Nature Trails near Petrolia, Ontario

Oil, oil, oil! That is what created the Best Town on Earth, Petrolia. Historic wealth is still evident in the homes, buildings, and parks. And yes…you can smell the oil. But our Heritage is much more than the black gold that continues to be drawn from creaking wells located just a short stroll from our thriving downtown. Oil may have enticed folks here, but Petrolia was created, nurtured, and sustained by hardworking visionaries, shopkeepers, builders, drillers, labourers, and leaders. Hard Oils and visitors have been and continue to be our greatest resource. Among them are William H. McGarvey (1843-1914), Petrolia shop owner, Mayor and future Petroleum King of Austria),and current resident George McPhee who manages our compost site with Wall Street precision and ensures our children’s safety as they cross Petrolia Line on their way to school. Our residents are a wonderfully diverse group who have left us with an abundance of architecture, theatre, industry, education, healthcare, and social institutions.

Through photos, documents, newspapers and artifacts these people and their stories continue to play an integral part in our history. Our Heritage continues to evolve and we love to share our stories. We take great pride in our Pre – Confederation, VanTuyl and Fairbank Hardware store where they still thread pipe, cut steel, and sell gumboots. VanTuyl and Fairbank’s has the distinction of being the oldest independent hardware store in Ontario and possibly Canada. Victoria Hall, built in 1889, destroyed by fire in 1989, and restored in 1992, continues to provide professional theatre and enjoyable entertainment to this day. It is also been the home of our municipal government for more than 100 years.

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The Lorne C. Henderson Conservation Area is a birders delight. Over 5 km of nature trails wind through a variety of habitats including grasslands, wildlife ponds, floodplains and upland forests. Spend a weekend at the scenic campground with plenty of activities for...


The Marthaville Habitat Management Area has multiple loop trails (5 km) through tallgrass prairie, wetlands and forest. Trail users will get an excellent opportunity to observe a gravel pit rehabilitation and the many diverse wildlife that now call it home. The...


As this 2km trail winds through the north side of Bridgeview Park, view Carolinian Zone Forest, historical oil artifacts and enjoy untouched nature. Due to its length, hills and winding terrain, the trail is able to host provincial championship cross-country races....