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. Guided walks meet in front of the Parks Canada Visitor Welcome Area, behind the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre off Zoo Road.
|Distance||2 km (one way)|
|Time||1 to 2 hours|
|Washrooms||A portable toilet is seasonally available at both the north and south trailheads|
|Parking||Free parking near the north trailhead (along Zoo Road) is available on weekdays from May to September and every day during the rest of the year. Paid parking is available all year across the street at the Toronto Zoo. At the south trailhead , free parking is available all year off Twyn Rivers Drive.|
- Wetlands – The bottom of Zoo Road is becoming increasingly well known for its beautiful human-made wetlands, which buffleheads, painted turtles and swans are known to frequent at various times throughout the year.
- Orchards – Dormant apple orchards can be found about midway along the trail, calling back to the area’s use as settled farmland supporting local families for hundreds of years.
- Cultural history – The ‘avenue of trees’ near the south end of the trail is a nod to the area’s past as a settled residence and active mill. Watch for the rows of trees planted in the new growth forest. From the south trailhead at Twyn Rivers Drive, you can see an old ski hill and the pieces of an old concrete dam that was once used to back up the river for swimming when a hotel stood on the site.