Well, it looks like 2022 is off to a bit of a rocky start here in Toronto, but one thing we can always enjoy is the great outdoors. Thankfully, this city is full of peaceful nature trails that are enjoyed by locals all year round, even in the colder months. We Ontarians aren’t deterred by a little wind chill — just throw on a few extra layers, grab a thermos full of hot chocolate, and you’re good to go.

It’s time to get back to the basics and appreciate the small things in life, like a sunny day, gently falling snow, and a few leisurely hours to slow down and soak up your surroundings.

Here are 8 of the best spots for a scenic nature walk in Toronto.

Rouge National Urban Park

 

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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 with endless views of valleys covered in freshly fallen snow.

Where: 1749 Meadowvale Rd
Distance: 10.7 km

Glen Stewart Park Trail

 

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This forested boardwalk trail feels like the ultimate escape from the busy city. Nestled in the Beaches, this dreamy trail is the perfect spot for a short but scenic stroll on a winter morning. Get a cup of coffee or tea on the way and take your time wandering up and down the steps of this picturesque nature trail.

Where: 351 Glen Manor Dr
Distance: 1.3 km

Brickworks Trail

 

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You could spend a whole afternoon enjoying the expansive natural environment park that is Don Valley Brick Works. Filled with scenic pathways, bridges, historical landmarks and sweeping forest views, this is the spot to go for an outdoor adventure in the city. You can even bring your skates or rent a pair and hit the rink inside the old brick factory, described as one of Toronto’s prettiest places to skate.

Where: 550 Bayview Ave
Distance: 1.1 km

Earl Bales Park

 

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This vast park in North York is the ultimate spot for a leisurely winter walk. With vast open green space, a network of forested trails, a large pond surrounded by forests, and even a ski hill with a chair lift, there’s lots to enjoy here all year round. If you want to get away from the crowds, the nearby Burnett Forest has some additional trails to explore that are less heavily trafficked.

Where: 550 Bayview Ave
Distance: 2.3 km

Humber River Recreational Trail

 

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Tucked away in the west end is this peaceful nature trail along the Humber River. If you’re looking for a place to get your steps in, this 8.2 km network of trails is definitely the place to go. With lovely views surrounding you on all sides of the long paved pathways, this is the perfect spot to take your dog for a nice long walk or for a weekend outing with a friend.

Where: Starting point Etienne Brulé Park
Distance: 8.2 km

Taylor Creek Park

 

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This long rambling nature trail between Don Mills and Victoria Park is full of scenic bridges, rushing rivers, and gorgeous cliffside viewpoints that are ideal for photo ops. You’ll really want to slow down and take in your surroundings here, which are especially beautiful with a blanket of fresh snow. You’ll feel like you’ve totally escaped from the city at this spot, especially during off-peak hours during the week.

Where: 260 Dawes Rd
Distance: 7.1 km

Sherwood Park

 

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If you have an adventurous doggo, you’ve got to take them to Sherwood Park. This large nature trail in midtown is mostly off-leash, so your pup can run around while you enjoy the winter scenery. It’s worth noting that this spot isn’t fully maintained during the winter, so best to save it for when it’s not too icy. This gorgeous spot is full of pretty places to snap photos of your furry friend, including long staircases and a boardwalk surrounded by trees.

Where: 190 Sherwood Ave
Distance: 4 km

High Park Trails

Any local would call High Park the obvious choice for a nature walk in the city, but many locals might not know just how vast the trail network is in this iconic west-end park. There are over 5 km of both paved and dirt paths you can take in any direction throughout the park. In the colder months, Grenadier Pond may even be safe for skating, but there’s also an enclosed skating rink you can check out in the park. Plus, the off-leash trail is an absolute paradise for dogs.

Where: 1873 Bloor St W
Distance: 5.1 km

There you have it — eight stunning nature trails to go for a winter walk in Toronto. Now, bundle up and enjoy!