When I last came to Canada in Autumn 2014, the Cheltenham Badlands were open to the public, with no entrance fee. You just parked your car up on the side of the road and walked down. Unfortunately, the Badlands are closed to visitors while they undergo a major development project, and are expected to re-open in Spring 2018.
The Badlands formation is mostly red clay hills with green streaks, due to iron oxide deposits. When we visited there were no restrictions. We turned into 10 year old kids, and climbed all over the formations. Due to the amount of people doing this, they decided to close the site as the continual contact with the clay was accelerating the rate of erosion. It closed in July 2015, so that a Master Plan could be carried out by the Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT), enabling them to limit the number of visitors and amount of access they would have.
There are a few nice trails in the area, so great location for a hike. We’ll visit again when it reopens and give a more detailed review of what’s new!