours of Bannockburn Conservation Area, courtesy of the Friends of the Bayfield River's Walk a Mile Trail Information Project. Visit the Bannockburn Conservation Area page to find out more:

Linfield Wildlife Area

Water and soil resources and wildlife habitat will be preserved at the Linfield Wildlife Area, one of the newest conservation lands in the Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds.

Hiking, bird-watching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and fishing are permitted activities in the wildlife area.

Snowmobiles, dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and hunting are all prohibited there.

Linfield Wildlife Area is located west of the Pavillion Road and Goshen Line intersection, southwest of Varna and north of Zurich. The donated property is about 95 acres in size, including 70 acres of active farm land and 25 acres of natural areas.

Ausable Bayfield Conservation intends to develop additional windbreaks, grassed waterways, and tree planting in the coming years.

Mystery Falls Management Area Trail

Download the map for the Mystery Falls Management Area Trail: