Colonel Danforth Park to Old Kingston Road

Discovering this trail was one of the highlights of my summer. Lucy loved playing in the river and I had many opportunities to photograph wildlife. I met friendly people on every visit. I plan to visit more often and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to explore nature within the city.

Dog playing in Highland Creek

Suggested Route

This hike is really straight forward. You can park at either end of the trail: The Colonel Danforth Dog Park (on the west end) or the Colonel Danforth Park (on the east end). My map shows the route starting at the dog park. The distance is 2.5 km each way.


After parking at the Colonel Danforth Dog Park, cross Old Kingston Road and turn left to cross the bridge. The trail head begins immediately after crossing the bridge.

Bridge over Highland Creek at Old Kingston Road

The Trail

A paved path follows the river and attracts cyclists and joggers. 

Paved Trail along Highland Creek River

I walk on the unpaved trail beside the river, which allows me to see more wildlife and hidden treasure. It also allows me to leave Lucy off-leash for most of the walk. 

Trail along Highland Creek


We sat on the riverbank and watched a Cooper's Hawk who watched us right back. I stayed there until he flew away. 

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk aka Red-Tailed Hawk

Banded King Fishers love this river. I've seen one on every walk I've taken along this river. They are hard to photograph, so often, you see a flash of blue that might be mistaken for a Blue Jay.

Banded King Fisher

Highland Creek

This is the fourth blog entry to document the trails along Highland Creek, including:

If you were to park at either end and walk with purpose, you'd only travel about 5.5 km each way. So, it's a doable walk for many people. When the weather cools down a few degrees, I plan to try the entire hike.

Highland Creek Trail from Morningside Park to Lake Ontario

The river is shallow, so dogs of all size can enjoy getting wet.

Walking in the River

Trail Treasure

Painted rocks became an everyday sight on many trails after the Covid-19 Lockdown. We saw plenty of painted rocks on this hike, but only on the shores of the river.

Painted Rocks

Graffiti on the bridge shows three faces that perhaps reflect the diversity of the area.

Urban Art

We spotted an entrance to a tunnel in the creek. Camouflaged as a rock, I thought this was a creative way to hide the access in plain sight.

Entrance to a tunnel in the middle of the river

The biggest surprise was finding a picnic table on the river bank. A party of six would be comfortable having a meal here!

Picnic table for six in the river

Colonel Danforth Park

There are picnic areas on both sides of this hike. A washroom can be found on the eastern side of the walk, in Colonel Danforth Park.

Parking Lot Colonel Danforth Park


Enjoy your hike! When you post photos to Instagram, tag us at @hikingtoronto or #hikingtorontowithlucy.


  1. Thanks for this! We hiked for a few hours today with only a handful of people around. The pups loved the freedom to run and got wet in the creek. It's huge. We'll be heading back.

    1. I’m so glad you like the park! I only learned about it a few years ago, but now we go there monthly. Enjoy!


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