As the weather starts to get cold and the skies a little grayer, getting our daily dose of sun is much more difficult than we hoped. But don’t let that keep you indoors this upcoming winter. It’s still a great idea to head outside and stretch those legs as much as you can. Thankfully, believe it or not, Toronto is full of peaceful hiking trails that are enjoyed by locals all year round, especially in the colder months.
Be one with nature and explore its natural wonders. Take some time out of your day to breathe, and clear your mind – these walks can help you do just that.
You can immerse yourself in nature without leaving the city at the gorgeous Rouge Valley. Canada’s first and only national urban park, according to Destination Ontario, has multiple hiking trails 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
This all-encompassing park is one of the biggest in the city. This 200-hectare area spans the distance from Pottery Road all the way to the Corktown Common. Along the way, you’ll come across beautiful green spaces, public art, and all-around good vibes. Challenge yourself to the whole thing or take one hiking trail at a time.
Where: Check out the map here
Did you know Toronto’s Midtown is home to a 6.1 km hiking trail? If you love to go on nature walks then you probably did but if you didn’t, make sure to explore this gem. According to AllTrails, it’ll take you about an hour and 23 minutes to complete and it happens to be a popular area for hiking, biking, and such. The trail stretches north as far as Mount Pleasant Cemetary and south as far as Craighleigh Gardens.
Where: 205 Moore Ave
Distance: 6.1 km
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
You could spend a whole afternoon enjoying the expansive natural environment park that is Evergreen 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
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: 4169 Bathurst St
Distance: 2.3 km
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
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 if you go during the first snowfall. 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
On top of the beautiful botanical gardens at this North York spot, you’ve also got a hiking trail to explore. Okay, we use the term “hike” loosely here. But the pathway is definitely a great outdoor walk. This spot is perfect to hit for an easy-breezy outdoor excursion. Plus, if you go far enough it joins up with Sunnybrook Park! Two for one!
Where: 755 Lawrence Ave E
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. Plus, the off-leash trail is an absolute paradise for dogs.
Where: 1873 Bloor St W
Distance: 5.1 km