Break out your bike for these 5 great rides in the GTA
Celebrate Bike Month by exploring one of these five expert-approved trails
By Lora Grady
If you’ve never taken the time to hop on a bike and explore Toronto’s trails, now is the perfect time. “Cycling allows you to explore the city at a slower pace,” says bike enthusiast Councillor Mike Layton of Ward 11 University-Rosedale. “Plus, you get a great workout, you don’t have to pay for parking and, if you live downtown, it’s faster to get around.”
Not sure where to start? Check out these five trails recommended by Greg Andre-Barrett, volunteer and board member for Bikes Without Borders, a GTA-based charity that provides refurbished bicycles to individuals in marginalized communities, including refugees and low-income families.
Humber River Trail / Photography By @wanderingwheslee, Finch Hydro Corridor Recreational Trail / Photography By Marcia Marchiori
The Humber River Trail runs 24.7 kilometres from the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail up the East Humber River to Steeles Avenue. “In the spring, you’ll see all kinds of birds, deer, coyote and beavers, while the fall brings salmon swimming and jumping up the river to spawn,” says Andre-Barrett.
Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this trail run about 15 kilometres, from Norfinch Drive, just east of Hwy 400, to the East Don Valley Trail. “This is a super wide, green area that allows you to escape the built-up city to the south and north of you,” says Andre-Barrett. He also recommends the super fun Black Creek Trail, a five-kilometre branch between Jane and Keele.
Don River Trails / Photography By Karan Malhorta
3 Don River Trails
These trails (the East Don, Betty Sutherland, Leaside Spur (also known as the Don Mills Trail), Don Mills Underpass and the Lower Don) run from around Steeles Avenue to the Waterfront Trail, about 27 kilometres. “They twist and turn along an amazing green river valley,” says Andre-Barrett. Still have energy at the end? Cross Lake Shore Boulevard to join the next trail (below).
Martin Goodman Trail / Photography Courtesy Of Waterfront Toronto, Albion Hills Conservation Area / Photography By @drenalinadventures
This 56-kilometre path runs along the entire Toronto waterfront, from Humber Bay Arch Bridge to the Rouge River in the east, and is part of the 2,100-kilometre Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. Andre-Barrett prefers to ride the section between the Lower Don Trail and the Lower Humber River Trail. “I like to people-watch and then stop for a coffee.”
For anyone looking to burn some serious energy, Andre-Barrett recommends heading to this area, situated in a beautiful forest in the hills of Caledon (50 kilometres from Toronto). “It’s home to my favourite mountain bike trails in the GTA, with rolling terrain and long downhills,” he says. Take advantage of the bike wash station or reserve a spot on the campground for a full cycling weekend.