Altona Forest Pickering, ON L1V 7B1 Get Directions


Situated in the City of Pickering, the Altona Forest has been designated an environmentally significant area due to its ecological and historical importance.

The Altona Forest is a special place: a rare natural space in the midst of a sprawling urban centre. The forest provides essential habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals native to southern Ontario, including. songbirds, foxes, coyotes, hawks and rare amphibians.

late afternoon sunlight in altona forest

The Altona Forest contributes to the bioregion’s greenspace network and is connected to the environmentally protected Rouge-Duffins Wildlife Corridor on the north.

Visitors are encouraged to use the forest for outdoor recreational activities compatible with the natural environment, such as hiking, bird watching and wildlife photography.



Altona forest trail map  


Altona Forest is 53 hectares in size, and is situated on the boundary between the Carolinian and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence forest regions.

Altona forest in autumn
wildflower in altona forest
trail boardwalk in altona forest

There is a great variety of flora and fauna species in the forest, including:

  • More than 130 types of wild flowers
  • More than 100 different birds
  • More than 14 mammal and 10 herpetile species
  • 35 distinct vegetation communities

The southwestern section of the forest contains the J. Murray Speirs Ecological Reserve, a natural reserve donated to Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) by renowned naturalist and educator Dr. J. Murray Speirs.  


In 1998, the Altona Forest Community Stewardship Committee was established with representatives from the City of Pickering and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, along with ratepayer groups, naturalists, concerned citizens and others.

aerial photograph of altona forest

The committee assists with the planning, fundraising and implementation of the Environmental Management Plan for the forest, which is designed to ensure the long-term protection of its ecological integrity.