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Stay away from rivers and streams in winter, warns conservation authority

Target trails instead and avoid the hazardous conditions of waterways in winter, advises the local conservation authority
Icy river in the winter
Photo provided by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority.


The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) reminds residents and visitors to our parks of dangers near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes this time of year. NVCA urges people to exercise caution and keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways and water bodies.  

This year more than ever, we want to remind all nature seekers to be extremely cautious when outside this winter. We ask that you “target trails and steer clear of streams.” 

While temperatures have declined since November’s unseasonably warm days, we are experiencing frequent freeze-thaw cycles. It results in the melting of accumulated snow and ice cover. This runoff creates hazardous conditions near all waterways, by contributing to higher water levels and increased water flow speeds in local watercourses.  As well, slippery and unstable stream banks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous and dangerous conditions close to any body of water. 

Be safe this winter and remember the following tips: 

  • Keep family and pets away from all bodies of water 
  • Avoid all recreational activities in or around water 
  • Tailor your winter outdoor activities to trails at your local parks and conservation areas 
  • Follow staff instructions and signage throughout NVCA conservation areas  

For more information, contact the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority at (705) 424-1479. 

For more information about our parks, visit for the latest updates.