Rebooting our hikes

Rebooting our hikes

Trails explored during the lockdown

Lucy hiking Toronto

My last blog entry,  Hiking Toronto in the Time of Covid-19, published on April 3 at the beginning of the lockdown in Toronto due to the pandemic. Parks and some amenities will open on Tuesday, May 19. Let's hope our efforts to "flatten the curve" were successful, and we can resume more of our favourite activities. 

Lucy and I continued to hike daily in the past two months, but only in parks we could get to without driving. Luckily we are walking distance to fabulous trails. 

Donalda Golf Course

Usually only open to non-members during the winter, the club relaxed their rules until they were closer to an opening day. A groundskeeper said they typically open in mid-April, around Earth Day. We took advantage of this extension and visited often. Golf courses are beautiful in the spring. 

Hiking Donalda Golf Course, TorontoBernedoodle hiking DonaldaLucy and Tanner playing in Donalda

We saw birds, flowers, and the Don River. We spoke to many regular visitors and chatted with members and groundskeepers. 

See the detail of this trail in a previous blog entry, Donalda Golf Course

Betty Sutherland Trail

The Better Sutherland Trail became very popular during the lockdown. Not only with the usual hikers, dog walkers, and cyclists, but a homeless family moved in, and police frequently patrol the area. 

Lucy and Volk playing in the hills of Better Sutherland Trail..  Graffiti house in Betty Sutherland ParkDon River in Better Sutherland Park with Lucy

See the detail of this trail in a previous blog entry, Betty Sutherland Trail.

While on this trail, we discovered a few side routes that were worth exploring, saw many birds, and a couple of deer.

Brookbanks Park and Parkwoods Village

Brookbanks Park is near many neighbourhoods, so it is jam-packed on warm days and has steady pedestrian traffic even on cold or rainy days. 

Brookbanks trail next to creekLucy, Lemon and Leo playing in BrookbanksAdmiring trillium wildflowers in BrookbanksDeerlick Creek in Brookbanks.  Deerlick Creek in Brookbanks Park

In addition to our usual fun on this trail, we got close to a young raccoon and an abandoned baby squirrel. We met people who decided to pick up garbage in the park and discovered treasures that made us smile. Birds and flowers are always abundant, but we were particularly excited to see trilliums. Normally we would travel north of the city to see them. 

See details for these trails in previous blog posts, Brookbanks Park and Parkwoods Village.

Charles Sauriol Conservation Area

This park is a bit further from my home, so I was only able to visit a few times during the past two months. When there, I checked on the construction in the south end of the trail, visited Moccasin Park, and found an unmarked trail along the Don River that took me to Donalada Golf Course. 

Bernedoodle standing on a hill in Moccasin TrailLucy with the rainbow tunnel in Moccasin Park next to Charles Sauriol Conservation AreaRailroad bridge in Charles Sauriol Park

See the details of this trail in a previous blog entry, Charles Sauriol and Moccasin Trail.

I like to visit Charles Sauriol often to see the migratory birds. I haven't seen any yet but did encounter a large flock of cardinals and a few nuthatches. I look forward to the addition of three bridges that may be complete by now, so there are new trails to explore. 

Graydon Hall Park

This gorgeous park became part of our routine. We passed through on our way to Donalda Golf Course or Betty Sutherland Trail but also visited when we simply wanted to meet up with other neighbourhood dogs. 

Running the hills of Graydon Hall ParkLucy, Zuka, and Guiness playing in Graydon HallRaya chasing Lucy in Graydon HallLucy chasing Kira for her stick

Dogs and friendly neighbours are the highlights of this park, but it's also nice to see the gardens growing behind the Graydon Hall Manor. We also met a groundhog on a recent visit. Groundhogs are harmless, but if your dog is interested in hunting, the groundhog may be in danger. 

New Trails

When I meet people on my walks, I often ask them where they like to hike. I often discover trails that are new to me. I visited a few of these and will publish blogs about them soon. 

Trails most missed

During the lockdown, the trails I missed the most and will visit as soon as possible, include:
  • Crothers Woods
  • Thompson Memorial Park
  • East Don River Trail
  • Toronto Islands


Several people have suggested we do meetups. I like this idea and am researching ways to do this effectively. 

See you on the trails!


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