12 trails for spring hiking in and around Toronto

Mar 19 2021, 1:48 pm

Please Note: As of March 8, Toronto is under the province’s Grey Zone. This means you must stay at home as much as possible and only go out for necessities, including getting food, going to work, and exercise. If you go out, maintain the six-foot physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

Although we’ve been cooped up at home this winter, spring is fast approaching.

A great way to get out of the house and safely enjoy the outdoors is on a hike. With the flowers blooming and the sun shining, all you need to know is the best hiking trails that suit what you’re looking for.

Short or long, easy or hard, we’ve found the best hiking trails in and around Toronto for you to explore this spring. Be sure to stay on marked trails for your safety, and maintain physical distance.

Moccasin Trail Park

The Moccasin Trail Park, divided by the Don Valley Parkway, is a lovely stroll through nature. After you’ve gone through the colourful tunnel, seen the painted murals, you’ll come across a gothic house from 1821.

A storm pond built in 2002 now makes a great place to see birds, deer, and even turtles.

Crothers Woods

Located in the Don River valley, Crothers Woods consists of woodland, meadows, wetland, and various municipal uses. There is roughly 10 km of dirt trails winding through Crothers Woods, including a few more challenging, steeper sections.

You can take the 6.6 km loop and enjoy the scenic rushing river on this moderately difficult hike.

Glen Stewart Ravine

Truly a nature getaway within city limits, the Glen Stewart Pathway is a 1.3 km hike across a boardwalk that winds through a protected forest area.

Completely enclosed by the trees and steep hills, this hike is still really close to shops and restaurants, making it a wonderful secret. The main entrance is located just south of Kensington Road in the Beaches.

Mast Trail

This 5.1 km looped hike was actually an old logging route over 200 years ago. Where many pines were cut down, you can now explore and enjoy, taking in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence ecosystem.

Depending on experience, there are a few difficult passages that can get fairly steep. With many to choose from, there are accessible routes for all levels.

Highland Creek Trail

This one-way, 8.4 km trail offers sights from bluffs, a river view, and activity options like gizmo relaxing and a nearby bird sanctuary. It’s as if there is a brand new hike around every corner.

99-Step Trail

This trail is within the Thornton Bales Conservation Area Loop Trail in Newmarket, Ontario, and earns its nickname of the 99-Step Trail. There are 99 steps to traverse here, so it’ll definitely get your heart pumping. Remind yourself to take in the pretty surroundings — there’s plenty of wildflowers in the area.

Moore Park Ravine Trail Loop

This serene pathway through the woods is welcome to hikers and cyclists, and there’s plenty of room for both. At 6.1 km, this loop is great for all skill levels and can be enjoyed all year round.

Betty Sutherland Trail Park

This trail, located in Markham, is paved the whole way, making it suitable for all skill levels, and often quite busy. You’ll be able to hear the sound of the nearby river the entire 3.5 km of this peaceful trail.

West Humber Trail

There are a few different ways to explore Humber Bay Park: Humber Bay Park East, Humber Bay Park Shores, and our favourite, Humber Bay Park West. The trees are beautiful, and there are little ponds to admire. The best part? The Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat.

Tommy Thompson Park

Maybe more of a casual stroll than a hike, the paved walkways on this man-made park trail are still a must-do on a sunny spring afternoon. There are great water views of Lake Ontario throughout this urban wilderness that also happens to be the largest natural habitat on the Toronto waterfront.

Chorley Park Trail Connection

This quiet trail overlooks the Don River Valley, with connecting trails if you wish to explore elsewhere. Wonder at the mature tree canopy overhead, and bring a picnic to enjoy at any of the available picnic tables.

Scarborough Bluffs Trail

It’s a bit of a drive from downtown Toronto, but only 13 km away, the Scarborough Bluffs’ views are absolutely worth it. The trail is 5 km long, winding and rising, from down at the water to as high as 60 m above it.

Be sure to stay on the marked trails.

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