These beautiful hikes in Toronto will get you out of the concrete jungle and onto the trails.
At first glance, Toronto, Canada’s largest city seems like the last place that you could experience the great outdoors. But, the big smoke, the city of towering glass and concrete, is constantly offering up surprises.
There are hidden hiking trails in Toronto that would impress even the most storied outdoors person.
Toronto is dotted with rivers, lakes, parks, and trails. And many of these Toronto hiking trails seem to leave the concrete jungle behind and immerse nature-lovers in an oasis of peace.
I’ve wandered many of the best hiking trails in Ontario, and when I visit Toronto, I don’t pack my dress shoes, I strap on my hikers. Because these great hikes in Toronto are some of my favourite urban hikes in the country.
The 10 Best Hiking Trails in Toronto
Without further ado, here are our votes for the best Toronto hikes. Have a read and let us know. Did we miss one of your favourites? Is there a hiking trail in Toronto here that you don’t think makes the grade? We want to hear from you.
And if you’re looking for more great things to do in Toronto, check out this article.
Don River Valley Park
The Don River Valley is a hidden gem among outdoor loves in Toronto. The hiking and mountain biking trails in the Don Valley rank up among some of the most exciting in Central Ontario, and it’s all right there under the nose of unknowing Toronto locals.
Who would have thought that nestled beside the roaring Don Valley Parking Lot is a natural oasis that spans a stunning 200-hectares.
The Don Valley, which runs from Pottery Road all the way up to Corktown Common follows the Don River through a glorious greenspace that is truly one of Toronto’s gems.
When it comes to Toronto hiking trails, the Don Valley trails are accessible, easy to navigate, and full of fascinating flora and fauna.
Most hikers head north from the Evergreen Brick Works, an impressive area full of artistic shops and excellent restaurants. Don Valley Brick Works Park is the most popular area to explore. You’ll find beautiful wetlands and easy trails.
As you head north, the trail splits and you’ll begin to reach some of the more challenging terrains including steep hills that offer some of the best viewpoints of the Toronto skyline.
Scarborough Bluffs Park
The Scarborough Bluffs are legendary when it comes to hikes in Toronto. The towering cliffs jut out from the blue waters of Lake Ontario in a way that might make you think you’ve arrived at Big Sur, California.
The location at the edge of the city doesn’t feel like part of Toronto at all. In fact, the Scarborough Bluffs hikes offers up one of the best urban escapes from the noise and crowds of Toronto.
Located in Bluffers Park at the base of Brimley Rd., this Toronto hiking trail let’s you saunter near the Toronto Bluffs and take in the glorious views for yourself.
But be warned, don’t try to scale the bluffs. Not only is it tremendously dangerous, but those who are caught can be subject to hefty fines.
The Scarborough Bluffs are part of a collection of eleven separate parks that connect along a 14-kilometre trail that follows the Lake Ontario shoreline. At it’s highest, it towers 55 metres above the water offering unparalleled views.
At Bluffer’s Park, you’ll also find the marina, sandy beaches and picnic areas, and gorgeous lookouts over the bluffs and Lake Ontario.
Rouge Valley National Park
Not only is Rouge Valley National Park the only urban national park in Canada, but it also contains one of the most beautiful hikes in Ontario.
Rouge National Urban Park is located along the Rouge River, and believe it or not, this park is completely accessible via public transit. The park hosts an amazing array of Toronto hiking trails.
The Orchard Trail is one of our absolute favourites. This easy Toronto hike is a two-kilometre one-way (4 kilometre total) hiking trail taht winds through man-made wetlands and apple orchards through old pioneering settlements being reclaimed by nature.
For something a little longer, the Vista Trail is another popular Toronto hiking trail.
This 9 km loop is a mostly forest trail that meanders along the Rouge River and local creeks. It’s especially popular as one of the best places to see the fall colours in Toronto.
Leslie Street Spit Trail
This 11 kilometre long hiking trail in Toronto often falls under the radar of hiking enthusiasts in the city.
