12 fall hikes near Toronto you have to take this year

Sep 19 2017, 5:53 am

When it comes to fall activities, taking a hike should be pretty high on your list.

Crisp autumn air, landscapes in all shades of awesome auburn, and a little exercise around Thanksgiving. Oh, and it’s your last chance to enjoy life outside before winter. What’s not to love?

So without further a-dew (sorry, had to), here are 12 fall hikes near Toronto you should consider before shifting to hibernation…

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Rouge National Urban Park

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Canada’s first and only national urban park is perhaps Toronto’s best-kept secret – and boasts plenty of hiking terrain to match. Choose from nine exciting trails, each of which come with their own unique features and levels of difficulty.

Flowerpot Island

We promise this is the furthest we’ll send you. Located just off the coast of Tobermory, a short boat ride will reward you with some of the province’s most breathtaking vistas. And at only 4.3 kilometres long, you’ll have plenty of time to take it all in.

Scarborough Crescent Park, a.k.a Bluffer’s Park

If you still haven’t made it out to the Scarborough Bluffs, there’s only one thing to say: what are you waiting for? Fall? Great, because there’s no better time to enjoy this Toronto treasure.

Rattlesnake Point

Don’t worry, it sounds more dangerous than it is. Rattlesnake Point has four trails to choose from, lined with thousand-year-old cedars and lots of geocaches for the kids to discover. Take the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail to…

…The Crawford Lake Boardwalk

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Covering a 1.4-kilometre distance, this elevated boardwalk winds through the Niagara Escarpment and along a scenic lake, which makes it an ideal option for those on the ‘beginner’ end of the hiking spectrum.

The Spencer Adventure Trail

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Teetering cliffs, views as far as the eye can see, and a couple of waterfalls – what more could you ask for on a hike? Just an hour from Toronto, the Spencer Adventure Trail near Hamilton connects Christie Lake to Dundas Peak, where you can have yourself a little Lion King moment.

DeCew Falls

Another waterfall, another fantastic hike. You’ll find DeCew Falls along the iconic Bruce Trail, but the real magic happens at the foot of the gorge, which you can reach by navigating down a rickety trail. File this one under ‘somewhat advanced’.

Bruce Trail

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Speaking of the Bruce Trail, no list with ‘hiking’ in the title is complete without mentioning Canada’s oldest and longest footpath. If you can’t find a stretch of trail to enjoy among the 1300 kilometres at your disposal, it’s a safe bet to assume hiking just isn’t for you.

Algonquin Park

There is simply no better place to soak in the glory of the Indian Summer. Visitors from around the world flock to Algonquin Park to revel in fall’s foliage, but don’t let the crowds deter you. Take two days and reserve a camp spot during the area’s most beautiful time of the year.

Point Pelee National Park

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What’s great about Point Pelee is that it’s home to one of the warmest average climates in the entire country. What’s even greater is hiking Point Pelee National Park, which has several trails to appease every taste. Choose from trekking a cedar savannah, drylands, or a swamp forest.

The Don Valley

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While perhaps not as impressive as North Toronto’s Rouge National Urban Park, the Don Valley is certainly more urban. Take a hike to the hike itself as the Valley’s trails wind 32 kilometres from the Oak Ridges Moraine through downtown to Lake Ontario.

Elora Gorge

Not just a great place to cliff jump, the Elora Gorge is also home to a leisurely (7.2 kilometre) trail that touches a 20-metre waterfall clinging to limestone cliffs. Perhaps more invitingly, there’s an LCBO at one entry point to the trail (but we didn’t tell you that).

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