Rouge Marsh Trail

The Rouge Marsh Trail offers a short hike with stunning views of the largest remaining wetland in the City of Toronto. Connecting with the Waterfront Trail and Pan Am Path at Lake Ontario, the trail provides pedestrian and cycling connections with Toronto and Pickering. Parks Canada’s guided walks meet next to the Rouge River pedestrian bridge in the lower parking lot. If the lower parking lot is closed, meet at the corner of Rouge Hills Drive and Lawrence Avenue East at the upper parking lot. The trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Location: Corner of Lawrence Avenue East and 195 Rouge Hills Drive, Toronto
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 500 meters (one way)
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Washrooms: Open May to Labour Day
Parking: Free but extremely limited. Parking not available in winter.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°47'38.8"N 79°07'08.2"W 

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Water – Enjoy stunning, panoramic views of Lake Ontario and the Rouge River from the pedestrian bridge that traverses the river.
  • Urban biodiversity – Observe elegant barn swallows and their unique blue and cinnamon-red colours flying above the boardwalk. Hundreds of cliff swallow nests can also be seen underneath the Rouge River pedestrian bridge.
  • Wetlands – A rich diversity of wetland and shoreline plants dot the largest remaining marsh and wetland in the City of Toronto.
  • Paddling – The area provides opportunities to canoe, kayak or paddleboard on the river and in the marsh.
  • Cycling and walking – The area acts as an access point to the Waterfront Trail and Pan Am Path, connecting the east-side of Toronto and west-side of Pickering with the park.
  • Swimming – The beach is open seasonally and is monitored for water quality by Toronto Public Health daily from June to August. Lifeguards are on duty from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from mid-May to Labour Day.

Mast Trail

This classic Rouge Valley hike features excellent examples of rare Carolinian ecosystems while traversing a 200-year-old former logging route where pine trees were cut and floated down the river, eventually bound for ship building yards in Europe. The trail leads from the Glen Rouge Campground over the “hog’s back”, or ridge, to north to Twyn Rivers Drive where it meets up with the Orchard and Vista trails. Parks Canada’s guided walks meet next to the Glen Rouge Campground parking lot at the trailhead.

Location: 7450 Kingston Road, Toronto
Level of difficulty: Moderate to difficult, depending on experience, with some steep hills
Distance: Approximately 5 kilometres (return)
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Washrooms: Seasonally available at Glen Rouge Campground
Parking: Free but extremely limited.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°48'20.3"N 79°08'10.2"W

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Rare Forests – The trail offers good examples of an interior forest and is home to rare Carolinian and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence ecosystems. Watch for the rare ovenbird.
  • Cultural Heritage – In the 1800s, European pioneers logged many of the area’s tall, straight white pines as a source of lumber for ship masts. Logs were floated down the river to Lake Ontario and eventually sent to ship building yards in Europe. An old ski hill from the 1950s was a hub of winter recreation, complete with a lift and chalet. Watch for the ‘hump’ the ski hill left behind in the middle of the hill.
  • Cardio Challenge – Get your heart pumping and grab a photo along the Mast Trail’s beautiful ridge walk and staircase.

Glen Eagles Vista Trail

With outstanding scenery all year, and especially striking colours on display in the autumn, Glen Eagles Vista Trail provides brilliant views of the Rouge River and Little Rouge Creek and geologically-significant bluffs. The trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Location: 7 Twyn Rivers Drive, Toronto
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: Approximately 600 metres (one way)
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Washrooms: None
Parking: Free but extremely limited.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°48'33.8"N 79°09'54.8"W

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Amazing Geology – From this trail you can see a distinct bluff overlooking the Rouge River with sandy brown rock layers deposited 13,000 to 30,000 years ago. This provincially-significant geological feature tells a story of thousands of years of climatic cooling and warming with sedimentary rocks accumulating, shifting, and eroding to eventually create this striking and well-known landscape feature.
  • Fall Colours – Enjoy panoramic views of the Little Rouge Creek and Rouge River throughout the year. In the fall, burnt orange, red, and yellow colours bespeckle the landscape, offering awe-inspiring photo opportunities.

