Sherwood Park Off-Leash Paradise
Sherwood Park is located in mid-town Toronto between Bayview Ave and Mount Pleasant Road, north of Eglinton Ave. The city built Toronto's best off-leashed dog playground in the ravine. Dogs can run free through the forest and access Burke Brook.
Despite the large number of dogs who visit the park, it is very clean and frequented by non-dog owners jogging or walking through the fenced-in area.
There is a free parking lot at 160 Sherwood Ave as well as street-parking on Blythwood Road.
It's a pretty straightforward trail. To explore every path, turn left whenever there is a choice to be made. The trail through the dog park is 2 km in length.
The path is paved or decked, so it is clean and usually wide-enough to keep your distance from other people.
The off-leash area is fenced, so your dog is unable to go on roads or private property.
It's hilly, so there is plenty of variety for you and your dog.
Parts of the forest are fenced to protect environmentally significant areas. Determined dogs find their way into these areas to chase squirrels.
A notable investment was made to put in stairs, decking, and rails in many parts of the park. This helps make the trail usable all year round, keeping you and your dog clean and safe.
Burke Brook is the shallow stream going through the forest and is part of the Don River water shield. Dogs love to play in the water, and it seems clean enough to drink. There are no fountains, so bring water with you if you don't trust the quality of the stream water.
The only place to sit down is along the water's edge, where there are tree stumps.
The trail ends at Bayview Ave. Follow the turnaround path near the drain tunnel. The trail is a loop, so turn right after the drain tunnel and continue to choose the path on your left to return to the starting point.
If the walk is too short for you, there are a few ways you can lengthen your hike.
Instead of going back to your car, walk along Burke Brook, passing the playground, waterpark, picnic area, and public washroom. When you get to Blythwood Drive, take the path on the far side of the stream back to the parking lot.
If you have young children or puppies, this is a perfect 1 km walk.
Sunnybrook Park is on the other side of Bayview Ave. The only safe way To cross this busy street is to make a detour to the crosswalk. Or, read my blog about another hike you can take: Sunnybrook Off-Leash Park.
The ravine continues on the other side of Blythwood Drive as well. A future blog post will document this hike.
Enjoy your hike! When you post photos to Instagram, tag us at @hikingtoronto or #hikingtorontowithlucy.