Best Toronto Winter Hikes with Kids

Toronto Winter Hikes Mill Pond Park Trail - SavvyMom

Feeling a little stir-crazy? Worried that the kids (and maybe you) are spending too much time in front of screens? Then bundle everyone up and head out for a refreshing walk in nature. Keep it simple or enhance your walk with a game like I Spy, do a found-items scavenger hunt, or run a wildlife counting contest (learn about local bird species here). We roundup 11 trails and areas that are perfect for relaxed Toronto winter hikes with kids. The bulk of these trails are right here in Toronto, but we have included a few outside-the-city options, for those families that are up for a little more time in the car.

We have highlighted which of our selections tend to be stroller friendly, but note that status is highly weather-dependent and the condition of paths located deeper in ravines or wooden areas may be in snowier shape than you anticipate. And while strollers aren’t able to tackle all of these trails, all destinations are dog friendly. Just be sure to keep your furry family members on a leash!

Finally, when hiking in the winter, be prepared with proper winter hiking gear and clothing and water and snacks, since the usual summer amenities may be closed. Also often closed are bathrooms, so plan ahead. If you’re looking for a good trail app, check out, which offers many free features, including easy-to-follow maps.

Great Toronto Winter Hikes for Families

Crawford Lake Trail

3115 Conservation Rd., Milton

Up for a short drive? Then pack up the kids and head out to Crawford Lake for fresh air with a side of education. The lake’s kid-friendly Hide & Seek Trail features, “larger than life wooden carvings” of local, at-risk species, while the reconstructed 15th century Iroquoian village is a great way to learn about local history. There’s also a visitor centre with washrooms. Besides hiking, the lake is a great destination for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Accessing Crawford Lake does require a fee per person (kids four and under are free) as well as advance registration.

Hilton Falls Trails

4985 Campbellville Rd., Milton

Crawford Lake’s sister site of Hilton Falls is considered one of the best Toronto winter hikes in the GTA, no matter the season. While it offers a few trails, your family will likely be most interested in the classic Hilton Falls Trail, a four-kilometer loop known to be family-friendly (though a stroller in the wintertime can be challenging; maybe babywear instead). This path will take you to the waterfall, which just looks gorgeous when frozen over. Along the way, feed the friendly chickadees. This trail is also known as a great option for families that cross-country ski; note that skis can also be rented from the visitor’s centre. This destination also requires advance registration and a small fee (kids four and under are free).

Humber River Recreational Trail: Home Smith Park to Etienne Brulé Park

10 Catherine St., Toronto

The Home Smith Park to Etienne Brulé Park section of the over eight-km-long Humber River Recreational Trail is an easy, 5.3km loop walk around the Humber River. If that’s too long, just focus on the Etienne Brulé Park section, which is paved and often in stroller-friendly condition, even in the winter. While both halves of the park have plenty of pretty views, Etienne Brulé Park is home to a small “waterfall.” It’s really just a weir (a low type of dam) but your kids will still be impressed. If you do the whole loop, you’ll get to pass over the Humber River twice, once via the actual Old Mill bridge. This trail can also be easily accessed via the Old Mill subway stop.

Lower Don Recreation Trail

Starts at Lakeshore Blvd. and Cherry St. and ends at the Toronto Botanical Gardens at 777
Lawrence Ave. E, but multiple entry and exit points are available along the way.

With a total length of over 12 kilometres, this isn’t a trail that your family is likely to do start-to-finish. However, its many entry and exit points, along with options to veer off onto other, shorter trails, makes this a nice option for families who are up for doing a bit of planning. Those who are will be rewarded with great views of the Don River and potentially encounters with deer, mink, and a number of owl species. This trail is also TTC friendly since it can incorporate the Broadview subway station as well as several streetcar and bus routes.

Mill Pond Park Trail Toronto Winter Hikes - SavvyMom

Mill Pond Park Trail

321 Mill St., Richmond Hill

Located in Richmond Hill, this easy-to-access and easy-to-walk trail is often downright crowded in warmer weather. But come winter, the crowds have disappeared and it’s usually a breeze to practice social distancing along the nearly two-kilometre-long loop. Because it’s mostly paved and actively used, it’s a solid option for Toronto winter hikes for families with strollers. Part of the trail goes along a picturesque pond known for its waterfowl population. This trail also features several bridge crossings, which are always fun for little kids.

