Summer is officially in full swing and so it’s time to get outdoors!
The city of Toronto and the surrounding areas boast some of the most stunning biking paths in the province that show off the natural topography of Ontario including rivers, shorelines, and incredible skylines. It’s remarkable how many trails reside in these heavily urbanized cities like Toronto and provide such a unique way to see the city and the nature surrounding us.
I’ve partnered up with Schwinn Bikes to test out some of the trails near my hometown with my new Gateway Bicycle. A hybrid bike like the Gateway is ideal for trying out bike paths in the area. It offers a more comfortable ride and allows you to cover more ground faster.
Here are some of my top picks!
The Pan Am Path is part of the Great Canadian trail that runs all the way through the country from one coast to the other. This trail includes naturally eroded cliffs, steep hillsides, wetlands, and small streams, making it one of the more scenic bike paths in the province. The trail also passes by several marked points of natural, cultural, and industrial heritage, including examples of Toronto’s railway history.
One of the most intense climbs in all of Ontario is located just west of Milton, next to the Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area. The trail is full of steep hills and tough climbs aimed at more advanced riders. For beginner riders or those not comfortable biking steep hills, you can avoid the climbs by looping around the side roads that connect with Derry Road.
Though this isn’t necessarily a long trail, stretching only 1.3km through the newly built waterfront park, the William G. Davis Trail makes for a great diversion from your traditional waterfront route to enjoy some picturesque views of the skyline and Muskoka granite rocks surrounding the park.
This new bike path was built to help cyclists access the new super park being developed in Toronto’s Don Valley. The path runs along the east side of the street between Rosedale Valley and Pottery Roads and is separated from the street by a guardrail. This path is easy, safe, and will now make it so much easier for cyclists to get to the cultural hub of Don Valley.
This 18km trail following the Grand River links the cities of Cambridge and Paris together. The trail swoops through lush forests that provide stunning views of the river. It is regularly maintained and is a fairly easy ride for children or those who don’t bike often.
The SC Johnson Trail runs 14km between Paris and Brantford. It travels through farm fields, rare prairie grasslands and provides several scenic vistas overlooking the Grand River. The trail is finished with stone dust and has some steep hills. A few short sections follow municipal roadways so watch for traffic.
This trail is mostly referred to as the Waterfront Trail as this sprawling route runs right next to Lake Ontario. The route cuts through the Humber Bay Shores, Marilyn Bell Park, the Eastern Beaches and takes cyclists over the iconic Humber Bay Arch Bridge – all while providing stunning views of Lake Ontario.
The Arboretum at the University of Guelph is home to over 9km of trails. These pathways run through natural forests, fields, plant collections, and gardens. The Arboretum is maintained regularly by students and his home to a ton of different wildlife species. Only certain trails are permitted for cycling, so be sure to read the maps and signs beforehand.
This trail is long and flat, making it perfect for beginners and kids. It runs along the Niagara River from the Falls all the way to Fort Erie. This easy route is incredibly scenic and almost always empty, so chances are if you check it out, you may have the entire trail to yourself!
This post was in partnership with Schwinn Bikes. All opinions are my own.