Warden Woods Trail

This ravine park a hidden gem in Toronto. It is a beautiful park in a forest surrounding a section of Taylor-Massey Creek. You may know of the Taylor Creek Trail. Warden Woods Park is east of the Dawes Road and Victoria Park entrances to Taylor Creek Park, on the other side of the Dentonia Park Golf Course. 

Warden Woods

Off-Leash Dog Park

The Warden Woods Off-Leash Dog Park is located on Pharmacy Ave between St. Clair Ave East and Danforth Ave. The ground is packed gravel with shade trees along the fence. The same parking lot is used for the dog park and the hiking trail. 

Suggested Route

The hiking trail, also known as the Gus Harris Trail, was named after Scarborough's mayor from 1978 - 1988. The paved trail turns into a crushed gravel trail and runs from the parking lot to St. Clair Ave E, near Warden Ave. At St. Clair, a path along the road takes you into the forested side of the creek. The forest trails are well-established and easy to follow. The entire hike is 5 km in length. 

Map of suggested route through Warden Woods

The Trail

After parking, follow the paved path to the first bridge. Cross the bridge to begin your hike on the forest trails. 

Sign for Warden Woods trail

People tell me that the forest side is an official off-leash area in this park. Of course, whether you let your dog off-leash in a forest depends on your dog's training and personality. Lucy stays next to me and comes when called, so it's safe to allow her to run off-leash.

Bridge to the forest in Warden Woods Park

I suggest crossing the bridge to start your walk in the forest; after crossing the bridge, stay on the trails to the right.

Well-maintained trails through Warden Woods

The trail is well-maintained by neighbourhood locals. They rake the trails, set up fire pits, and pick up trash. 

Fire pits in Warden Woods

I especially enjoyed this forest because of the variety of landscapes and the natural obstacles for good photos and awe of nature.

Warden Woods

The autumn leaves cover the trails in areas, making it feel like walking on a red carpet.

Natural obstacles in Warden Woods

Fallen trees are left to rot and are fun to jump on for an agile dog.

Beautiful ravine in Warden Woods

The creek isn't always accessible from the trail, but standing on the edge looking is fun too.

Approaching St. Clair Ave in Warden Woods

Eventually the trail leads to the fenced backyards of the neighbouring houses. The area has been cleared and is maintained almost as a private park. It's beautiful.

Private-like park in Warden Woods

Turn right and walk along St. Clair Ave. There is a sidewalk, but you can actually stay inside the guardrails to continue on the trail.

St. Clair Ave next to Warden Woods Park

Walk back to your starting point using the wide trail. It is crushed gravel for about a kilometre and then paved. The trees are colourful in autumn.

Official trail in Warden Woods Park

Wildlife

We saw a great blue heron in the creek and Cooper's hawk in the forest. 

Great Blue Heron in Warden Woods Park

Cooper's Hawk in Warden Woods

We also saw woodpecker, cardinals, and nuthatches. Apparently, there have been sightings of deer and coyote as well.

Friends

I'm not sure if it is because of the pandemic or the serenity of walking in nature, but the people I meet on Toronto's trails are friendly and kind. A 5-km walk can take us 3 hours because of frequent stops to chat and play. 
Friends we've met in Warden Woods

Dentonia Park Golf Course

As mentioned before, the Dentonia Park Golf Course is between Warden Woods Park and Taylor Creek Park. There are discussions about the future of city-owned golf courses, so perhaps this land will be opened up for housing or more parkland. 

Map of Taylor Creek Park, Dentonia Golf Course, and Warden Woods Park

When golf season is over, the courses are opened up to the public, and many allow dogs to be off-leash. You can easily reach Dentonia Park Golf Course from Warden Woods. 

After crossing the bridge, follow the trails to the left. When we walked the trail, there were birdhouses in the trees along the way.

Bird houses in forest of Warden Woods

The golf course is immediately on the other side of the Pharmacy Ave overpass.

Path in Warden Woods that takes you to Dentonia Park Golf Course

Since we're not golfers, we look forward to winter when we have additional parkland to play in.

Trail Extensions

Warden Woods is connected to several smaller parks that you could explore to extend your walk. These include St. Clair Ravine, Moreau Trail Park, Fir Valley Woods, Byng Park, Cataraqui Park, and Prarie Drive Park. We haven't hiked any of these trails yet, but we will.

Instagram

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




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