Ten Spots to Snowshoe around Toronto

Albion Hills Snowshoeing
photo credit: headwaters.ca

If you can walk and hike, you can snowshoe. Pick up a pair of snowshoes (whether you rent a pair or buy a pair of your own), wait for a little snow and voilà! You have an easy winter adventure, even if you live in the heart of Toronto.

Here are ten beautiful spots to snowshoe in and around the Greater Toronto Area:

10. Albion Hills Conservation Area

Albion Hills, part of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, is located about 55 kilometres and an hour’s drive northwest of Toronto in the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The two kilometre snowshoe trail – the pink trail on Albion Hills’ winter trail map – starts at the chalet and meanders through mixed forests of the southeast corner of the park. Also available at Albion Hills during the winter: cross-country skiing (25kms of trails), tobogganing, and fat biking.

Trails close at 4:00pm on weekdays and 4:30pm on weekends.

Admission Fees: Adults (15-59) $6.50; Seniors (60+) $5.50; Children (0-14) Free

Address: 16500 Regional Road 50, Caledon, ON L7E 5T4

Website: Albion Hills Conservation Area

 

9. Ganaraska Forest Centre

Twelve thousand acres of the Ganaraska Forest sit 100 kilometres and an hour’s drive east of Toronto. There are two snowshoe trails to explore. A 2.5 kilometre trail and an 8 kilometre trail take you through the southwest corner of the Central Forest, whose lands are reserved for passive, non-motorized recreation. There are also over 30kms of groomed cross-country ski trails available between December 1 and April 30, snow permitting.

Admission Fees: Adults $30 annual membership or $6 day pass; Children Free

Address: 10585 Cold Springs Camp Road, Cambellcroft, ON L0A 1B0

Website: Ganaraska Forest Centre

 

8. Mountsberg Conservation Area

Mountsberg is part of the Conservation Halton Authority. It is located about 70 kilometres – less than an hour’s drive – west of Toronto. Fourteen kilometres of ungroomed trails take you along the Mountsberg Reservoir and into the sugar bush. Horse-drawn sleigh rides and cross-country skiing are also available during the winter.

Admission Fees: Adults (15-64) $7.50; Seniors (65+) $6.50; Children (5-14) $5.25; Children (4 & under) Free

Address: 2259 Millburough Line, Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

Website: Mountsberg Conservation Area

 

7. Christie Lake Conservation Area

Christie Lake is part of the Hamilton Conservation Authority and is located on the Niagara Escarpment about 90 kilometres west of Toronto. Ten kilometres of trails wind through 336 hectares of wildlife areas, meadows, and pine forests and around Christie Lake. Trails are ungroomed and multi-use.

Admission Fees: $10 for a vehicle and driver; passengers (age 5+) $5.

Address: 1000 Highway 5 West, Dundas, ON L9E 5E2

Website: Christie Lake Conservation Area

 

6. Rouge National Urban Park

Canada’s first national urban park, the Rouge has eight trails ranging from 500 metres to 5 kilometres and extends from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine, nearly 80 square kilometres of natural, cultural, and agricultural lands to explore by snowshoe.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: Various (Toronto, Markham, Pickering, Uxbridge [coming soon])

Website: Rouge National Urban Park

 

5. Brampton-Etobicoke Creek Trail

For a mixed adventure through nature and suburban areas, the Brampton-Etobicoke Creek Trail is a 14.5-kilometre limestone or asphalt trail that runs along the Etobicoke Creek from Peel Village Golf Course to Mayfield Road.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: Parking available at 30 Loafer’s Lake Lane, Brampton, ON L6Z 1X9

Website: Brampton Etobicoke Creek Trail

 

4. King’s Mill Park Trail

The King’s Mill Park Trail is a 1.6 kilometre smooth trail on the west bank of the Humber River in Toronto. Take the subway to Old Mill Station for a quick snowshoe along the river before continuing on with your day along Bloor West.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: Beneath the Old Mill TTC Station or Old Mill Drive, Toronto, ON M6S 4K2

Website: King’s Mill Park Trail

 

3. Cedarvale Ravine and the Beltline

You can snowshoe the trails that Ernest Hemingway walked during his time in Canada. Stop and observe the winter life in a young growth forest as renaturalization is occurring years after the area was clear-cut for the subway. The park at its southern end meets up with the Nordheimer Ravine which allow visitors to continue downtown through park space.

The Beltline consists of nine kilometres of asphalt and hard-packed trail along an old rail bed across Midtown Toronto from Mount Pleasant Cemetery to Allen Road that aren’t maintained in the winter. Snowshoers can continue on through the cemetery and down through the Moore Ravine system to access the ecologically- and historically-important Evergreen Brickworks. Alternatively at the west end of the trail, you can pop out of your snowshoes, cross Eglinton Avenue West at Allen Road and continue on into Cedarvale Ravine Park where there is also an outdoor skating rink during the winter.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: Various

Website: Cedarvale Ravine and the Beltline

 

2. Sunnybrook Park, Serena Gundy Park, & Wilket Creek Park to the Don Valley Trails

The three parks and the Don Valley Trails encompass more than 175 hectares and over 50 kilometres of trails to explore by snowshoe in the winter months. The surrounding forest includes sugar maple, eastern white pine, and American beech. Park at Sunnybrook, cross the bridge over the creek, and spend a day snowshoeing through the Don River Watershed.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: 1132 Leslie Street, Toronto, ON M3C 3L7

Website: walk the don and Toronto city parks

 

1. High Park

High Park spans 161 hectares in Toronto. While there aren’t specific snowshoe trails in the park, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing is encouraged. Take subway Line 2 on the TTC to the High Park station and explore the black oak savannah or the riparian zone around Grenadier Pond.

Admission Fees: Free

Address: High Park TTC Station or 1873 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M6R 2Z3

Website: High Park

 

Other useful links:

Toronto Adventures – an outdoor adventure club that plans snowshoeing lessons and guided tours in and around the city.
High Park Ski club – a group of enthusiastic skiing and snowboarding members who also regularly plan snowshoe trips.

 

By Kate Ming-Sun.

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