The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority


Trail in trees at Utopia Conservation Area
Bridge at Utopia Conservation Area

Located 15 minutes outside of Barrie, the Utopia Conservation Area is known for its historic grist mill, nature trails, wetlands and abundant biodiversity. The conservation area is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including several endangered Butternut trees.

It features hiking trails, interpretive signs and eco-respectful, seasonal washrooms – all accessible to people of all abilities.  The Utopia Conservation Area has 2 km of accessible trails along Bear Creek. Washrooms are currently closed for the winter.

The Utopia Conservation Area is managed in partnership with the Friends of Utopia Park and Mill.


Getting there

  • Address:  8609 Line 6, Utopia (m​ap)
  • From the City of Barrie, go west on County Rd. 90 to the 6th Concession of Essa.  Turn left (south) and travel for 4 km to the entranceway on your left. ​

Photography Permits

Photography for personal enjoyment is permitted and encouraged in all NVCA public conservation areas.

If you are a professional photographer or are planning to come to one of our conservation areas for a professional photo shoot, you may be required to purchase a photography permit before you enter the area.

The proceeds from the sale of NVCA’s Photography Permits goes directly to the Conservation Lands programs and maintenance of NVCA’s conservation areas.

Please stay on the trails and respect all postings with regards to trail or area closures.
For photography permit fees, please call 705-424-1479 x 236 on Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm or email

Parking Fees

Parking Pass Rate
Daily Parking Pass
$10.00 + HST per vehicle
Annual Parking Pass
$70.00 + HST per vehicle

Operating Hours

Friends of Utopia Park & Gristmill

The Friends of the Utopia Gristmill and Park work to raise funds for the preservation and restoration of Bell’s Gristmill. They host a number of events each year in support of their work. Learn more at

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