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Elora Gorge opening this weekend

Conservation Authority to open additional Grand River Parks on Saturday
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Elora Gorge Conservation Area. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) has added five more conservation areas to the list of properties it has been able to reopen this month since government restrictions in response to COVID-19 forced the closure of all GRCA owned and managed properties in March.

This Saturday, May 30, Brant (Brantford), Byng Island (Dunnville), Elora Gorge (Elora) and Pinehurst Lake (Ayr) conservation areas, as well as Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area (Grand Valley), will reopen for limited recreational activities. With the exception of the Elora Quarry Conservation Area, all Grand River Parks have now reopened for limited day use activities. At this time, the timeline to reopen the Elora Quarry remains uncertain.

All buildings and on-site facilities, including washrooms, gatehouses, picnic areas, playgrounds, and beaches in these areas will remain closed. No equipment rentals are available at this time. In addition, no garbage receptacles will be available and visitors are asked to carry any garbage or pet waste out with them.

Visitors are reminded that these areas will be open between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. and that parking is limited. If capacity is reached, access will be restricted. Since there is no automatic gate at these conservation areas, and gatehouses remain closed, visitors without a Grand River Parks membership pass are required to pay by cash (exact change only) in payment boxes located at the gatehouse.

Standard entrance fees apply. Standard boat launch fees for motor boats at Belwood Lake and Conestogo Lake conservation areas apply and must also be paid upon entry.

The GRCA is also resuming sales of its Grand River Parks membership pass beginning Monday, June 1. The $140 membership pass, which grants cardholders access to all parks that have been reopened, will only be available for purchase online. For complete details beginning Monday, June 1, visit

Visitors are also reminded to practice physical distancing by staying at least two metres or six feet apart, and not to congregate in groups. The GRCA is also asking the public to plan short visits to areas that have been reopened to ensure the space can be shared with all those looking to get outside and into nature. Some portions of the conservation areas may not be accessible. Visitors are reminded to obey signage, and keep their pets on a leash at all times.

For complete details about which GRCA properties are open and closed to the public, and what activities are permissible, please visit

The GRCA will continue to reopen its properties in stages, and information will be shared as it becomes available.