We are lucky to live so close to several beautiful conservation areas and greenbelts that offer great hiking trails and scenic views during the spring season. Here are a few of my favourites, about an hour away from Toronto. Grab your camera, hiking shoes/boots, a jacket/sweater, bottle of water and snacks, and head out for some fresh air and a fun time away from the city.
|Photo Credit - Flickr|
Part of the Halton Parks system, Hilton Falls is located on the Niagara Escarpment, just northwest of Milton. The highlight of the hiking trails at Hilton Falls is the 10 metre waterfall that offers beautiful scenes for photography. It’s not wonder this is one of the most favourite spots for wedding photographers to take engagement photos.
Directions: From Highway 401, take Highway 25 north to 5 Side Road
(Campbellville Road). Go west on 5 Side Road for 5 km to park entrance.
Park admission, taxes included: adult (15 – 64) $6.25; senior (65 & over) $5.25; Child (5 – 14) $4.50; free for kids under 4 years old.
Bronte Creek Provincial Park – Oakville
Step back in time with a visit to this provincial park, one of the few so close to Toronto. Nature trails take you into forested areas, past an old farmhouse, and working barn with animals for petting. Hike up one of the main hills at Bronte Park and you will see a gorgeous view of the surrounding area.
Directions: QEW/403 west to Burloak Drive. Turn right to go north. The park entrance will be on your right side.
Park admission: day pass $16 per vehicle.
Erindale Park and Riverwood Conservancy - Mississauga
Fancy a long but fairly easy walk through the woods? The trails at Erindale Park that link up to the Culham Trail at Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga follow the Credit River as it winds through the city.
The best place to start is at Erindale Park (parking lot located on north side of Dundas Street, just east of Mississauga Road), and walk up the trail past the bridges of Burnhamthorpe and Rathburn. Turn back at the 403 and you will have walked a good 5 to 10 km.
Park admission: free.
High Park - Toronto
You don’t have to travel far to enjoy nature. High Park is a brief ride on the TTC (get off at Keele or High Park station). There are over 5 km of mostly paved or packed earth trails at High Park. Stop by Grenadier Pond to take a rest and check out the wildlife that makes this its home.
Park admission: free.
Lowville Park – Lowville
Blink and you will miss it. Lowville is a tiny village on Guelph Line, in north Burlington, and the park is found right in the heart of it. Bronte Creek flows through pretty Lowville Park, with trails in natural areas with dense vegetation and mature trees. This is a perfect spot to take photos and to take a hike through a natural setting.
Park admission: free
Margaret Antkowski is a Mississauga-based PR gal and blogger, who enjoys heading outdoors on weekends to explore the great trails in the GTA and southern Ontario. Check out her blog (Sub)urban Tourist.