Celebration Forest Trail

Located across the road from the Twyn Rivers Area’s main parking lot, the Celebration Forest Trail features a forest memorial paying homage to community leaders and pioneers whose efforts to protect the Rouge Valley led to the creation of Canada’s first national urban park.

Location: 88 Twyn Rivers Drive, Toronto
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 500 metres
Time: 10 minutes
Washrooms: None
Parking: Free but extremely limited
Wheelchair Accessible: Trail is not paved; accessibility varies depending on trail conditions
GPS coordinates of Trailhead: 43°48'52.3"N 79°09'15.8"W 

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Cultural Heritage – A recognition sign and benches pays homage to community leaders and conservationists that have helped safeguard Rouge National Urban Park now and for countless future generations to explore and appreciate.
  • Tranquility – This quiet area of reflection is the perfect place for a peaceful walk to take time out from busy city life.

Vista Trail

The Vista Trail’s two-level viewing platform is one of the best places to view Toronto’s autumn colours and spectacular valley views. Guided walks depart from Parks Canada’s Visitor Welcome Area, next to the main trailhead and the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre. Parks Canada’s Visitor Welcome Area is staffed from May to October.

Location: Zoo Road, near Parks Canada’s Visitor Welcome Area (follow signs for the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre as you approach the zoo on Meadowvale Road)
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 1.5 kilometres (one way); or add Orchard Trail to complete a 3.5 kilometre loop – to complete the loop, turn left at Twyn Rivers Drive and walk 200 metres up the road (careful, there’s no sidewalk), then continue on the 1.6 km Orchard Trail, which loops back to the wetlands at the bottom of Zoo Road.
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Washrooms: Seasonally available near the Parks Canada Welcome Area
Parking: Free but extremely limited and not available in the summer or fall. Paid parking is available all year across the street at the Toronto Zoo.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°49'06.2"N 79°10'14.1"W

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Fall Colours and Viewing Platform – A two-level viewing deck built in collaboration with Ontario Power Generation, near the Parks Canada Welcome Area, is one of the best places to see fall colours in Toronto. The lookout provides spectacular views of the Little Rouge Creek and Rouge River valleys throughout the year.
  • Beare Hill – From the viewing platform you can see Beare Hill to the north. Once a landfill (it was decommissioned in 1983), today the hill is one of the highest points of land in the City of Toronto.
  • Ridge Walks and Forest Diversity – Tree diversity and microclimates are a prominent feature along the trails’ forest ridge just past the viewing deck and hydro line. Here, maple and oak trees dot the warm southern slopes, while shady hemlock groves cover the cool northern aspects.


Orchard Trail

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.

Location: Bottom of Zoo Road (south side of the road, near a portable toilet)
Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 2 km
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Washrooms: A portable toilet is seasonally available at the trailhead at the bottom of Zoo Road
Parking: Free but extremely limited at the top of Zoo Road and not available some days in the summer or fall. Paid parking is available all year across the street at the Toronto Zoo.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°49'20.8"N 79°09'59.2"W

Google Map

Trail Features:

  • Wetlands – The bottom of Zoo Road is becoming increasingly well known for its beautiful human-made wetlands, where 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.

Cedar Trail and Beare Wetland Loop

Featuring lush green forests and wonderfully restored wetlands, the Cedar Trail has two main access points, with plenty of options for longer and shorter walks. Note that street parking is not permitted near the north trailhead on Meadowvale Road (see below). Guided walks for the Cedar Trail or Beare Wetland Loop meet in front of the Parks Canada Visitor Welcome Area, behind the Rouge Valley Conservation Centre off Zoo Road. Note that sections of the trail may be slippery in the winter or after rainfall. Watch your step and hike carefully.

