The Best Hikes Near Toronto to Experience the Fall Colours
From vivid orange and reds to all shades of golden, the fall season is a glorious invitation to explore the outdoors and take in the magic. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the best fall hikes near Toronto, Ontario. Hit the trail from mid-September to the end of October to enjoy Ontario’s iconic autumn season. From easy and family-friendly fall walks in Toronto, to something a little more challenging, scroll to find the best hiking trails near Toronto!
Easy Fall Hikes Near Toronto: In the City
📍 Toronto, ON
If you’re looking for an adventure close to home, head to the trails at Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto for an urban getaway. In addition to 2.4km of trails, it’s home to a community and environmental centre run by Evergreen, a national nonprofit that makes cities more green, and liveable. There’s a lookout point to see the Toronto skyline, and it connects to other trails in the city, such as the Beltline Trail. There are gardens, artwork, and a main building with a café and washrooms. Head here on a Saturday morning to visit the Farmer’s Market!
📍 Toronto, ON
Located in Rouge National Urban Park, the Mast Trail is a great option to see fall foliage within city limits. Though there are a few steep hills, this 5km round trip hike is considered accessible for hiking beginners. You’ll traverse a 200 year old former logging route, and walk past rare Carolinian ecosystems. It’s the perfect mini escape from the city, to immerse yourself in nature and make the most of autumn!
High Park Trails
📍 Toronto, ON
Located within the city of Toronto, High Park is a popular area year-round for hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing – though we recommend heading there in the fall for a walk through the iconic Ontario fall leaves. It’s Toronto’s largest park, so even though you’re in the city center, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the wilderness. Though more of a fall walk than a fall hike, it’s easy access, close proximity to public transportation, and large size allow it to be an accessible way to see the fall colours if you’re in the city and short on time.
Glen Stewart Ravine
Another fall foliage gem within the city of Toronto, Glen Stewart Ravine is a hidden forest in the middle of the city. It’s located in the Beaches neighbourhood. It’s a 300m boardwalk to get to the ravine, and a 1km total hike. There are a few sets of stairs, but it’s a relatively easy walk to see brilliant fall colours.
Easy Fall Hikes Near Toronto: Driving Distance
For a longer autumn walk that’s still relatively beginner-friendly, head to the Applewood Trail in Mississauga. It runs along Little Etobicoke Creek, offering a tranquil experience. It’s a 6.9km out and back trail, which is mostly paved making it stroller and wheelchair friendly. You’ll barely notice you’re in an urban area as you take in the autumn colours and peaceful vibes.
📍Owen Sound, ON
If you’re on the lookout for a hiking trail with a waterfall, head to Weaver’s Creek in Owen Sound. It runs through Harrison Park, and though the falls are accessible from a 300m, easy-to-access boardwal, there are 40 acres of space in the park to explore. The already picturesque waterfall is made even more beautiful surrounded by the reds and golds of autumn leaves.
Crawford Lake Boardwalk
This 1.4km look around the scenic Crawford Lake is stroller-friendly and lined with kid-approved carvings. Though this hike is busy in the fall (reservations are required), it’s a great little hike that will enable you to see the fall colours and get out into nature – what could be better?
Mount Nemo park is a favourite for nature enthusiasts, with incredible biodiversity and opportunities to see local plants and wildlife. In the fall season, it comes alive with vibrant colour. There are many hiking and climbing routes through the escarpment-edge ecosystem, but we recommend the 5.3km Mount Nemo loop. It gets busy, so please note, a reservation is required!
Moderate Fall Hikes Near Toronto
Dundas Peak Trail
If you’re looking for a moderate hiking trail with a waterfall, look no further than the Dundas Peak Trail. Though you must book a reservation due to its popularity, it’ll be well worth the planning. The most popular route starts at Tew Falls and goes to the Tew Falls Lookout Trail. You’ll be able to hike through the geological majesty of the Niagara Escarpment (a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve) and see the incredible Spencer Gorge. Just 2.9km in length, this hike will be worth the effort.
Mono Cliffs Provincial Park
This park is situated on the iconic Bruce Trail, and offers numerous connecting trails to explore the fall colours in all their glory. We’d recommend checking out the Cliff-Top Side Trail for 8km of hiking through ferns and cedars.
Albion Hills Trail
📍RM of Peel, ON
Head to the Albion Hills Conservation Park for over 50km of hiking and mountain biking trails amongst the beautiful fall colours. The outer loop trail is 12km, perfect for an afternoon hike. Tip: this park can be challenging to navigate at times. We suggest bringing a GPS with you, or downloading a map.
Rattlesnake Point and Nassagaweya Loop
One of the most popular hikes in the area, hike up to Rattlesnake Point via the Nassagaweya Canyon Trail for a birds eye view that will take your breath away. Spot cedar trees and other old growth such as birch, oak, maple, and spruce as they turn all shades, from crimson to saffron to gold. The 7.4km out and back Nassagaweya Canyon Trail has five lookouts that provide spectacular views of the local countryside. Make a day trip of it, pack a picnic lunch, and enjoy the colours!
Rouge National Urban Park
The Rouge National Urban Park is home to many trails, from easy to difficult. We’d recommend hiking the Mast Trail Hike, a 5km round trip out and back along a 200-year-old logging route. Enjoy exploring the rare Carolinian and Great Lakes – St Lawrence ecosystems in this National Park.
Challenging and Multi-Day Fall Hikes Near Toronto
Ganaraska Trail: Devil’s Lake to Black River Road
📍Port Hope, ON
This challenging 30.9km point to point hike is well worth the journey. It is a rewarding, picturesque hiking experience that will take you through quintessential fall Ontario landscapes. Don’t forget to bring a GPS and map in order to stay oriented, and ensure to organize rides to either end as it’s an end-to-end hike. Ensure you’re prepared for a challenging hike in the wilderness with adequate clothing and supplies. Don’t forget to take a few breaks to take it all in!
📍Niagara to Tobermory, ON
The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath – 900km total from Niagara to Tobermory. Though you can challenge yourself to different parts of the trail, the Toronto section runs through the Niagara Escarpment, from just south of Highway 401 west of Milton, and ends near the Cheltenham Badlands. The Toronto section is 45.2 km point-to-point, and takes an average of 10 hours to complete.
In the Toronto area and wanting to spend some time in the wilderness? Check out the Adventures below!