We love our city for many reasons: the diverse food scene, The Blue Jays, the eccentric nightlife, Drake, and so on. But sometimes, it’s necessary to take a break and escape the bustle for a while. You don’t have to drive very far to find yourself completely surrounded by nature. If you’re looking to exercise, take photos, or walk your dog, these are all great options for a hike right outside the city.

Here are hiking trails in the GTA you have to check out this spring.

Crawford Lake Conservation Area

Location: Milton, Ontario

This unique park is surrounded by an elevated boardwalk trail that circles the entire lake! Take a stroll through 18km of beautiful hiking trails, featuring lush forests atop the Niagara Escarpment. Make sure to check out the 15th-century reconstructed Iroquoian Village and heritage site.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area

Location: Burlington, Ontario

Mount Nemo is a small park but always worth the hike – it’s dog-friendly too! Get away from the crowds at Kelso Conservation Area and check out this equally beautiful park. There are five kilometers of trails to explore, which are for all levels of fitness. The reward is the view over the escarpment once you reach the top.

Edward Gardens

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Edwards Garden is a tropical oasis in the middle of the city. There are different areas of this park to picnic, fly a kite, or bask in the sunshine. Make sure to head over to the Toronto Botanical Gardens, which features a stunning collection of themed gardens, a greenhouse, sculptures, and a variety of fountains.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Known as one of the largest waterfront parks in Toronto, this park is located along a stretch of wooded shoreline in the Kipling and Lakeshore area. It is home to a variety of plants, trees, birds, and other wildlife, as well as a network of paths and the city’s first ice skating trail (in a figure-eight shape). The park also features a dog off-leash area.

Heart Lake Conservation Area

Location: Brampton, Ontario

Take a perfect walk, past the small natural kettle lake and into the forest. Enjoy fishing, boating, bird watching, or have a good old-fashioned picnic by the water.

Evergreen Brickworks

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The Don Valley Brick Works is a former quarry and industrial site located in the Don River valley. It’s an environmentally-focused community and has a cultural center that has events. Behind it is a magical forest with lots of walking trails.

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

Location: Caledon, Ontario

The forest is so beautiful that this spot is also a popular location for weddings! Go to the Forks of the Credit for its hiking, fishing, sightseeing, and more.

Rouge Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

The marshes at Rouge Beach are the biggest and best in Toronto. Follow the Cedar Trail and you will pass through meadows, wetlands, streams, and more.

High Park

Location: Toronto, Ontario

This 161-hectare park features lots of activities such as sporting facilities, cultural facilities, educational facilities, gardens, playgrounds, and a zoo. It is also known as THE SPOT to watch the cherry blossoms bloom in April.

Joker’s Hill Trail (99 Steps)

Location: Newmarket, Ontario

There are 3 different trail loops you can choose on this hike ranging in length. Nicknamed “The 99 Steps,” this conservation area is best suited for people who are seeking a challenge. The infamous Joker’s Hill trail consists of 99 natural log steps along a steep hill that offer quite the intense workout.

Orchard Trail

Location: Toronto, Ontario

A classic Rouge Valley hike, the Orchard Trail features young forests mixed with wetlands and traces of early European settlement, including remnant orchards, residences, and an old mill. The trail can be accessed at two places: the north trailhead is located at the bottom of Zoo Road on the south side of the road (next to a portable washroom), a short 5-minute walk from Parks Canada’s Welcome Area at the top of Zoo Road; and the south trailhead is accessed via Twyn Rivers Drive.

Scarborough Bluffs Trail

Location: Scarborough, Ontario

Scarborough Bluffs Trail is a 6.8-kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Toronto, Ontario, Canada that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on a leash.

Dundas Peak

Location: Dundas, Ontario

Dundas Peak, a part of the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, is a hike of nature trails that leads to a beautiful scenic lookout. This trail is a little over an hour away from Toronto and takes about 45 minutes to complete. You can bring your dog along as long as it’s kept on a leash, and if you’re planning to head over a long weekend, reserve your spot here.

Tiffany Falls

Location: Ancaster, Ontario

If you’re looking for an easy and short hike that leads to a great waterfall, Tiffany Falls in Ancaster, Ontario is the spot to go to. It gets pretty busy on weekends with nice weather and parking is limited, so maybe head over on a weekday if you want to avoid wait times.

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