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Author John Muir once said, ‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few are dirt.’ Whether you’re hiking for exercise, walking the dog, or simply to get out into nature, we list 10 great trails in the Greater Toronto Area to explore on foot.
The Joker’s Hill Trail and Thornton Bales Conservation Area is well maintained throughout the seasons and is a favorite spot for local dog owners. Trails can be accessed from the main entrance located on Bathurst Street and a less busy entrance located off Mulock Drive. The infamous ’99 steps’ is accessible by the entrance off Mulock Drive and consists of 99 natural log steps along a steep hill that offer an intense workout.
Joker’s Hill Conservation Area, 17186 Bathurst St, Newmarket, ON, Canada
Hamilton may be best known for its steel factories, but many are unaware it’s also considered by some to be the “waterfall capital of the world”. This trail includes stunning views of Webster’s Falls, and the highest waterfall in Hamilton and Tew’s Falls. The Dundas Peak is a must-visit for its panoramic views of Dundas and Hamilton.
Webster’s Falls, 99 Fallsview Rd, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Best known for its wildlife viewing opportunities, Lynde Shores offers easy trails, many of which are paved and are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. At the southern tip of the trail is an entrance to a secluded beach which many swans call home in the summer. If you’re into getting up close with wildlife, make sure to bring bird food with you. The squirrels are so friendly they will eat out of your hand.
If you’re in the mood for some adventure on your hike, look no further. Rattlesnake Point offers hikes along the cliff line, and exploration of countless caves. This moderately difficult trail requires good footwear, and is best explored in the autumn months as miles upon miles of colorful trees can be seen. Rock climbing is permitted, with three designated sites.
The hiking trails at Albion Hills are easy and family friendly. The foliage rich paths presents a tranquil escape from the city and you can book a pitch at one of the many campsites if you’re after a full weekend of nature. Fishing is permitted along the scenic pond and is popular in the summer and early autumn.
The Elora Gorge is a natural beauty hidden in the historical town of Elora that presents hikers with stunning views of the plunging waters of the gorge. The trail is moderately easy, ideal for all age groups, and is well maintained throughout the year. In the summer, the gorge has tubing and kayaking available for adventure seekers.
Beamer Memorial offers the best lookout point in Ontario. Best visited in the autumn for the stunning panoramic views and colorful foliage, the Niagara escarpment can be seen for miles on a clear day. Between March and May, dozens of bald eagles can be seen flying over the area during their spring migration, which attracts quite a crowd on weekends.