Looking for a Change of Scenery for Your Next Hike? Look No Further!
A great place to start would be your municipality’s trail map. York Region and Simcoe Region both offer fantastic easy to use interactive versions that allow you to stay up to date on the latest information and trail conditions. They can also help inform you of the surface types on your planned route before you head out. Whether it be asphalt, boardwalk, natural, bark, or crushed limestone, it can be especially helpful in deciding what footwear might be best and if accessibility accommodations can be made.
Whether you are interested in seeking out wildlife, checking out plant varieties, bird-watching or just breathing in the fresh air of the changing season, another good place to find hiking trails to explore is your local Conservation Authority. The Toronto Conservation Authority offers a comprehensive guide that includes a list of all the amenities that the trails and connecting parks have to offer. This can be especially helpful in planning a rest stop to refill that water bottle or use the washroom facilities.
Similarly, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority is a great resource for seeking outdoor activity trails. They even offer their trail maps through the mobile app Avenza to save you from needing data once you hit the trails. Several of these trails even offer accessible features making it easy for mobility devices or strollers to access the trails.
One of my favourite trails is part of York Region’s Hollidge Forest Tract located behind the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre in the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville. It’s stroller friendly, kid approved distance, makes it a great way to spend the afternoon with the entire family even if you have young children!
If you haven’t checked out the newly constructed bridge on 2nd Concession in East Gwillimbury where it crosses the Holland River, it is definitely worth the visit. Did you know that this trail forms part of the Lake to Lake Project that offers a connected cycling and hiking route that extends all the way from Lake Simcoe to Lake Ontario. This transformative project boasting 121 kilometres of recreational and commuter trails is now over 86% complete! If you want to scope out any of the trails before you visit, you actually can with this neat interactive map.
Another great feature of the Lake to Lake route is that it intersects with several other trail routes including the notable Greenbelt Route/Oak Ridges Trail and the Humber Trail. You can literally visit hundreds of destinations all via active transportation!
So many options available for you to explore! A great way to stay healthy, and the best part is that many of them have year round access!
Time to lace up those hiking boots, get outside, and start exploring!
Written By: Janai De Lima (firstname.lastname@example.org)