The Leslie Street Spit Trail starts off at Leslie St. and Unwin Ave. and winds through the unique atmosphere of beautiful Tommy Thompson Park.
This gorgeous hike in Toronto is one of the best places to see the city skyline. And the fact that its industrial roots (it used to be a construction dumping ground) is being revitalized into an urban park, is something that warms my heart.
The Leslie Street Spit Trail is not dog-friendly, so unfortunately you’ll need to leave the pooch home for this one. But it is a sanctuary for birds and other urban wildlife. So bring along a pair of binoculars.
West Humber River Recreation Trail
You may recognize a section of the West Humber River Hiking Trail from our piece on local Indigenous stand-up paddleboard operator Oceah Oceah. They are the ones who opened my eyes to this gorgeous urban oasis. And now the region is home to one of the best hikes in Toronto.
With a stunning 19 kilometres of Toronto hiking trails, the Humber River Recreational Area meanders from the mouth of the Humber River, where you can experience gorgeous views of the Toronto skyline, up along paved and dirt trails.
The West Humber River Trail offers Toronto hikes for all skill levels. It will take you through wooded areas, scenic waterways, cute bridges, and along riverside nature.
There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing. And you’ll also hike past the Humber Arboretum and the Humberwood Centre. Both offer an excellent place to stop and explore.
High Park, along with the Don River Valley are the largest parks in Toronto. But it’s High Park, which stretches from the Queensway up to Bloor Street West that most locals consider the best.
High Park offers a wide-variety of Toronto hikes that zip through the natural scenery, ponds, and forests that make exploring the park a treat.
The vast Grenadier Pond is a popular spot for swans, geese, and ducks. And unlike Tommy Thompson Park, dogs are welcome here. There’s even an off-leash park on-site.
The West Ravine Trail and Spring Creek Trails are among some of the most popular hiking trails in Toronto. It’s easy to forget that you are in the heart of Toronto as you wander past weeping willows and cherry blossoms during the spring in Toronto.
The park has over 5 kilometres of hiking trails to explore. And it’s a place that I never seem to get tired of.
Glen Stewart Ravine Trail
While not the longest of the hikes in Toronto, the short, but sweet Glen Stewart Ravine offers a unique glimpse of the Toronto landscape.
The hike, which switches between dirt trails and stunning elevated boardwalks, offers a good workout thanks to the number of stairs along this very vertical trail.
During the fall, the hike can seem like walking through a fairy tale as you travers through gold and red shade trees through a lush ravine with a trickling stream that pours through the middle.
The park runs from Kingston Rd. down to Queen St. E and if you continue on to the end you’ll reach the Ivan Forest Garden, which is a pretty urban park at the to of the Beach.
The best part is, if you get sweaty, you’re just a short stroll from Balmy Beach.
Slicing across Toronto and connecting the neighbourhoods of Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hills, Chaplin Estates, and Fairbank, this former rail line offers an 8 kilometre journey across East Toronto.
The trail connects three sections, the York Beltline Trail, the Kay Gardner Beltline Park, and the Ravine Beltline Park and traverses from west of Allen Road across to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery by way of the Moore Park Ravine.
Although the trail is mostly packed gravel and relatively flat, this easy Toronto hiking trail still passes through some fantastic scenery along the way.
There are a few street crossings that connect various sections of this Toronto hike, but it’s relatively easy to follow.
Hiking In Toronto
If you’re planning on hitting the hiking trails in Toronto, make sure you’re prepared. The most popular Toronto hikes can get crowded, especially in the afternoons. If you want to beat the rush, hit the trails in the morning before the crowds gather.
And if you develop a big love for the outdoors, there are plenty of Toronto outdoors clubs like this one that you can join to meet up with like-minded people.
Do you have a favourite hike in Toronto? Head over to the Ultimate Ontario Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about Ontario and who love to share their local secrets.
Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of Ultimate Ontario. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home province of Ontario and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.