6 Urban Hikes in the City of Toronto

Well, now that it’s October, I guess the summer has officially come to an end. It’s been quite the summer, and I’m sad to see it end. I clocked in over 330 km of hiking on various Ontario trails over the course of the summer, making my way through 5 provincial parks, 1 national park, and various other conservation and wilderness areas. Now, I am back at school in the big city of Toronto, and the weather is shifting into the cooler season of autumn. However, that doesn’t mean I have to stop hiking! When you think of Toronto, you probably think of busy streets, skyscrapers, and the CN Tower, but Toronto has plenty of green spaces to explore. In fact, the city is actually known to some as “the city within a park”, due to its extensive park and ravine system. In this post, I will share 6 hiking trails located in the city. Some are more easily accessible than others, but all can be reached via the TTC!

  1. High Park

Distance: As long as you want!
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
How to get there: Easily accessible by subway. Ride to High Park station on the Bloor-Danforth line, and the park is a two-minute walk away. Also accessible by car off Bloor St. West.

high-park

When Torontonians think about hiking in the city, one of the first places to come to mind is High Park. There doesn’t seem to be an exact number available for the length of the trails in the park, but a look at the map shows an extensive network of ‘nature trails’, meaning you can make your walk as long or as short as you please. Visit in the spring to check out the gorgeous cherry blossoms, or in the fall for a show of beautiful autumn colours! The park also features gardens, a large pond, a dog park, picnic areas, a small ‘zoo’, and an awesome adventure playground that I loved as a child (we called it the castle park).

high-park-2

Continue reading “6 Urban Hikes in the City of Toronto”

Hiking: your one-stop-shop for health and wellness!

We all know that regular exercise is important to our health, and has the ability to lengthen and improve our lives… and we all know that hiking is a form of exercise! However, you may not be aware of just how large a wealth of benefits hiking has to offer.

First off, hiking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and is excellent for weight control. When I hike, my heart rate remains elevated in the fat burning zone pretty much the entire time (as opposed to running, where my heart rate will reach cardio and peak levels). Hiking also burns some serious calories. In fact, hiking uphill can burn a similar amount of calories as going for a jog. For me, a ten mile (mostly flat) hike was able to burn the same amount of calories as running a half marathon. Running is able to burn calories faster, but hiking tends to be much easier on your joints.

HPHP_hiking-01-900x450

Continue reading “Hiking: your one-stop-shop for health and wellness!”