Autumn is such a refreshing time of year in Ontario. Without humidity keeping us glued to our A/C, the conditions are perfect for spending long afternoons in nature.

It goes without saying that the changing leaves only add to this season’s beauty, and with so many scenic hikes to do in Toronto and the GTA, you’ll be spoiled with some of the best views around.

Whether you’re up for a sweaty climb up a tree-lined staircase or want to meander along a cliff with sweeping views all around you, you won’t have to travel too far out of the city to find what you’re looking for.

Here are 8 of the best easy hikes with breathtaking autumn views near Toronto

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Rattlesnake Point 


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Arguably one of the prettiest places to spend a day in nature near Toronto, Crawford Lake Conservation Area in Milton has it all. Whether you’d prefer a relaxing and easy stroll around the lake or a more adventurous trek up to the Buffalo Crag Lookout Point, you won’t be disappointed. There’s no sight quite as beautiful as the red and orange leaves reflecting off of the lake, or the towering thousand-year-old cedars you’ll pass as you make your way up the escarpment. Reservations are required in advance, so be sure to do that beforehand.

Where: 7200 Appleby Line, Milton
Distance: 14.4 km

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

This is one of the most popular hiking spots around, and for good reason. The clifftop trail is both unique and gorgeous, and there are 7 moderately challenging hikes to do in the park that range in length. Because of the colourful leaves and cooler weather, fall is the best time of year to fully enjoy this park. That being said, it’s also when the park tends to have its busiest weekends. You’ll have to purchase a day pass in advance to guarantee your spot.

Where: 795086 3rd Line EHS, Shelburne
Distance: 5 km

Spencer Gorge Wilderness Area


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You’ll want to have your camera ready for this scenic day trip. There are several hikes to do at Spencer Gorge that’ll take you to both cascading waterfalls and panoramic valley views. You may get a little sweaty, but when you’re gazing down from the escarpment brow at the breathtaking gorge surrounded by trees with colourful leaves, it’ll all be worth it. Tew Falls and Dundas Peak require reservations in advance.

Where: Harvest Rd, Dundas
Distance: 1.3 km — 2.7 km

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area


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This hike is all about views and it boasts some of the best in the region. Soak up your stunning surroundings of the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario as you travel along the forested trails and along the upper and lower falls. There’s no shortage of viewing platforms to stop and admire the views and take photos to your heart’s content.

Where: 28 Quarry Rd, Grimsby
Distance: 4.1 km

Rouge Valley Conservation Centre


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You can immerse yourself in nature without leaving the city at the gorgeous Rouge Valley. There are multiple hiking trails to take that range in length and difficulty — you can get all the details here. From marshes and meadows to boardwalks and an old mill used by early European settlers, you’ll get a real-life tour of the city’s fascinating history and geography, all under a canopy of bright autumn leaves.

Where: 1749 Meadowvale Rd, Scarborough
Distance: 10.7 km

Blue Mountain Cascade Trail


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This 40-minute trail in Blue Mountain is further out of the city than most other scenic trails, but it’s worth the journey. Cascading streams and brooks flow throughout the area, which has 3 connecting trails that are both easy and intermediate. Plus, the gorgeous Rainbow Bridge along the trail will make for some adorable photos.

Where: The Blue Mountains
Distance: 3.5 km

Mount Nemo Conservation Area


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Boasting “one of the best cliff ecosystems on Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment,” Mount Nemo is an accessible cliff-edge trail that’ll spoil you with views without making you work too hard for it. This peaceful hike is filled with thousand-year-old crevice caves, ancient cedars, and limestone boulders covered in green ferns. Nature trails like these really make you appreciate the beauty that Ontario has to offer.

Where: 5317 Guelph Line, Burlington
Distance: 5.3 km

​Thornton Bales Conservation Area 


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There are a few features that make Thornton Bales such a popular place to visit — its steep slopes, rugged beauty, and the 99-step staircase along the Red Oak Trail. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with unbeatable autumn views and maybe even some wildlife sightings. The area is home to pileated woodpeckers and white-tailed deer. Be sure to wear your best hiking shoes and pack plenty of water, and arrive early to snag a spot as there’s very limited parking available.

Where: 260 19th Sideroad, King City
Distance: 1.1 km