The 10 Best Hiking Trails Near Toronto

Fall Colors in the Elora Gorge | © Artur Staszewski/Wikicommons
Fall Colors in the Elora Gorge | © Artur Staszewski/Wikicommons
Photo of Katherine Palumbo
19 June 2017

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.

Mono Cliffs / Bruce Trail | © John Vetterli / Flickr

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

Map View
The vast Mono Cliffs Provincial Park includes a section of the Bruce Trail and is home to stunning lookout points, marshland, caves, cliffs, and horseback riding trails. This moderately difficult trail can be quite busy in the summer months, but offers a variety of well-marked trail options for an hour or a full-day hike.

Jokers Hill Trail/ Thornton Bales Conservation Area

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

Spencers Gorge/ Websters Falls Conservation Area

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

Scarborough Bluffs Park

Park, Hiking Trail
Map View
Looking west from Cathedral Bluffs Park out over Bluffers Park marina in eastern Toronto, Ontario
© All Canada Photos / Alamy Stock Photo
The Scarborough Bluffs are popular with tourists in the summer as the peaks offer spectacular views of Lake Ontario and the escarpment. The trails are moderately easy, but proper footwear should be worn while hiking the peaks due to uneven footing and rock movement. Pristine sandy beaches located at the bottom of the Bluffs are a relaxing end to an afternoon of hiking.

Lynde Shores Conservation Area

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.

Lynne Shores Conservation Area, 1285 Victoria St W, Whitby, ON, Canada

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area

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.

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area, 7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, Canada

Elora Gorge

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.

Elora Gorge, 7400 Wellington County Rd 21, Elora, ON, Canada

High Park

Map View
Spring in High Park, Toronto.
© BiR Fotos / Alamy Stock Photo
High Park is Toronto’s largest and most popular public park and is a one-stop shop for nature lovers. In addition to the diverse range of hiking trails, High Park also has a zoo, dog parks, a beautiful waterfront, manicured gardens, cafes and playgrounds. In the spring, High Park offers stunning views of the Japanese cherry trees in blossom.

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