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The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is filled with hidden gems and earthly beauties that basically force you out into nature for a hike. Sometimes downtown is draining and the best therapy is getting out into the crisp Autumn air. During this Fall season, bring a friend to some of these outdoor havens and go for a hike!
It’s hard to believe that these gorgeous cliffs are only about half an hour away from downtown Toronto. Scarborough Bluffs’ hiking path lets you walk alongside the beautiful water of shining Lake Ontario and up to an amazing view that is filled with orange and yellow leaves. Keep a jacket with you for heavy lake-effect winds, but the views will take your breath away.
High Park is perfect for those who are just getting used to going on long hikes or walks. The walk is easy and there is no incline, but the views are just amazing. The entire park’s pathways are lined with trees that are currently changing colors. The greatest part about this GTA hiking venue is that it is TTC (public transport) accessible for those who just want a simple day-trip away from the big city. High Park is also complete with a zoo, which makes this the perfect hiking spot for families and people with small children.
📍High Park, 1873 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON, +416 338-0338
Evergreen Brickworks is the best place to see the skyline in all of the GTA. This former quarry is now the sight of a pathway that leads walkers through old brick buildings and views of the Don River valley. Take in a hike after you visit their weekly farmer’s market, complete with over 25 local farmers and their produce. The hiking path is over a 40-acre area that is complete with thriving greenlands, and ponds. The Fall foilage will blow you away as you walk by the water through natural paths. The instagram picture that you’ll get from this hike is worth the exercise.
Rattle Snake Point is all the way out in Milton, near the Niagara Escarpment which features a beautiful drop-off view of Lake Ontario. The hike is over 12 kilometers long, which obviously gives you a great workout. If you want to take it easy with the cardio, there is also a 7 kilometer trail which will takes you through to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. The entire trail is covered with trees, but is still incredibly easy to navigate, even if you are new to the world of hiking. Either way, this hike will feed your soul!
📍Rattle Snake Point, 7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, +905 854-0262
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery is located in the heart of Toronto, but will make it seem like you’ve stepped into a whole other dimension. Hike through beautiful statues, botanical gardens, and rare trees. This hike will remind you of the beauty and joy in life, and is the perfect escape from busy downtown Toronto.
This conservation area is actually best known for its wildlife viewing areas. If you want to spy on some of the rarest species of birds, Lynde Shores Conservation Area is for you. It’s like playing Pokemon Go, but in real life! Most of the trails are paved which makes this hike completely wheelchair – and stroller – accessible. Etobichoke park is only a 30-minute drive away from the city, where you’ll find a wildlife oasis to immerse yourself in.
Elora Gorge is hidden inside of the natural beauty of the town of Elora, which is a short drive on the 401. The gorge includes stunning views of plunging water, which is perfect for any amateur photographer or enthusiast. The hiking trail is ideal for all levels of hikers, meaning you won’t have to work up a huge sweat to get a great, relaxing view. This place is ideal during changing colors of the Fall, but be sure to check out this spot in the summer for kayaking and tubing in the gorge. It’s the perfect destination, rain or shine.
📍Elora Gorge 7400 Wellington County Rd 21, Elora, ON, +519 846-9742
The Ganaraska Trail begins in Port North on the edge of the sparkling north shore of Lake Ontario and takes you all the way to Glen Huron. This 400 kilometer trail is not for the weak of heart, and is definitely the most challenging hike on this list. The workout is worth it for hike experts who want to not only get their heart rate up, but also enjoy close up views of Lake Ontario. This trail is lengthy so don’t just start at the same spot every time if you want a variety of trails. You can join the trail from various points in the GTA including stops in Barrie, Orilla, and the captivating Wasaga Beach. This hike is the ultimate of all branch trails in the Toronto area, so definitely put this one on your bucket list.