Forests and Human Health

Forest Bathing is the Japanese tradition of being in the forest and absorbing the forest environment through all your senses. It can be very relaxing, reducing stress, worry, and anxiety.


Poison ivy grows commonly in many areas of the County Forest. Information about identifying poison ivy and its treatment can be found on the Health Canada website by clicking here.

You are less likely to encounter giant hogweed or wild parsnip in the County Forest, but you may find them elsewhere, and they can both cause serious skin rashes/burns.


Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

Users of the Dufferin County Forest should be aware of the possibility of being bitten by mosquitoes while using the forest properties, particularly from dusk until dawn. Simple precautions such as wearing long sleeves, pants, and socks and using insect repellent will reduce the risk of being bitten and the possibility of contracting the mosquito-borne West Nile virus. For more information about West Nile virus, visit the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health website.


Ticks and Lyme Disease

While the risk of contracting Lyme disease from ticks in the Dufferin County area is low, it is nevertheless advisable to use simple precautions such as wearing shirts with tight cuffs and placing pant legs inside socks when in the forest to minimize possible exposure to the ticks that may be carrying Lyme disease. For more information about ticks and Lyme disease visit the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health website.