Yes, I said hiking in Toronto’s High Park. Most visitors to the park think of the beautiful gardens, museum, zoo and Grenadier Restaurant.
However, there it is possible to walk along the paths in the more remote sections of the park where you are unlikely to see other park visitors. Do expect to see wild flowers, ponds and hardwood forests.
High Park was a gift from John Howard to the City of Toronto in 1873, although additional land has been added over the years. Mr. Howard was a city surveyor who purchased the original area in 1836 and built his home here called Colborne Lodge, now a museum.
Starting from Grenadier Restaurant (free parking) head north along the road to just past the unleashed dog walking area the then do a right turn and head towards the nature center. Take the path beside the nature center and continue almost to Bloor Street.
Turn right and follow this path as it descends further into the hardwood forest. At one opening along your left side you will see a short bridge crossing over one of the ponds.
On the far side of the pond head right (south) along the variety of dirt paths as they drip up and down through the forest.
As you head down the east side of the park you will eventually you will come to the kids playground created and paid for with much effort by the local community. On the far side of the playground ascend the hill and continue through the woods again until reaching the south side of the park.
Take the sidewalk along the south side passing a large pond and take the first sharp right turn and continue uphill. The fenced area on the right is an ancient Indian burial area.
Following this trail will eventually lead you up to one of the park washroom. Then head to the right at this point taking the trail along the fence until you reach the High Park zoo. Walk through this small zoo and up the hill back to the Grenadier Restaurant.
Walking time is about one and a half hours. You may also wish to take a circle walk through the lovely gardens by Grenadier pond. If arriving by subway from the High Park Station cross Bloor Street and start your walk just to the left of the park entrance.
For more hiking information check out walking holidays in North America.
Hiking in Toronto’s High Park is a different way to enjoy the largest city park.