Canada Day is almost here Toronto! Take the healthier choice and appreciate the views nature has to offer. From your physiotherapists here at Kick, we recommend to try and get outside and enjoy the weather by hitting up some of the top trails in area. Whether it be a walk with the family, a morning run alone, or a bike ride with a special someone, it’s a great way to unwind and exercise.
Here are our 9 top trails:
Walk and see Canada’s largest educational demonstrations of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. Take your energy education one step further and participate in one of the Kortright Centre’s energy workshops and learn how to conserve energy and save money! This breathtaking piece of property is conveniently located just north of Toronto in the city of Woodbridge.
Mast Trail, formerly a logging route where lumber was sent to Europe for ship building, is a 200 year-old trail through mature forest and a lush fern floor. It is also 2.2 kilometres, covering challenging terrain between the Rouge River and the Little Rouge Creek.
Colonel Danforth Park’s Highland Creek Trail follows its namesake through a valley as it flows towards Lake Ontario. This 11 kilometre trail has paved, soil-compacted grass and gravel sections, making it versatile for any number of outdoor activities. It’s a beautiful park for a relaxing stroll or a bike ride, but has the distance and features necessary to make for a challenging hike. The trail ends at East Point Park, a park similar to Bluffer’s Park but more remote, giving it the sense of being somewhat untouched.
Morningside Park Trail provides 3 kilometres of most asphalt trail, not ideal for rough mountain biking, but great for a good walk, beautiful sights, and picnics. Much of the park is depressed into the ground, with slopes all around it. This trail is family-friendly located in the centre of Scarborough, easily accessible and not far from restaurants and amenities.
Bluffer’s Park is another wilderness feature located in an easily accessible part of Scarborough with several parking lots. Although much of the park is sand and not ideal for cycling, there is a gravel trail at one end of the park. Like East Point Park, Bluffer’s Park gives visitors an opportunity to explore the 14-kilometre geological feature that is the Scarborough Bluffs. Unlike the crowded, volleyball and boardwalk beaches further west, this park provides stunning views of bluffs formed by the Wisconsin Glacier, 12,000 years ago. Once you stray to the east, away from the washrooms and parking lots, you won’t encounter anything but shoreline and cliff-face until Pickering.
Taylor Creek Park is a thin slice of wilderness cutting through East York suburbs. Its 3.5 kilometre trail is great for hiking and cycling. Several different ecosystems dot this Don River tributary and offer glimpses of a variety of wildlife and regionally rare plants species.
The Don Valley offers 11 kilometres of trails through steep-sided green spaces deep in the city. The asphalt trails are great for walking, hiking, cycling, and jogging and there is plenty to explore when you step off the beaten path. There are narrow ravines and wide-open spaces, offering a variety of environments to hike across and through. The recently revitalized Crothers’ Woods is an inner city hiker’s dream.
The Cedarvale Ravine and the Beltline Trail is a 7 kilometre trail running in a lasso shape in the very heart of the city. You cannot walk perpendicular to the trail very far before encountering urbanity, but aside from a respite from the city, this trail offers a glimpse into Toronto’s industrial history, as it travels the route of the old Beltline Railway, a commuter rail service built to serve the north of the city in the 1800s.
Moving toward the city’s west end, High Park is the elephant in the room in any discussion of hiking in Toronto. This imposing, 161 hectare park, smack in the middle of Canada’s largest city is a sight to behold. Unlike the steep terrain of the many river valleys in the city, which make development next to impossible, High Park stands defiantly in the face of urbanization. Its seven kilometres of asphalt trails are an ideal place for a relaxing walk to escape the feeling of downtown. Since one-third of the park is left in its natural state, with rare plant species and the original oak savannah that once covered much of the Toronto, there is plenty to explore away from the trail.
Packing for the Occasion
Plan ahead and take a map/guide with you. The park may offer other attractions that you may want to see. Test your navigational skills by using a compass!
Be sure to pack plenty of water with you, especially in the summer. You can sweat anywhere from 1/2 to 1 quart of fluid for every hour when you walk in the heat. Drinking soda or alcohol while trailing will dehydrate you. Make sure to pack extra liquids with you in case your hike takes longer than expected.
The best snacks for the trail are ones that will provide you with high energy, such as fruit, granola, peanut butter, bagels, power bars, fruit bars, trail mix, beef jerky, or even candy. Again, take extra food with you in case your hike takes longer than expected for whatever reason. Throw a couple of energy bars in your pack for an extra kick.
Learning first aid if you don’t already know it is a great idea. Ensure to pack a first aid kit with you. Know what to do in case of an emergency. First aid training will teach you how to react and deal with specific types of injuries.
Shelter From the Storm
With Canada’s constant changing weather keep rain gear in your pack in case the skies open up while you’re out on the trail. Nothing is worse than getting soaked miles from the trailhead, which can lead to hypothermia.
Consider medications, a whistle, flashlight, toilet paper, sunscreen, hat, a multi-use knife and a cellphone.
Do you suffer from neck pain, rotator cuff injury, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, lower back pain, ACL injury, plantar fasciitis, hip pain, patellofemoral pain, ITB syndrome, patellar tendonitis, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel, frozen shoulder, disc herniation, sciatica, muscle strain, ankle sprain or achilles tendonitis? Kick Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine is Vaughan’s newest full- service physiotherapy and rehabilitation facility dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems. Whether you’re a Sunday morning golfer, an elite athlete or a stay-at-home mom, Kick PSM has the expertise to provide you with first-class care to help you return to work or play as quickly as possible.