Tonight I decided to try my hand at sunsets. I know....this doesn't look like one. This was a "detour" on our way to scope out a good sunset view.
“Badlands” is a geologic term for an area of soft rock devoid of vegetation and soil cover that has become molded into a rolling landscape of rounded hills and gullies. Such areas are rare in Ontario and this is one of the best examples.
They exhibit the reddish hue of the Queenston Shale that forms them; the iron oxide in the shale produces this colour. The narrow greenish bands that can be seen throughout the shale are due to the change of red iron oxide to green iron oxide brought on by the circulating groundwater. The relatively soft shale is essentially clay and is easily eroded by water.
Vibrantly red, and totally at odds with a county typified by pastoral meadows and gentle streams lined with majestic black willows, The Cheltenham Badlands probably started to form with the erosion of soft, iron-rich Queenston shale when cattle grazing stripped a protective layer of vegetation from the site in the nineteenth century.
The Cheltenham Badlands are located on Olde Base Road in Caledon and are one of the most striking examples of badlands topography in Southern Ontario.