By: Erik Taylor

Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Toronto & the GTA

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Since Covid19 it seems we have gone back to square one trying to find things to do. This has led many of us to into the outdoors. Get outside and enjoy the warm summer days left with a hike or two. We are lucky to live in an area that has so much to offer.  Take in some fresh air, spend the whole day out observing the natural life and mysterious landscapes around us.
There are discoveries of all sorts while hiking: the natural world around you, the excitement of a new geological find, the refreshing outdoor air, and the peace of the forest. Hiking also has physical benefits (those hills!!) and mental, too (nature therapy at its finest). Plus, all you need is a good pair of runners or hikers, a water bottle and you’re good to go. Rediscover the thrill of exploring the great outdoors with these totally awesome trail adventures.

*Please note it’s best to call or check the websites of each of these locations before going for current Covid19 updates*
Limehouse Conservation Area
Location: Halton Hills

All short trails and cool features make this Halton Hills conservation area a must-see. The Bruce Trail winds its way through these parts, so expect pristine, well-signed tracks. Check out the restored limestone kilns, powder houses from the past lime industry, as well as the ladders over the “hole in the wall” (if kids are older and/or sure-footed).

River and Ruin Side Trail (Britannia & Blind Side)
Location: Burlington

Check out the ruins of a stone house built by James Cleaver in Lowville. This is a Bruce Trail side trail and features the cool stone house ruins, and, as the trail name suggests, a river (Bronte Creek). There might even be fossils to find in some of the limestone rocks.

Crawford Lake Conservation Area
Location: Milton

This unique park is surrounded by an elevated boardwalk trail that circles the entire lake! Take a stroll through 18km of beautiful hiking trails, featuring lush forests atop the Niagara Escarpment. Make sure to check out the 15th century reconstructed Iroquoian Village and heritage site.

Kelso Conservation Trail
Location: Milton

A 6.4 kilometer loop trail that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Hilton Falls
Location: Campbellville (Milton)

Exploring the enchanted forests of Hilton Falls Conservation Area is a natural treat with more than 30 km of trails boasting some of the best hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing around. The blazing colours of fall are only surpassed by the beauty of spring wildflowers or the richness of the green summer landscape. The viewing station at the falls lets visitors soak in the intrinsic beauty of a 10-metre waterfall that cascades over the Niagara Escarpment and the mysterious mill ruins that surround it.

Nassagaweya Canyon Trail
Location: Milton

The scenic Nassagaweya Canyon is a canyon which connects the Rattlesnake Conservation Area to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area in Milton Ontario. The hike through the canyon is 7.2 km (one way), approximately two and a half hours (one way).  This trail boosts breathtaking views along the escarpment, takes you to a reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village, and ends around a meromictic lake on the Crawford Conservation.

Robert Edmondson Conservation Area
Location: Milton

A 2.3 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Milton, Ontario, Canada that features a lake. The trail is good for all skill levels and offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area
Location: Burlington, Ontario

Mount Nemo is a small park but always worth the hike – it’s dog-friendly too! Get away from the crowds at Kelso Conservation Area and check out this equally beautiful park. There are five kilometers of trails to explore, which are for all levels of fitness. The reward is the view over the escarpment once you reach the top.



Location: Hamilton

The extensive wetlands are a birdwatcher’s paradise. Nature surrounds you at this scenic conservation area that has great hiking and cross-country ski trails outfitted with boardwalks, birdfeeders and interpretive lookouts.



Dufferin Islands Park

Location: Niagara Falls

Go island-hopping at Dufferin Islands Park, a pretty, petite park just south of the mighty falls. A handful of small man-made islands are linked by bridges, creating a mini-hike just right for kids who love to run back and forth…and back and forth…. Pack a lunch: There are plenty of picturesque spots and picnic tables.


Edward Gardens

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Edwards Garden is a tropical oasis in the middle of the city. There are different areas of this park to picnic, fly a kite, or bask in the sunshine. Make sure to head over to the Toronto Botanical Gardens, which features a stunning collection of themed gardens, a greenhouse, sculptures and a variety of fountains.


Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Known as one of the largest waterfront parks in Toronto, this park is located along a stretch of wooded shoreline in the Kipling and Lakeshore area. It is home to a variety of plants, trees, birds and other wildlife, as well as a network of paths and the city’s first ice skating trail (in a figure-eight shape). The park also features a dog off-leash area.


High Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

This 161-hectare park features lots of activities such as sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds and a zoo. It is also known as THE SPOT to watch the cherry blossoms bloom in April.




Rouge Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The marshes at Rouge Beach are the biggest and best in Toronto. Follow the Cedar Trail and you will pass through meadows, wetlands, streams, and more.



Evergreen Brickworks

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Don Valley Brick Works is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River valley. It’s an environmentally focused community and has a cultural centre that has events. Behind it is a magical forest with lots of walking trails.



Heart Lake Conservation Area

Location: Brampton

Take a perfect walk, past the small natural kettle lake and into the forest. Enjoy fishing, boating, bird watching or have a good old-fashioned picnic by the water.



Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Location: Caledon

The forest is so beautiful that this spot is also a popular location for weddings! Go to the Forks of the Credit for its hiking, fishing, sightseeing and more.