This secluded forest in Toronto is perfect for a nature stroll
Warden Woods is a 35-hectare piece of land around the Taylor-Massey Creek and an absolutely beautiful forest for a nature stroll.
Located in the east end of Toronto, Gus Harris Trail leads you through the thickly-forested valley between St. Clair and Pharmacy Avenue.
The 3.2-kilometre trail provides some breathtaking nature views as it winds through the mature forest that’s approaching old-growth conditions and past its steep valley slopes.
Reaching 20 metres (65 feet) high, the valley's contour was shaped by erosion around the creek some 12,000 years ago when a larger Massey Creek drained a retreating glacier into the ancient Glacial Lake Iroquois.
As this happened, the sand was cut to form the Scarborough Bluffs and the dramatic shapes found in Warden Woods.
The high sand banks around the creek and trail continue to erode to this day. It’s partly due to these sandy cliffs that the land has been protected from development all this time.
This is good news for the many plants and animals that live within the high and dense forest canopy surrounded on all sides by mass development and urbanization.
Taylor-Massey Creek runs through Warden Woods and its neighbour to the west, Taylor Creek Park, before pouring into the larger main channel of the Don River.
The trail sticks close to the scenic river the entire duration of the hike.
Once you hit the impressive bridge that can't be missed due to its massive archways on either end, you'll have the option to cross over to the other side of the babbling water.
There's a dirt pathway on that side that also makes for a picturesque walk.
If you’re coming by TTC, Warden subway station is just a five-minute walk from the park's north entrance at St. Clair Avenue East and Warden Avenue.
The south end of the trail is less than a 10-minute walk from Victoria Park station. If you’re driving, there’s a parking lot at Pharmacy Avenue and Teesdale Place just past the off-leash dog park.
Make sure to respect the park during your visit by picking up your trash to leave the area just as beautiful as you found it.
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