If you’re looking to get out and about for some exercise, we’ve got some great suggestions for your next long walk or hike. You can explore different areas in your local neighbourhood, take in some beautiful scenery, experience an endorphin boost, and challenge yourself with different trails and terrains. Here are some of our favourite Markham hiking destinations.
Toogood Pond Park
Toogood Pond Park in Unionville is a popular place for walkers, joggers, runners, hikers, and cyclists. The pond and marshes are the big draw because there are beautiful views all the way around the area, with every step. But the trails here are actually part of a massive winding path and trail system that runs through the heart of Markham, connecting multiple neighbourhoods. You’ll pass through wetlands, parks, forested areas, meadows, and residential streets, so there’s always something to see in this 33-hectare park. This should definitely be on your list of go-to Markham hiking spots.
The Huntington Trail runs west from Leslie Street towards Bayview Avenue just south of the 407. It’s a 3.7 km trail that is great for all skill levels and is mostly used for walking, hiking, and exploring nature. Enjoy forest and river views on this path that follows and eventually crosses German Mills Creek. Nature-lovers will want to keep an eye out for white-tailed deer, coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and ring-necked pheasants.
Milne Dam Conservation Park Trail
Easily the most popular and well-known Markham hiking destination, Milne Dam Conservation Park is huge and centers around a massive reservoir. Part of the Rouge Park, there are wetlands, forests, and lots of wide open space here. Birdwatchers may spot Blue Jays, chickadees, orioles, and Blue Herons; the area is a popular stopping point for migrating birds. This is Markham’s largest park, at 123 hectares, with the Rouge River flowing right through. The main entrance to this Markham hiking spot on the east side of McCowan Road, just south of Hwy. 7.
Bob Hunter Memorial Park Loop
Bob Hunter Memorial Park is the newest gem in the city of Markham’s outdoor recreation spaces. It’s been open for over a decade now and was named in honour of renowned environmentalist, journalist, and Greenpeace founder Robert Hunter. It’s located just southeast of 14th Avenue and Donald Cousens Parkway on the eastern side of the city. This 3.2 km loop trail features a river and makes for a nice forest walk; there are no paved pathways here, instead you can expect mostly dirt and gravel. This Markham hiking spot is part of the Rouge National Urban Park.
Forest Therapy Trail
Also part of the Rouge Valley, this last Markham hiking spot is an out-and-back trail that is suitable for all ages. It follows along a ravine, is mostly paved, and is not usually very busy. Enjoy the streams, creeks, and woods, and if you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the unpaved side trails that branch off from the main one. From this main trail you can access many of the others listed above, as they’re all interconnected.
Take advantage of the many great opportunities to get outdoors in Markham and try one of these trails for your next hike. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow the Gemterra blog for more great ideas on how to stay active outdoors and close to home.