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Hiking Throughout Toronto

Hiking is a great outdoor activity, that many people enjoy participating in. Toronto offers some of the most beautiful local hiking trails in Ontario. Many people enjoy hiking for exercise, to take in nature, or even to see animals in their natural habitats. Regardless of why you like to hike, there’s some things you’ll want to consider: your hiking gear and equipment, which trails you’ll be hiking on, and we’ll be sure leave you with some some hiking tips to help you along your adventures!

Being properly equipped when going on a hiking trip is a must. Most importantly, you will need durable hiking shoes or boots. Depending on the trails you choose for your hikes, you may prefer shoes over boots, or vice versa. Hiking shoes are preferred for hiking in dry climates, and on well-established paths. Hiking boots on the other hand are preferred for hiking in wet or snowy terrains, and offer more ankle support and protection than hiking shoes. Footwear may be the most important piece of equipment on your hiking trip, however it’s not the only thing you’ll need. Here’s a list of hiking supplies that you will want to consider bringing with you on your travels: bottled water, healthy snacks, a map, matches, a fire starter, a knife, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and sunglasses.

If you are planning to hike in the Toronto area some of the best shops to get your supplies at Mountain Equipment Co-op . They are located on 400 King St. West in the King West Village  and close by Liberty Village.  Another great source is  Al Flaherty’s Outdoor Store on Dufferin Street near Egnlinton.

Toronto Hiking has everything for hiking including tutorials.  You can find them here
http://www.torontohiking.com/tohi/ In fact you can find a great list of hikes on their site.
Outside of Toronto http://www.torontohiking.com/tohi/hiking/hike-list.html .
Hikes around Toronto or Urban walks.  http://www.torontohiking.com/tohi/walks/urban-walks.html

Once you’ve properly prepared all your gear and equipment, you’ll need to pick out a hiking trail to begin your adventures. If this is your first time hiking, you may want to begin on a smaller hiking trail, however if you’re more experienced than you can try and tackle one of the more difficult hiking trails. The following list of hiking trails will begin with the easiest first, and end with the most difficult hiking path:

  1. The Chedoke Falls Loops Trail – this hiking path is perfect for beginners. This is one of the shorter hiking trails in Toronto, it’s 11km long, and shouldn’t take a beginner more than four hours to complete. This hiking trail takes a double loop around Chedoke Falls before returning to the starting point. While on this hiking trail, you’ll be able to enjoy a few lookout locations that provide marvellous views of Toronto, as well as a beautiful view of the lower Chedoke Falls (the falls that this hiking trail has been named after). In the winter, this hiking trail becomes a cross country ski path.
    Directions From Toronto To Chedokee Falls.
    Chedoke Falls

    Chedoke Falls Hiking Loop

  2. Bennett Heritage Trail – this hiking path is a little longer than the first trail that was listed. This 13km hiking trail can take up to five hours to complete. The terrain throughout Bennett Heritage Trail is what makes this 13km trail perfect for beginner and intermediate hikers. There’s not too many steep climbs, but there’s many small hills to walk up and down, as well as an area where you’ll need to walk along limestone rocks. There’s a lot of interesting locations throughout this hiking trail, but one of the favourite places to relax during this hike is on the Snows Creek bridge. Be sure to take this path slow, and enjoy the great outdoor sights! During the winter Bennett Heritage Trail is still open for hiking.  Directions to Bennett Heritage Trail
  3. Dundas Valley Ancaster Waterfalls Trail – this hiking trial varies between 13km and 16km depending on the routes you decide to pursue. It takes beginner hikers 5-6 hours to complete this hiking trail. The terrain is smooth with a few steep hills, and you will have to cross some paved roads with traffic. Some interesting locations you won’t want to miss while on this trail include: four waterfalls, the Hermitage, the Griffin House, the Old Oak, and Trail Centre art displays. During the winter, this trail is open for cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.  Directions to Dundas Valley Ancaster Waterfalls Trail.
  4. Thorold North Old Welland Canals Trail – this hiking trail is one of longest trails in Toronto at an outstanding 22.6km, and it can take over six hours to complete! The terrain is rather simple, mainly flat with a few small hills and cliffs. While on this hiking trail, you will want to check out Twelve Trail (along the side of Twelve Mile Creek), and the old canals (which are now waterfalls).  Directions to Thorold North Old Welland Canals Trail
  5. Boyne to Pine Rivers Trail – this hiking trail is a little shorter than the one listed above, however it’s by far the most advanced trail in our list. If you’re a beginner you may want to start with an easier trail, but this is a great trail for intermediate and advanced hikers. This 21km hiking trail can take up 6 hours for even expert hikers. The terrain along this trail is usually rough and consists of lots of hills, and a few rivers/streams. Areas of interest along this hiking trail include the Pine River fishing pond and the Bell lookout.  Directions to Boyne to Pine Rivers Trail

 

Now that you have your hiking gear and equipment prepared, as well as your trail picked out, you can finally begin hiking! Before you hit the trails, we would like leave you with some tips to help you out on your hikes:

●     Always bring a comfortable backpack with you on every hike. Tighten your backpack enough to keep it snug on your back, but be sure to not over tighten the straps, as this will be very uncomfortable.

●     Hiking with others can be more interesting. Invite friends and family to join in on the outdoor entertainment. You can also consider joining one of Toronto’s hiking clubs.

●     Proper clothing is important on a long hike. Never wear cotton clothes, and be sure wear light coloured clothing to attract less bugs and reduce heat.

●     Your feet can become sore during a long hike. Be sure to have hiking footwear on, as well as comfortable socks. During breaks, take your shoes off and massage your feet. If your feet continue to ache, you may want consider trying new socks or new shoes.

●     Be sure to get proper rest during your hikes. For every hour of hiking, you should have a 10 minute break. On your break, be sure to eat a snack, and drink water. While resting, lay down and elevate your feet for increased comfort & restoration.

Hiking is a great outdoor activity, that many people enjoy participating in. When you’re properly equipped and prepared, hiking can be a fantastic activity for the whole family to get involved in. Toronto offers many great hiking trails for beginners, intermediates, and even advanced hikers. While hiking be sure to take your time, enjoy the beautiful natural sights, and most importantly, have fun!

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