The Cheltenham Badlands is a geologic area north of Brampton, Ontario, which contains a rare example of exposed soft rock – an area devoid of vegetation and soil that has eroded to form small hills and gullies.
The reddish hue is due to the predominance of iron oxide in the shale that makes up the Queenston Shale formation, a huge wedge-shaped, 300m thick section of earth created during the Ordovician Period stretching from Western New York to Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. The greenish bands in the shale, seen below, are due to ground water changing the red iron oxide to green iron oxide.
The area is very sensitive to human foot traffic and erosion has meant the area is more and more difficult to navigate.
Conservation efforts have been underway for years to restrict access to the area as the Badlands are part of the Niagara Escarpment and the local UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Also part of the day was a trip to Downey’s Farm, where it was more than acceptable to bounce around…
…or tear around a track using pedal power.