Written by: Emily De Sousa
The weather in Toronto is finally warming up and there is no better time than now to get outside and explore our beautiful backyard. While Toronto is a beautiful, big city, just outside of its boundaries lie dozens of breathtaking hikes where you can escape the noise of the city and enjoy some peaceful, quiet time in nature.
The Scarborough Bluffs are the best place to escape the noise of the city and enjoy a quiet and secluded hike in nature. The Bluffs are incredibly scenic as they’ve been formed into unique shapes by the erosion of the packed clay soil.
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This is arguable one of Ontario’s most scenic hikes. The shining star of the 10km Elora Gorge trail is the beautiful 20-metre waterfall that greets hikers at the end of their journey.
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This trail along the Niagara Escarpment is home to incredible biodiversity including several endangered species. Hikers can also enjoy a tour of the historical buildings along the trail as well.
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This trail resides in the Fleetwood Creek Natural Area that stretches 900-acres within the Oak Ridges Moraine. The area is known for its steep valleys and beautiful cold-water streams. This trail is fairly easy, so even new hikers can feel comfortable on it. Most of the trail cuts through a dense cedar forest and is followed by a climb up a valley slope, before ending off with a walk through an open meadow back to the parking area.
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This stunning trail follows the path of the Applewood Valley in Mississauga. This is one of the easiest trails in the area so it’s perfect for a family day of hiking with your kids.
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The Woodland Trail offers beautiful views of Rouge Creek and the surrounding forests and meadows. This trail is also the perfect area for wildlife viewings; it is part of the City of Toronto’s “Bird Flyways” areas where people can view birds in their natural habitats. This trail is also flat and accessible for wheelchairs and strollers, etc.
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The Black Creek Trail is the result of hard work from community members involved in the Black Creek Conservation Project; the valley has been completely transformed from a sterile, groomed parkland into a breathtaking, natural state of wilderness.
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The Clarkson Trail is a 9.7km hiking, walking, and cycling trail that passes 22 parks and Rattary Marsh, one of the few remaining wetlands along Lake Ontario. This trail is also nearby to plenty of cafes and restaurants along Lakeshore road making it the perfect place to grab a waterfront lunch at the end of your hike.
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This is one of the busier trails near Toronto; during the summer the trail is always packed with hikers and cyclists, but it’s also one of the easiest to get to from downtown.
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Located in the north end of Brampton just off the 410, the Heart Lake Conservation Area offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. This area features more than 8km of scenic trails as well as other outdoor activities for those who want to make a day out of it by fishing and renting a canoe.
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This trail is in one of the most famous urban parks in the area. Started 40 years ago, it was intended to be a breakwater for harbour expansion, but now the “Spit” as Torontonians call it, has been transformed into an extraordinary wildlife reserve where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
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