Getting a taste of nature or the wilderness is no problem in one of the biggest metropolises in the world. Toronto is filled with hidden trails that wind through parks and wooded areas, past rivers and lakes, and that are home to many flora and fauna to keep you engaged and excited throughout your journey on one of many nature trails on this list.
Doris McCarthy Trail
Located in the stunning Rouge National Urban Park — a popular place to get a taste of nature in the GTA area – the Cedar Trail is a 14-kilometer loop trail for hiking, walking, trail running, year-round. The area has incredible biodiversity, which adds to your experience out in this blend of culture, agricultural, and natural landscapes.
Toronto’s beloved High Park offers around 5 kilometers of a loop trail that features the wonderful wilderness feeling right in the midst of the city. It is a park home to much wildlife, a pond, and plenty of rare plant species. Apart from the main trail, there are other walking and hiking areas to explore in this 161-hectare space.
The Humber Trail, sometimes known as the Humber River Trail, is located in Etienne Brule Park. It is an 8.2 kilometer out and back trail that features and lake and has significance has a historical trail due to its connection to the historic aboriginal trade route known as the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail.
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Don Valley Trail
The Don River Valley Park is Toronto’s largest urban park and contains a trail that runs alongside the river and connects several urban neighbourhoods to each other and green spaces. As you make your way along the trail, you can marvel at the art, spend some time at the river, or simply enjoy this nature experience interwoven into the city.
Bluffer’s Park is located at the base of the famous Scarborough Bluffs, and is known for its beach, lookouts, and trails. You can venture on the Scarborough Bluffs Trail or the more low-key Dunker’s Flow Basin Trail to hike up to a scenic lookout or go on a simple and relaxed walk through a trail populated with butterflies and wildflowers.
Highland Creek Trail
The Highland Creek Trail is a 16-kilometer natural path that leads down to the Highland Creek river bed and the water channel. It is a mysterious and down-to-earth path that runs through the woods and along the creek. It features a lake, a bridge, and both dirt path portions and paved path portions where you can see the bluffs and shore.
The Glen Stewart Ravine
Picturesque views, rare forest types, stairways that could be straight out of a storybook — you’ll be amazed that the Glen Stewart Ravine is in Toronto, and even more amazed that you haven’t been here before. This ravine features Red Oak and Red Maple forests as well as natural Witch Hazel. Details
Leslie Street Spit Trail (Tommy Thompson Park)
Located in Tommy Thompson Park, known as Toronto’s urban wilderness, the Leslie Street Spit Trail is an 11-kilometer loop trail that offers some of the best scenic views in the area. Over 300 recorded species of birds reside here, and so do panoramic views of Toronto’s skyline.
Evergreen Brick Works
The Brickworks Trail at the Evergreen Brick Works – a flourishing spot that focuses on sustainability and nature – is a 2.4-kilometer trail that is easily accessible and suitable for all. The wooded trail is filled with wildlife and has views of the city skyline, and also features a farmers’ market on Saturdays.
East Don Parkland Trail
The East Don Parkland Trail is a 10.9-kilometer out and back trail that has plenty of flora and fauna. Hikers can opt for paved or dirt trails depending on their preference, as the dirt trail will get birds, coyote, deer, and other animals. You will see tributaries and sections that hug the river, as well as experience a more countryside experience.
The Beltline is a popular trail set on an old railway line in the city. It is a 9-kilometer cycling and walking trail and is made up or three sections – the Yorkline Beltline Trail, the Kay Gardner Beltline Park, and the Ravine Beltline Trail. The trail is a mix of terrain that contains parks, woods, and ravines along the journey.
Port Union Waterfront Park
Walk the 3.8 km trail that has continuous views of Lake Ontario, enjoying great scenery. This is a multi-use trail, so you can bike, hike, or skateboard. Rest-a-while at cobblestone beaches, watch wildlife or birdwatch. You can see trumpeter swans, other common waterfowls and shorebirds.
Moccasin Trail Park
The Moccasin Trail Park is 15-hectares of nature that has walking paths through a naturalized ravine forest that leads to additional parkland and the banks of the Don River in the Charles Sauriol Conservation Area. You may have passed the famous rainbow tunnel entrance on the path, a public art piece that is complimented by another internal mural.
Betty Sutherland Trail
Named after the elected representative of the former North York Council, the Betty Sutherland Trail is a big part of Toronto’s improvements to access to recreation. The trail is dotted with native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, bringing in wildlife for that extra wilderness experience on this short but sweet trail.
Chorley Park Trail Connection
Moore Park Ravine Trail Loop
This 6.1-kilometer loop trail is a lush and forested nature walk that travels through an impressive canopy of maple, beech, and oak trees. The path is well constructed and there is a pedestrian bridge that allows users to access the ravine. Overall, the loop is peaceful and serene, offering a taste of Mother Nature’s finest.
David A. Balfour Park
David A. Balfour Park is a 20-hectare park with a reservoir, pools and fountains, and a gated garden. Overlooking a forest ravine that is part of the Don River, the nature running trail is part of the Rosehill Reservoir that features a little waterfall as well.
Rosetta McClain Gardens
Amble along the landscaped gardens, enjoying brilliantly coloured flowers and manicured gardens at Rosetta MacClain Gardens. Rest awhile at the many benches provided along the trails overlooking Lake Ontario and delight in the spectacular scenery.
Glendon Forest is a quiet and picturesque spot within the city that transports you into nature. The footpaths take you from the Glendon Forest to Sunnybrook Park, and can even take you north to the Edward Gardens, or southeast to the Toronto Waterfront.
Taylor Creek Park
Taylor Creek Park boasts mature forests, scrub communities and marsh habitat that is home to wildlife and rare plants. The many paths exhibit the stunning spring, summer, and fall colors and changes and is a multi-use 5.6-kilometer trail shrouded in forest.
Marilyn Bell Park
Located west of Ontario Place at the Lake Shore Boulevard waterfront, this stunning park features a boardwalk along the shore, green areas for picnics and relaxation, as well as biking and walking trails. The park is designed by a landscape architecture, explaining the uniform and well-constructed path for a comfortable stroll among the trees by the water.
East Point Park
East Point Park is one of the hidden birding parks in Scarborough. Enjoy the sounds of more than 170 birds as you amble along paths that meander through dense bushes and trees and along the Lake Ontario bluffs. Details
The Lambton Woods is a natural environment that contains deciduous forests on steep valley slopes around small wetlands. Its trails are popular with hikers, mountain bikers, and nature enthusiasts. It is listed as a hot spot to see a variety of birds and is also abundant with wildflowers.
Colonel Danforth Park
Head onto the Colonel Danforth Park’s paved trail system that runs through the park, and check out the white-tailed deer, the fall salon running up the highland creek, and lake and beach views.
250 acres of natural wonder exist at the Humber Arboretum on the edge of Humber campus. With botanical gardens and conservation areas, this forested walk is a sublime way to enjoy a sunny day in the big city. Learn about the plants that thrive here and become educated on urban ecology. You might even take home some information you can use to make your own space a little piece of nature in the city. Details