While Toronto is a bustling city that offers residents and tourists everything they could ask for in an urban metropolis, it also has a wide selection of hiking trails, nature walks, and other scenic areas that can help you and the family escape from the modern world for a short time. Concrete jungle? We beg to differ! Here are 10 awesome walking nature trails in the Greater Toronto Area that you and the family can enjoy together:
#1: High Park
Easily Toronto’s most accessible and largest park within the city limits, High Park offers a vast range of activities and nature trails that are fit for the whole family—even the dog. Located just west of Downtown Toronto in the neighbourhood with the same name, High Park offers 400 acres of fun. The park offers free parking and is quickly accessible by bike and TTC. No matter what time of year it is, there’s something for everyone:
- Spring cherry blossoms
- Off-leash dog trail
- Sports facilities
- Grenadier Pond
- Gardens and wild nature areas
- Shakespeare in High Park
#2: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park Trails
Located approximately 90 kilometres northwest of Toronto, this park features numerous hiking trails, including a path through a canyon on the 1.3-kilometre Spillway Trail. It may be a bit further than Toronto’s borders, but with so many fun activities to do, it’s well worth the trip.
#3: Hilton Falls Park Trails
At Hilton Falls Park, the hiking trails feature lovely waterfalls and abundant wildlife, such as a variety of birds and salamanders that your children will eagerly spot. The 4-kilometre Hilton Falls Trail will allow you and your older kids to enjoy a good workout and great scenery.
#4: Rouge National Urban Park’s Vista Trail
The Vista Trail is 3 kilometres long and features a split-level observation platform that offers an exceptional view of the Rouge River Valley. This trail is especially beautiful in the fall, as the colours of the leaves begin to transform into a vibrant variety of hues and shades.
#5: Lover’s Leap Trail
The Elora Gorge Conservation Area features the Lover’s Leap Trail. This 5-kilometre trail might be too strenuous for small children, but is an excellent option for older kids. After a long hike on a hot summer day, many families take a dip in the waters of the Irvine Creek Gorge, which is accessible from this trail.
#6: Kelso Conservation Area
The Kelso Conservation Area contains some 16 kilometres of escarpment trails. You can choose to hike trails with difficulty levels that range from easy to challenging. Scenic vistas facing Toronto offer a nice reward for your efforts.
#7: Humber River, Old Mill & Marshes Trail
Start this Discovery Walk right from Old Mill TTC Station! This expansive nature trail sits along the border of Etobicoke and Toronto proper and offers plenty of natural and historical attractions, such as the Old Mill bridge. Birds, butterflies, and a wide variety of fish can be observed on this 7-kilometre loop. In addition, picturesque reminders of the past make an appearance in the form of the Old Mill and the Old Mill Bridge that leads to the lake. Expect to complete this trail in two hours—a perfect afternoon trip with the family!
#8: Marilyn Bell Park Lakefront Promenade
This scenic walk by the lake offers a tranquil, soothing environment by day or by night. This is an especially easy walk for a family with young children and offers a beautiful view across the lake on a clear day.
Safely tucked away but within walking distance of Lakeshore Boulevard and close proximity to Liberty Village, Marilyn Bell Park is an expansive area that many of the city’s cyclists enjoy for its dedicated bike paths and easy trails. Enjoy a picnic on the fresh grass or explore the lakeside. Depending on the time of year, you may be visited by a Canada Goose or two.
#9: Cherry Beach
Cherry Beach offers an invigorating, family-friendly vibe, a refreshing place to swim, abundant park space, and a nice glimpse of Toronto’s skyline, not to mention a huge off-leash area for your water-loving pooches! Located just south of Leslieville and east of Harbourfront, Cherry Beach is a local favourite, so be prepared to fight for a parking space!
Take your family for a relaxing stroll, hit up the bike trails, and stop now and again to make sand castles or inspect a seashell. If you love a bit of everything—sand beneath your toes, large expansive trees for the dog to run under, a safe place to swim, and plenty of bustling activity—Cherry Beach is a perfect spot for a quick family getaway.
#10: Edwards Gardens
If beauty is what your after on your nature walk, check out Edwards Gardens in Bridle Path. This stunning estate garden features winding paths through carefully tended grounds that are laden with wildflowers, roses, and a rockery. Wood bridges that span the Don River tributaries offer quiet spots for reflection and relaxation. A beautiful array of perennials can be observed along the side of the trail.
If you are looking to move to the Greater Toronto Area, and are eagerly anticipating such beautiful nature trails as the 10 mentioned above, reach out to Susan Macarz for help in the home buying process. Whether you’re looking for a residence in the North York, North Toronto, Midtown, or Downtown Toronto area, she will put her negotiating expertise and years of experience to work for you, so that you can buy your new home with confidence! Reach out today for more information.