The GTA is full of natural surprises. Away from the skyscrapers, the noise, and the lights of downtown are forests filled with rolling hills and shy wildlife. Explore the inner-city trails for marshland walks or venture half-an-hour away and immerse yourself in some of the largest green spaces in Ontario. There are trails for both new and experienced hikers waiting to be discovered.

 

1. Secord Forest Oak Ridges Trail

photoGiulia Forsythe Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 5 km loop
Elevation Gain: 100 m
Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate 

This is a picturesque trail with dense wildflowers and trees. Lovely aromas entice from all around, but the water contributes to wet terrain and a heavy mosquito population.

How do I get to the trailhead?: ON-401 to ON-412 to Brock Rd in Pickering. Take exit 105 from ON-407. Continue down Brock Rd and take Webb Rd to Secord Rd in Goodwood.

Read more about this trail: ontariotrails.on.ca

Distance from Oshawa:  45 km

 

2. Durham Regional Forest

photobobistraveling Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 12 km loop
Elevation Gain: 400 m
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Well-organized and marked, despite the forks in the trails, this trail system is a city escape for the experienced hiker and the novice alike. Enjoy gorgeous forest scenery all around.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Take ON-401 W, ON-412 and Lake Ridge Rd to your destination in Goodwood. Turn left onto Concession Road 7 to your destination.     

Read more about this trail: ontariotrails.on.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 35 km

 

3. Oshawa Waterfront Trail

photoBoris Kasimov Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 11 km one-way
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Elevation: Minimal
Difficulty: Easy

This asphalt trail makes for easy access for strollers and wheelchairs, so all may enjoy the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Pass by Second Marsh, the largest remaining wetland between Niagara and Presqu’ile.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Head east on King St W toward Centre St and turn right when you see signs for ON-401. Turn right onto Gibb St, left onto Stevenson Rd S, right again onto Phillip Murray Ave and follow left to destination.    

Read more about this trail: oshawa.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 6 km

 

4. Harmony Creek Trail

photoBoris Kasimov Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 4 km
Time: 1 hour
Elevation: 50 m
Difficulty: Easy

A path that serves as a beautiful escape from the city, even though it’s located right in the middle of it. Watch out for the steep slopes near the creek! 

How do I get to the trailhead?: Head east on King St W and turn left onto Simcoe St N. Turn right onto Adelaide Ave, and then left onto Wilson Rd N. Turn right onto Hillcroft St and the destination will be on the right.

Read more about this trail: ontariotrails.on.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 3 km

 

5. Seaton Hiking Trail

photoJustin Trovrt Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 12.9 km
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Elevation: 174 m
Difficulty: Moderate

Offering a variety of elevations, this trail is great in challenging the average hiker. Maintain caution when crossing the river section and enjoy the stellar viewpoints from above the GTA.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Get on ON-401 from Durham Regional Rd 2A and follow to Brock Rd. Take exit 399 from ON-401 W. Follow Concession Rd 3 to your destination.

Read more about this trail: seatontrail.org

Distance from Oshawa: 25 km

 

6. Long Sault Conservation Area

photoJeff M for Short Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 18 km total
Time: 2 - 4 hours
Elevation: 195 m
Difficulty: Moderate

Level, easy terrain that is designed for the new hiker. The area offers multiple trails to challenge the accompanying expert, as some sections prove to be steep. Hiking poles are recommended.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Take Adelaide Ave E to Woodley Rd in Clarington and turn left to your destination.     

Read more about this trail: ontariotrails.on.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 28 km

 

7. Rouge National Urban Park

photoGreenRavenPhotography.com Flickr cc by nd 2.0

Distance: 14 km total
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Elevation: 207 m
Difficulty: Moderate

Just outside of Ontario’s capital is the province’s first national urban park – you’ll forget you’re anywhere close to skyscrapers. A few steep hills but otherwise smooth hiking ahead.

How do I get to the trailhead?: ON-401 from Durham Regional Rd 2A and follow to Meadowvale Rd in Scarborough, TO. Take exit 389 and continue on Meadowvale Rd. Drive to Zoo Rd.

Read more about this trail: trca.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 32 km

 

8. Heber Down Conservation Area

photoJeff M for Short Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 5 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Elevation: 66 m
Difficulty: Easy

There are three main trails around the area that provide scenic routes with rolling hills and fishing opportunities. It's a mix of hiking and walking with paved sections and some off-trail routes.

How do I get to the trailhead?: Get on ON-401 from Durham Regional Rd and follow to Hwy 7 in Whitby. Take exit 9 from ON-412. Continue on Hwy 7 and drive to Cochrane St.

Read more about this trail: ontariotrails.on.ca

Distance from Oshawa: 16 km

 

9. Scarborough Bluffs Park

photoJeff Hitchcock Flickr cc by 2.0

Distance: 5 km
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: Minimal
Difficulty: Easy

There is little to no elevation change, but the cliff views make up for it. A quick hike to start or finish off your trip to the beach. 

How do I get to the trailhead? Follow ON-401 to Hwy 2A in Scarborough. Take exit 392 from ON-401 W. Take Kingston Rd to your destination.   

Read more: ontariotrails.on.ca 

Distance from Oshawa: 41 km

 

10. Ganaraska Forest Trail

photo

Distance: 45.5 km loop
Time: 5+ hours
Elevation: approx. 1,000 m
Difficulty: Difficult

This 11,000-acre forest offers everything from mountain biking to cross-country skiing. Hiking here means a landscape of rolling hills and mixed forest while spotting white tailed deer, wild turkey and birds of prey.  

How do I get to the trailhead?: Get on ON-401 and follow to Wilcox Rd in Clarington. Continue on Wilcox Rd to your destination.

Read more about this trail: ganaraskaforestcentre.ca 

Distance from Oshawa: 37 km

 

 

Have you hiked these trails around Oshawa, Ontario?

Let us know your favourite trail!

Comment below.

 

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