Where to Find Backcountry Trails in the City

I moved to downtown Toronto in 2009 and I remember being very excited about finally living in the centre of things. I was ready to explore the entire area for the best restaurants, bars, concert venues, cafes, and everything else the city had to offer. I absolutely didn’t expect to find myself in the woods, but there I was having unknowingly stumbled onto one the city’s many natural trail areas… I was hooked! My weekends were suddenly filled trail hiking with the dog and mountain biking with friends.

Toronto is home to over 200 acres (that’s *just* over 151 football fields) of natural environment spaces that are maintained by the city and free-to-use to the public. These areas include features like single and double-track trails, water sheds, rivers, ponds, woodlands and meadows that are very public-transit, bicycle and even pedestrian-friendly. One of my favourite sections of trail is the Milkman’s Lane-Yellow Creek area.

Hiking with Mutton

Hiking with Mutton

Milkman’s Lane is a trail that I first came across while walking the dog. It’s a 300 meter gravel trail that has been around for over 130 years (used as an equestrian trail in Old Toronto). It can be accessed via South Drive near Craigleigh Gardens and is a favourite training hill for many runners and mountain bikers in the city. It’s a great place for a hike, run or a leisurely walk and is the perfect entry way to two of the City’s natural spaces; at the bottom of the hill continuing North takes you over to Evergreen Brickworks while going West toward Mt. Pleasant, brings you to Yellow Creek.

Yellow Creek is little-known tributary of the Don River that has a couple of trails that can take you all the way from Milkman’s to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery at Yonge and Davisville and packs some amazing views; including the awesome graffiti at the St. Clair Avenue underpass. This entire trail system is easily accessible via the Sherbourne TTC station by heading north over the pedestrian bridge and heading toward South Drive.

The Peakbaggers and #DiscoverYourWild crew recently did a 6.0 km hike though this very trail system and we had a blast seeing the different types of wild-life in the area while trekking over downed tree trunks and under city underpasses. If you didn’t get a chance to come out to the hike I highly recommend you try it for yourself. You can find the route for our Urban Hike here.

DYW-UrbanHike

 

Toronto is full of amazing nature areas that are just waiting to be explored! Stay tuned for more Tales of Trails in Toronto from myself and The Peakbaggers and keep looking out for the #Hike #DiscoverYourWild tags on your favourite social media platforms. And, of course, come join us on our next adventure!


The-Peakbaggers-Meldon

Meldon is one of the newest additions to The Peakbaggers and #DiscoverYourWild team. He discovered his first trail at 26 and has fallen in love with mountain biking ever since. You can explore some of the trails he’s biked on his blog and keep in touch with Meldon on Twitter!

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