When people think about Canada’s natural landscape, they may think of the vast untamed wilderness of the Yukon or the majestic Rocky Mountains. However, right next to the bustling cities are some of the nation’s best hiking trails to explore. If you’re looking for a break from city life in Toronto, Calgary, or Edmonton, we’ve got you covered. Grab your walking shoes and request an Uber.
Day hikes in Canada
- Toronto hiking destinations
1. High Park
At close to 400 acres, High Park provides plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature without leaving the city. The park consists of manicured gardens, children’s play areas, untamed natural space, a large pond, and a dog park. There’s even a small zoo—which is home to bison, peacocks, llamas, and more. Whether you want to explore on your own or join one of the weekly walking tours, High Park offers plenty of well-worn paths for exploring. The Spring Creek and West Ravine trails will take you through wooded sections of the park and give you a chance to spot some wildlife. The trails are relatively flat and clearly marked, making this the perfect hike for the entire family.
Where: 1873 Bloor St West, Toronto, ON
Uber fare estimate: $16 – $20 from downtown Toronto
There are eleven parks along Scarborough Bluffs, the cliffs that tower over Lake Ontario east of Toronto, and all have trails to explore. The bluffs extend for close to 15km, and not all of the parks have trails with access to the lakefront, so you’ll want to do your research before heading out. If you want to be able to access the sandy beaches along the lake, try the trails around Bluffer’s Park. From there, you can look up at the majestic cliffs and take advantage of the park’s picnic tables. If you’re in the mood for a challenge, you can hike from the beach up to the top of the cliffs for a striking view of the lake and shoreline. Those who prefer to take it easy will find plenty of easy walking trails along the base of the cliffs.
Where: 1 Brimley Rd S, Scarborough, ON
Uber fare estimate: $22 – $29 from downtown Toronto
3. Rouge Park
The Rouge National Urban Park is a vast unspoiled natural preserve and home to Toronto’s only campground. The park’s incredible biodiversity makes for some great hiking opportunities. Regardless of your fitness level and the amount of time you have, you’ll find a trail to suit your needs. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, the Rouge Marsh Trail offers beautiful views of Toronto’s largest remaining wetland and can be completed in less than 30 minutes. With a bit more time and willingness to tackle a few hills, you can explore the five-kilometre Mast Trail. This route will take you through the interior forest along an old logging trail.
Where: 7450 Kingston Road, Toronto, ON
Uber fare estimate: $36 – $47 from downtown Toronto
- Calgary hiking destinations
Just northwest of Calgary lies Nose Hill Park, one of the best remaining examples of the native grassland of the Canadian prairie. As you’re hiking around Nose Hill Park, keep your eyes peeled for archaeological sites. Because of its unique elevation, Nose Hill and neighboring Broadcast Hill were considered sacred by indigenous people and once used as burial and ceremonial sites. When you make it to the plateau, you’ll be rewarded with views of downtown Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. Don’t forget Fido—there are plenty of off-leash areas in the park.
Where: 5620 14 St NW, Calgary, AB
Uber fare estimate: $14 – $18 from downtown Calgary
Thanks to nearly a century of military use, Weaselhead Park has some rather unique features. Beginning in 1908, the Canadian military used the coniferous forest around the Elbow River for training exercises, so foxholes and trenches can still be found throughout the park. While it’s always a good idea to stay on marked trails when hiking in protected areas, it’s even more important in Weaselhead Flats—since a 2013 flood revealed unexploded ordinances buried around the park. The park was closed for six months so the explosives could be removed, but there is a slight chance that some explosives remain in areas that are off-limits to the public.
Where: 66 Ave and 37 St SW, Calgary, AB
Uber fare estimate: $20 – $26 from downtown Calgary
At 13.5 square kilometres, Fish Creek is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The 80 kilometres of paved and unpaved trails winding through Fish Creek Park are popular for hiking, biking, and horseback riding year-round. There are picnic tables, fire pits, and restroom facilities throughout the park, making Fish Creek a great choice for families. In the summer months, the beach at Sikome Lake draws thousands every weekend. In the quieter fall and winter months, you’ll have no trouble finding a little peace and quiet to walk through the woods or cast a line in the Bow River.
Where: 13610 24 Street Southwest, Calgary, AB
Uber fare estimate: $28 – $37 from downtown Calgary
- Edmonton hiking destinations
The North Saskatchewan River Valley around Edmonton features 20 parks that are known as the Ribbon of Green. The interconnected park system provides Edmonton residents with easy access to nature and outdoor activities any time of year. Many of the parks are connected by hiking and biking trails that form part of the 309-kilometre Waskahegan Walking Trail that runs through and around Edmonton. The parks of the North Saskatchewan River Valley are a true urban oasis, providing an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature.
Where: Kinsman Park, 9100 Walterdale Hill NW, Edmonton, AB
Uber fare estimate: $10 – $13 from downtown Edmonton
If you’re looking for an easy hike after work or just a new spot to walk your dog, Mill Creek Ravine is the place to go. Easily accessible, the trails here are both paved and gravel. There are plenty of off-leash areas for your pup to run and socialize while you enjoy a little pocket of nature in the middle of the city. Thanks to Mill Creek Ravine’s location in the heart of south Edmonton, you won’t have far to go to grab a beer and a bite afterward.
Where: 96 Street and 76 Avenue, Edmonton, AB
Uber fare estimate: $11 – $14 from downtown Edmonton
The Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area offers the chance to get a little farther from the urban centre and immerse yourself in nature. There are kilometres of interconnected trails, making it easy to plot out a hike of any length. There are several spots to begin your hike, but the Waskahegan Staging Area is the most accessible. Regardless of where you begin your hike, you’re likely to spot some wildlife. Just a forty minute drive from downtown Edmonton, the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot region is home to wolves, cougars, bears, and elk —as well as many smaller species like foxes and lynx.
Where: Sherwood Park, AB
Uber fare estimate: $48 – $64 from downtown Edmonton
Whether you’re just looking for a grassy expanse and some paved trails for a morning workout or you want to reconnect with nature with an all-day hike trip, you’ll find what you need within a short drive of Canada’s major cities.