There are many reasons to dress warmly and explore Toronto in the winter. Here are a few:
- There are fewer people on the trails. In the summer, the trails and parks can get crowded with people. I treasure my winter walks because there are so few people around.
- There are no bugs in the winter. I don't have to worry about mosquitos, blackflies, ticks, or other biting insects.
- You can dress warmly to feel comfortable in the winter. On hot days, it can be difficult to cool down enough to be comfortable.
- It's much easier to find trails in the winter. With less brush, you can actually see more of the terrain. And, if you are in a new area, you can follow the tracks of others in the snow to discover new trails.
- Dogs seem to love the cooler temperatures and get very excited when it snows.
Here's what you need to be prepared for winter hiking:
- You'll want to dress warmly but wear a coat that breathes as you're likely to generate heat while hiking.
- Hiking pants or ski pants.
- A hat and gloves are important.
- Wear boots that are waterproof.
- Spikes for your boots. These are called icers and can be purchased at outfitters like MEC. Most trails are not maintained in winter. This means your dog won't be bothered by salt on the trails, but you will find them slippery. Icers will make you feel much safer.
- Stay off the ice.