Location: North trailhead– Meadowvale Road, east side of the road (400 metres north of Old Finch Road) Street parking on Meadowvale Road near the north trailhead is not allowed due to a City of Toronto bylaw. Cars parking on Meadowvale Road may be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense. 
South trailhead – Bottom of Zoo Road (across the road from the portable toilet; see map below)
Level of difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 4.5 kilometres (starting and ending at the north trailhead and including the Beare Wetland Loop in the south); can also be done as a stand-alone 1.5 kilometre loop starting and ending at the south trailhead (the Beare Wetland Loop)
Time: 2 to 2.5 hours (full trail); or approximately 30 to 45 minutes (Bear Wetland Loop)
Washrooms: A portable washroom is seasonally available across the road from the trailhead at the bottom of Zoo Road
Parking: South trailhead: Free but extremely limited and not available in the summer or fall. Paid parking is available all year across the street at the Toronto Zoo. Street parking near the north trailhead on Meadowvale Road is not allowed due to a City of Toronto bylaw. Cars parking on Meadowvale Road may be ticketed or towed at the owner’s expense.
Wheelchair Accessible: No
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead:
North trailhead: 43°49'51.4"N 79°10'50.5"W
South trailhead: 43°49'20.9"N 79°09'59.9"W
Google Map North Trailhead  South Trailhead

Trail features:

  • River Views – At times, the trail runs parallel to Little Rouge Creek. Watch for signs of beavers, shorebirds and songbirds.
  • Stunning landscapes - The cedar canopy offers the perfect backdrop for your hike. The elevation changes take you through the majestic ravine valleys and hill top forests that are characteristic of the Rouge Valley. When the leaf canopy is gone, southward views from the highest points of the trail give a sense of the expanse of the park.
  • Biodiversity - The extensive Beare Wetland complex is home to and supports songbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians, mammals and many aquatic invertebrates. Watch for snapping turtles in this area.
  • A Heart Healthy Challenge - Steep sections provide a good cardio challenge throughout the hike.

Woodland Trail

The Woodland Trail provides shorter and longer walking options set against a backdrop of forests, meadows and water. Watch for signs of beaver activity, including gnawed trees, fallen branches and dams along the Little Rouge Creek. Parks Canada guided walks for the Woodland Trail meet in the main parking lot.

Location: 19 Reesor Road, Toronto
Level of difficulty: Easy
Distance: 4.5 kilometres (return)
Time: Approximately 1.5 hours
Washrooms: A portable washroom is available seasonally
Parking: Free but limited in the main parking lot off Reesor Road
Wheelchair Accessible: The trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible for the first 1.5 kilometres
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°50'52.9"N 79°11'58.0"W

Google Map

Trail features:

  • Busy Beavers – The Woodland Trail is well known for signs and sightings of Canada’s national animal.
  • River Views - Follow the trail along the Rouge River. A mix of forest and meadow views offer a variety of plant and animal life.
  • Cultural Heritage - Look for remnants of an active and vibrant cottage and camping area, which was flooded by Hurricane Hazel in 1954.


Trails in the Bob Hunter Memorial Park Area

 

Tallgrass Trek

Location: 7277 14th Ave, Markham
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.5 km loop
Time: 1 hour
Washrooms: Seasonally available near the parking lot
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, on paved sections
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°51'38.0"N 79°12'37.5"W

Google Map

This trail provides an excellent opportunity to explore restored habitat, including meadows, wetlands, and young forest. Restoration work creates habitat for wildlife and helps to return the landscape to a more natural state.

Reesor Way/Tanglewood Trail

Location: 7277 14th Ave, Markham
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 3.6 km loop
Time: 1-2 hours
Washrooms: Seasonally available near the parking lot
Wheelchair accessible: No
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°51'38.0"N 79°12'37.5"W

Google Map

This loop trail explores many different habitat types, including meadows, young replanted trees, mature forests, and river habitat.

Reesor East Trail

Location: 7277 14th Ave, Markham
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: 3.6 km
Time: 1-2 hours
Washrooms: Seasonally available near the parking lot
Wheelchair accessible: Yes, on paved sections
GPS Coordinates of Trailhead: 43°51'54.0"N 79°12'20.3"W

Google Map

This trail takes you past farm fields and then winds through a cedar forest along the Little Rouge River. Farms make up a significant portion of the land in the northern part of Rouge National Urban Park and provide a source of locally-grown food for the Greater Toronto Area.