Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods Addition, Southern Norfolk Sand Plain, ON (Photo by NCC)

Backus Woods, Ontario

Most places under NCC's care welcome visitors. Please check site-specific pages on this website for access information and any special restrictions.

Backus Woods is a spectacular gem in the heart of Carolinian Canada. The Carolinian life zone is one of Canada's smallest ecoregions. Comprising less than one per cent of Canada's land mass, Carolinian Canada is home to 25 per cent of Canada's population, and provides habitat for nearly 25 per cent of the country's endangered species.

Backus Woods allows users to experience older-growth Carolinian forest and witness a variety of unique Carolinian species, including prothonotary and cerulean warbler, tulip-tree and black gum.

Trail length/difficulty:
Weston Family Trail: 6.5 kms round trip / moderate
Four Oaks Trail: 3.62 kms / moderate
Wetland Trail: 4.2 kms / moderate
Dogwood Trail 3.1 kms / moderate
Sassafrass Trail 3.2 kms / moderate
Sugarbush Trail 2.3 kms / moderate to difficult
Floodplain trail 2.8 kms / moderate

Amenities on-site:
Parking is provided at three main locations. Parking locations include benches, garbage receptacles, trail map signs, Backus Woods history and Norfolk's Carolinian Legacy signs (legacy sign at 3rd concession parking is located at Backus Woods Sauriol property boundary not parking area). Benches are also located along the trails at scenic vistas. A pavilion is located 0.4 kilometres from the south parking area.

Points of interest

  • button bush swamp
  • silver maple swamp
  • sugar bush
  • restored field
  • hemlock ravines
  • sugar shack
  • blow downs

Species you can look out for

  • tulip tree
  • black gum
  • red oak
  • white oak / swamp white oak
  • black oak
  • buttonbush
  • pileated woodpecker
  • hooded warbler
  • red-eyed vireo
  • woodland vole
  • wild turkey
  • blue-spotted salamander


  1. From ON-401 take exit 232 for Norwich Avenue toward Oxford Road 59/Woodstock
  2. Head south on County Road 59
  3. Turn right onto Salford Rd/County Rd 46
  4. urn left onto Oxford Rd 13/Regional Rd 13
  5. Turn left onto Main St E/Otterville Rd/County Rd 19
  6. Turn right onto Oxford Rd 13/West Street S/Regional Rd 13 and continue to follow Regional Rd 13.
  7. Continue onto Norfolk County Hwy 59
  8. Turn left onto Norfolk County Hwy 24

The Backus Woods north parking lot will be on your right (it’s easy to miss so drive slowly and keep an eye out for it).

Approximate travel time from ON-401/Woodstock, Ontario is 45 minutes.

Contact information


Learn more about Backus Woods here >

All visitors to NCC properties do so at their own risk.

Visitor information

When visiting the property, please:

  • Respect the wildlife and other visitors.
  • Travel on designated paths only.
  • Ensure that all dogs are accompanied by their owner and controlled on a leash at all times.
  • Refrain from lighting fires or smoking.
  • Remove your own garbage, and please pick up after your pets.
  • Respect that the property does not permit the removal of any plants or animals.

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