Forests and Human Health

The County Forest plays an important role in the health and well-being of the community, but there is also the potential to have a negative impact on human health.

nature prescription

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.

EcoHealth Ontario

Association of Nature and Forest Therapy


While you are enjoying the forest, please be aware that you might run into some of these:

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.

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. You can find more information about ticks and Lyme disease visit the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health website.