winter hikes toronto

The top 7 winter hiking trails in Toronto

Winter hiking trails in Toronto aren't necessarily the same places that you might wind through the woods in the absence of snow. If you're going to be out exploring in your boots, it's important to select trails that are relatively wide and less steep than what you might attempt when traction is better. 

Here are my picks for the top winter hiking trails in Toronto.

Sun Valley Loop (Crothers Woods)

Much of the Don Valley is a beautiful place to hike for three seasons of the year (careful of the mud during spring, though), but once the snow has fallen, the double-track loop around Sun Valley is the perfect destination. The terrain is gorgeous but not overly challenging.

Scarlett Mills Park Trail

This trail along the Humber River is stunning year-round, and especially in the winter. Visitors can also snowshoe, if they so please, and in the right spots along the trail, you can spot small waterfalls and stunning views of the river and surrounding area. 

High Park Trails

High Park is another trail network that comes into its own in the winter. The trails along the west side of the park are ideal in the snow, especially as they take you down to Grenadier Pond, which offers a lovely vista but also the possibility of more exploration if deemed safe. 

Leslie Street Spit

While you will likely be pounded by strong winds during parts of this hike, Tommy Thompson Park is majestic in the winter, complete with wild ice formations that build up along the shore. The landscape ranges from well-forested to almost lunar in spots, but it's always alluring.

Rouge Valley 

The breathtaking Rouge Valley is an iconic area in Toronto, providing incredible sights and the backdrop for many wedding photos. In the winter, it becomes a snowy paradise, complete with river views and winter wildlife.

Cedarvale Ravine and the Belt Line

Too many people know about Cedarvale Ravine to characterize it as a hidden gem, but it's still under-appreciated for both its beauty and walkability. Should you feel ambitious after exploring here, you can always walk a few blocks and hook up with the Belt Line Trail.

Moore Park Ravine and Don Valley Brick Works

One of the nicest winter hikes in Toronto is to walk south from the top of Moore Park Ravine down to the Brick Works. It's an easy downhill jaunt (at least on your way out), the ravine is majestic when snow-covered, and you can warm up with a hot drink when you arrive.

Lead photo by

Tony Mo. Written by Derek Flack. 


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