The Dahl Forest is approximately 500 acres and straddles 2.7 km of the Burnt River in Haliburton County 5 km south of Gelert. The ecological significance of the Dahl Forest is evident in the diversity of species and habitats found on the property.
William Dahl bought the property in the early 1950s. At that time it was abandoned farmland with depleted soil, crisscrossed with collapsed barbed wire fences where cattle scrounged for what little feed remained on the land. In the years following, the family planted more than 100,000 trees in plantations covering about 40 per cent of the property. The remaining acreage was left to regenerate naturally and has returned to wilderness. The property has been a model of conservation planning and the Land Trust was honoured to be chosen to continue the excellent stewardship of the Dahl family.
The public is encourage to visit Dahl Forest for quiet day sports – hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and birding. There are no motor vehicles or all-terrain vehicles permitted on the property. Fires and overnight camping are also prohibited.
The Land Trust’s conservation goals for the Dahl Forest are to protect and maintain biodiversity; protect habitat and potential habitat of Species at Risk as well as locally or regionally rare species; promote water quality and riparian habitat through the protection of shorelines and wetlands; promote succession from plantations to forests; monitor and promote forest health; promote ecology and conservation education; and provide non-motorized recreational opportunities. The Dahl Forest property will remain as a natural conservation reserve; when visiting please keep to the signed trails and take out only what you bring in. Dogs are permitted on leash and owners are expected to clean up after them.
The Dahl Forest was donated under the federal government’s Ecological Gifts program and the Dahl Family retains a life interest in the property. This will allow them to continue using the family home and the property as they always have. When visiting the property, please be respectful of the Dahl family’s continuing residency.
Location and Trails
The Dahl Forest is located at 1307 Geeza Rd, off of Gelert Rd/County Rd 1 just 5 km south of Gelert. It is 20-25 minutes South of Haliburton or 15-20 minutes East of Minden. Click here for a map.
The trail system at Dahl Forest is signed – thanks to generous funding from Winterfest and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Dahl Forest Trail Maps are available at the trail head Kiosk located at the entrance to Dahl Forest from Geeza Rd.
In June of 2017, the first ever Bioblitz in Haliburton County was held at the Dahl Forest!
2017 was the year of Canada 150 celebrations. The Dahl Forest was awarded a Canada 150 Award.