The Pinhey sand dune complex extends from Woodroffe Avenue just south of the Nepean Sportsplex to the intersection of Grenfell Crescent and Burnbank Street. The vegetation in Pinhey Forest was established on old postglacial sand dunes. This unique ecosystem is home to a number of plant and animal species that can live only in well-drained, open areas with exposed, fine-grained sand.

Restoring sand dunes at Pinhey Forest

Pinhey Forest is named after the man who donated the land in 1948, with the intention that it be used to demonstrate land conservation practices. Since 2011, the NCC has been working to restore this 10,000-year-old sand dune ecosystem.

According to a dedicated local volunteer group, Biodiversity Conservancy International, the Pinhey Sand Dunes Restoration Project has exceeded expectations. The work of NCC staff and volunteers has brought the principles of environmental stewardship down to a personal and interactive level. 

This site provides an outstanding opportunity for community involvement. In 2016, close to 1,000 students at the elementary, high school and university levels visited the site to learn about biodiversity in the Greenbelt, and to take part in site restoration.

Facilities

Washrooms: There is an outhouse by Trail 32 at parking lot P15. 

Parking: Free, year-round parking is available at the P14 and P15 parking lots.

Picnic areas: There is an unsheltered picnic area by trails 32 and 33.

Universal accessibility: Trails 30 and 31 are universally accessible.

Things to do at Pinhey Forest

The forest has 6.4 kilometres of trails that are great for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.