Toronto is blessed with an abundance of urban wilderness and trails to hike, walk and explore within the city limits. Since the most recent lockdown began on December 26th, we have been sharing some of our favourite urban hikes to help you get out for some safe micro-adventures close to home.
We will continue to update this blog post throughout the lockdown with new hiking trails so bookmark this page and, subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to get new ideas for close to home adventures!
Crothers Woods Trail
What: From the Thomas Hauser Memorial Trailhead you can access ~10km of wooded trails right in the middle of the city. The trails combine fantastic views of Toronto's skyline with natural seclusion in a peaceful woodland walking.
Where: The Crothers woods are located in the Lower Don Parklands. The trailhead can be found here.
Rouge National Urban Park - Vista & Orchard Trails
What: The Rouge National Urban Park is Canada's first national urban park and the largest urban park in North America. The park straddles the Rouge River all the way to the river's mouth at Lake Ontario and incorporates wetlands, ponds, ravines, forests, meadows and historic farms, not to mention a wide variety of wildlife!
Where: There is easy parking at the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre, where you can catch the trailhead of the Vista Trail. Follow the Vista trail South to the Observation Deck. If you just want a short walk, watch for a cutback on your right a little past the Observation deck and follow that trail back to the parking lot. For a slightly longer, but still gentle, loop, follow the Vista trail all the way South until you reach Twyn Rivers Drive. Turn left and cross the bridge before linking up with the Orchard Trail on your left to head back North. Eventually you'll hit the paved zoo road where you can take another left to get back to your car.
Doris McCarthy Trail
What: An intimate way to explore the Scarborough Bluffs and the option to tailor the length of your hike - from 2km to 10km. The Doris McCarthy Trail itself is a 900 meter hike, descending 90 meters (that means it's somewhat steep) to Lake Ontario, with beautiful views of the lake and the bluffs, varied wildlife and some artistic and historic surprises. When you get to the lake, turn left (East) for the option to continue hiking along the lakeshore.
Where: Trailhead is here, off of Ravine Drive just south of Kingston Road.
Note: The bluffs are actively eroding and there is occasional risk of landslide. Please check TRCA advisories, especially after heavy rain. Use caution along bluff-side trails as we cannot take responsibility for the state of the trails and/or landslide risks.
Leslie Street Spit - Tommy Thompson Park
What: The Leslie Spit, known formally as Tommy Thompson Park, extends ~5km SW into Lake Ontario, offering rugged rocky beaches and spectacular views of Toronto from across the lake. This urban wilderness has 10km of trails to explore and is open year round (although trails are not maintained in the winter). Check out the park's official website for more details on opening hours.
Greenwood Conservation Area
What: The Greenwood Conservation Area is a fantastic urban wilderness containing almost forty kilometers of trails, tracing the banks of Duffins Creek, meandering through forests and exploring steep-sided river valleys. Whether you're looking for a short walk or an all-day hike Greenwood Conservation Area is an ideal destination!
Taylor Creek Park
What: Just north of the Danforth, Taylor Creek Park follows, a tributary of the Don River through mature forests and peaceful marsh habitats. The park is criss-crossed with a series of trails that make it a wonderfully peaceful place to spend an afternoon.