Mimico Creek Trail

Enter (or exit) near Sedgebrook Cres. and West Deane Park Dr. or Kipling Ave. and Wingrove Hill, Toronto

As the name suggests, this trail follows Mimico Creek in Toronto’s far west-end (making it a great option for families in Mississauga). It’s not a loop route —maybe arrange to be dropped off and picked up—but it is a pretty walk that’s usually quiet in the winter (in the summer this a popular biking trail). While parts are paved, there are also stretches of dirt trail and some areas are narrow. Because of this, this path isn’t a great one for strollers. However, the north end of the trail does go through West Deane Park, which features a playground, and passes through other parks with plenty of room for kids to play. It also features several entry and exit points, in case your family isn’t up for its entire eight-kilometre length.

Moore Park Ravine Trail Loop

205 Moore Ave., Toronto

In the summer this is one of Toronto’s busier trails, due to its highly accessible entry/exit points, fairly flat path and lush, forest setting. Come winter, that setting isn’t so lush but gone along with the leaves are the crowds, making this a good choice to explore in cooler weather. The loop is around six kilometers in length and features some cool elements, like the massive, and graffiti covered, Governors Road Bridge. It also passes near the Brick Works, where you can stop off for a snack and washrooms. Much of the path is paved and stroller friendly, depending on the snow and ice, but there are some spots with stairs and where things get muddy.

Rouge National Urban Park

Woodland Trail: 19 Reesor Road; Vista Trail: Zoo Road, near Parks Canada’s Visitor Welcome Area or 55 Twyn Rivers Drive, Toronto

This one’s a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure, depending on what your family feels up to tackling. Canada’s first national urban park is home to over a dozen trails, of which eight are considered “easy.” One of the better winter paths is the Woodland Trail, a 3.5km loop through woods and meadows that sometimes features sightings of beavers. Another good option is the 1.5km one-way Vista Trail, which while mostly flat, does have some rougher spots, bumping it from an “easy” hike to a “moderate” one. It features a viewing deck that, “provides spectacular views of the Little Rouge Creek and Rouge River valleys.” This path is also known for its wildlife spotting.

Taylor Creek Trail

260 Dawes Rd, Toronto

Ever wanted to get up close to those giant teeth-like sculptures (properly called Elevated Wetlands) you see when driving along the Don Valley Parkway? The Taylor Creek Trail will take you there (so long as you take the westward path, towards the DVP)! Along the way, you’ll cross under the O’Connor Street bridge, and see a pretty creek. If the snow is minimal, a good stroller should be able to maneuver much of this trail. Just note that it has the potential to be icy, depending on what the weather’s been doing.

Toronto Islands

Nope, this isn’t a mistake, you can visit the Toronto Islands during the winter. Besides being peacefully quiet, Centre and Olympic Islands offer a just-over-two-kilometer loop your family can hike, snowshoe, or cross-country ski. During the winter, only the Ward’s Island ferry is running. That ferry dock is also where you’ll find public washrooms. If your family does head over, make sure you have your food and non-water fountain needs covered, as no restaurants are open on the islands at this time of year.

William G Davis Trail

Enter just south of Remembrance Dr. and Ontario Place Blvd., Toronto

Located in the eastern chunk of Ontario Place, you’ll want to save this one for a clear, sunny day because it’s pretty much completely along the lake. This makes for some lovely views (plane-loving kids will adore watching flights take off and land at the nearby Billy Bishop Airport) but let’s be honest, it can be cold by the water! The trail is home a few fun climbing opportunities, including a “bluff” that kids love to explore, so it’s also best visited when things aren’t too icy. The entire trail is paved and is quite stroller-friendly, so long as the snow isn’t too high or powdery. Tell the kids to keep their eyes peeled for the trail’s three “marker trees,” a nod to how local Indigenous people used to navigate this land.


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