Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The formation was exposed by poor farming practices in the 1930s that led to soil erosion and exposed the underlying shale.
At one point in time, the Cheltenham Badlands were occupied by a large river. The hills signify the riverbed and as you follow the trail, you begin to see the river history of the badlands. Thousands of years ago, this lake dried out resulting in today's version of the Cheltenham badlands.
The formation is mostly red in colour due to iron oxide deposits with some faint green streaks due to ground water percolation changing the red iron oxide into green iron oxide.
Tourists on the red clay hills
Once farmland, it was purchased by the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 2000 and managed by the Bruce Trail Association. Development is also restricted on the site by the Niagara Escarpment Commission
The formation is located along the Niagara Escarpment and Bruce Trail and is part or near various geographically important area of Southern Ontario:
just outside of Oak Ridges Moraine
Located within the Niagara Escarpment, the site is by default part of the local UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
There are concerns by conservationists that increased visitors to the area will cause damage to the formation and suggest closure or restriction of access to the site. Trails leading from the site are now closed.
Parking is limited to a small area on the south side of Old Base Line Road with restrictions beyond and on the other side of the road. You will also find the Bruce Trail in the nearby forest. There are many strange rocks and minerals on the Red Clay Hills.