Hiking (out of) the City

Photo from The Toronto Bruce Trail Club

How does going for a hike outside the city sound this time of year?

If you're stuck in the city without a car, you might think your options for a walk in the woods are pretty limited. If you're lucky, you live near an urban getaway such as High Park. But even then its not quite the same experience as actually getting out of the city.

I'm going to share with you a great way to enjoy the a gem of the golden horseshoe area: hiking on the Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail contains 40 great official hiking routes spanning 845 km of main path and 430 km of side trails. Sounds great, but for many of us its simply inaccessible.

That is where The Toronto Bruce Trail Club comes in. The club offers weekly bus trips out to various locations on the trail accommodating up to 48 people to take part in day trips. The trips are open to the public and you can just show up at the pickup location- one of three spots- York Mills and Islington subway stations and Clarence Square. Check out their schedule of public bus trips which is in full swing as spring is upon us.

While most trips are destined for the escarpment, the club also leads hikes at other conservation areas and parks, and even has an urban hike schedule for trips inside the city. Many trips feature a lead hiker familiar with the spot, acting as a guide to add to the experience. Even so, if you are looking for a more solitude experience, you are welcome to hang back and soak in the scenery.

Hikes vary from Level 1 (5km or less), Level 2 (10km or less), and Level 3 (over 20km), and usually last about four hours. Expect to be back in Toronto by 6pm. Bus hikes cost $16 on average and $8 for children. For more information visit www.torontobrucetrailclub.org or call 416-763-9061.

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