Author John Muir once said, ‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few are dirt.’ Whether you’re hiking for exercise, walking the dog, or simply to get out into nature, we list 10 great trails in the Greater Toronto Area to explore on foot.
Mono Cliffs Provincial Park
The vast Mono Cliffs Provincial Park includes a section of the Bruce Trail and is home to stunning lookout points, marshland, caves, cliffs, and horseback riding trails. This moderately difficult trail can be quite busy in the summer months, but offers a variety of well-marked trail options for an hour or a full-day hike.
Joker’s Hill Trail/ Thornton Bales Conservation Area
The Joker’s Hill Trail and Thornton Bales Conservation Area is well maintained throughout the seasons and is a favorite spot for local dog owners. Trails can be accessed from the main entrance located on Bathurst Street and a less busy entrance located off Mulock Drive. The infamous ’99 steps’ is accessible by the entrance off Mulock Drive and consists of 99 natural log steps along a steep hill that offer an intense workout.
Spencer’s Gorge/ Webster’s Falls Conservation Area
Hamilton may be best known for its steel factories, but many are unaware it’s also considered by some to be the “waterfall capital of the world”. This trail includes stunning views of Webster’s Falls, and the highest waterfall in Hamilton and Tew’s Falls. The Dundas Peak is a must-visit for its panoramic views of Dundas and Hamilton.
Scarborough Bluffs Park
The Scarborough Bluffs are popular with tourists in the summer as the peaks offer spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the escarpment. The trails are moderately easy, but proper footwear should be worn while hiking the peaks due to uneven footing and rock movement. Pristine sandy beaches located at the bottom of the Bluffs are a relaxing end to an afternoon of hiking.
Lynde Shores Conservation Area
Best known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, Lynde Shores offers easy trails, many of which are paved and are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. At the southern tip of the trail is an entrance to a secluded beach which many swans call home in the summer. If you’re into getting up close with wildlife, make sure to bring bird food with you. The squirrels are so friendly they will eat out of your hand.