Cedar Trail in Rouge National Urban Park
The Cedar Trail has become my favourite hike of Rouge Park. The path has less traffic than the Vista or Orchard trails and takes you from a pond through a forest to the river with plenty of opportunity for off-leash play, birdwatching, and wildlife spotting.
Lucy was able to be off-leash for most of the hike as we encountered very few people.
Park on the road near the Rouge Valley Conservation Area.
The Cedar Trail begins with a walk along the pond. This is where you're likely going to see a lot of wildlife. On one visit, we encountered staff from the Toronto Zoo, releasing painted turtles in the pond. They were quickly welcomed into the habitat by the locals.
Belted Kingfishers, Cedar Waxwings, Cardinals, Eastern Kingbirds, Great Blue Herons were the birds we were able to identify and photograph on the hike.
The ForestOnce you approach the forest, you'll see signs for the Cedar Trail.
Follow the white blazes through the forest over boardwalks and stairs until you reach the river.
The trail continues through the forest, but it's worth taking some time to enjoy the Little Rouge River. Wildflowers grow along the banks, and hopefully, you'll see the Great Blue Heron that hunts this river.
The Trail End
Walk through the forest until the trail ends at Meadowvale Road.
We encountered deer in this part of the forest. I think there are plenty of deer in Rouge Park, but they are experts at hiding when they hear approaching hikers.
When you get back to the pond, keep to the left to complete a circle of the pond. You'll end up back on the service road near the train crossing. Notice the fence on the other side. This is a new trail that is scheduled to open soon.