Nature is the one thing we can’t live without, and thankfully we don’t have to. Toronto has its share of bustling cafés and busy streets, but it’s also blessed with lots of parks. Treat yourself to an afternoon hike in the city and discover some amazing things along the way. Here are some of our top spots in the GTA for scenic views, winter delights, wooded wonders and all things nature.
East Don Parkland
Sometimes, you just need to go on a really, really long hike through the woods, and that’s precisely what East Don Parkland delivers. This trail stretches nearly 11 kilometres and passes over various waterways and bridges, allowing you to snap that perfect Instagram shot or sit down and contemplate life while staring at the water. If you want to unplug, leave your phone at home and watch the winter creatures emerge one kilometre at a time. The trail may be icy and sludgy this time of year, though, so pack some extra socks just in case.
If you’re seeking seclusion, The Beltline is a well-known trail but also one that can’t be left off of this list thanks to the sheer serenity experienced when traversing the nine kilometres of trail. The Beltline was once a railway making this the ideal trail for daydreaming and dredging up those creative thoughts.
Scarborough Bluffs Trail
This is one of the more popular scenic trails in the city so expect some foot traffic. But, Scarborough Bluffs is worth experiencing just for the views. You’ll find green and blue waters that will remind you more of the Mediterranean than Ontario. Watch out for slick spots this time of year. You can access Scarborough Bluffs Trail through Bluffers Park.
Humber Bay Park East
Humber Bay Park West is a popular paved trail, but the park’s east side offers a hidden butterfly habitat. Walking along the 2.5 kilometre trail will give you all those nature feelings without committing to a path that will take hours to complete. While the paved west side might be easier to traverse, we urge you to seek wintry refuge on the east side.
Don Valley Brick Works Park
With 11 kilometres of trails to explore, Don Valley Brick Works Park has to make our list of best places to find solitude in the city. This former quarry has been completely transformed into a nature preserve where you can find still water, plenty snow-blanketed trees, open fields and even a few cliffs. Bring your dog along for this hike, as it’s very popular among Toronto’s pet population so they can make some friends along the way!