Hendrie Valley Sanctuary

This nature paradise outside of Toronto has boardwalks over creeks and scenic lookouts

The 250-acre Hendrie Valley is complete with two boardwalks and even more lookouts affording beautiful views, an hour away from Toronto.

The hidden paradise is just one of several nature sanctuaries around the RBG in Burlington with over 2,400 acres of beauty surrounding the country's largest botanical garden. 

One of the biggest cultivated areas with a dozen themed gardens, Hendrie Park backs onto the four kilometres of trails within Hendrie Valley Nature Sanctuary. 

The trail system bursts with wildlife as it leads through a mix of deciduous forest, marsh and creeks in an unexpected wilderness oasis in the middle of a city. 

Unlike the gardens that charge admission, the marshy backyard is free for everyone to enjoy. 

The trails can be accessed from the Cherry Hill Gate, along Plains Road across from the main RBG building and Laking Gardens and Grindstone Marsh Trail from Spring Garden Road.

Bridle Trail Loop is one of the main trails in Hendrie Valley coming with an elevated boardwalk winding two metres above Grindstone Creek.

There are several viewpoints along the stretch of boardwalk where you can take in breathtaking sights of the lush valley and surrounding marshland.

Trails also meander alongside the creek where herring and spottail shiner spawn in the spring and salmon in the fall.

One of the few Special Protection Areas within the RBG, South Pasture Swamp, is toward the southern side of the creek. 

The large pond is known for its rich habitat, with the observation platform at the western edge the prime place to spot a beaver, muskrat and plenty more outdoor creatures. 

If you plan on visiting and exploring Hendrie Valley Nature Sanctuary this summer, make sure to practice safe physical distancing and pick up after yourself to leave the area as beautiful as you found it.

Lead photo by

Vladislav Litvinov

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