Toronto is a city blessed by the idea of the outdoor adventure, the urban retreat, the nature spot. Name a city better equipped to facilitate a nature escape. You can't. From the Don to the Humber, this is a place uniquely blessed by ravines, streams, and everything between.
Here are my picks for the top outdoor adventures in Toronto this summer.
Paddle to the Island
This is perhaps the most iconic of Toronto adventures, and while it might seem simple, you'll need to do some planning. Rent a canoe or kayak and head out from east end of the harbour with a backpack full of food for lunch on the Island before paddling home to the mainland.
Climb up Rattlesnake Point
Located just outside of Toronto, Rattlesnake Point is one of the best places to climb in the province. Head here on a weekday (it's too busy otherwise) to make an attempt at traversing the full rock-face, which will take a whole lot of effort and skill.
Mountain biking the length of the Don River
Anyone can ride along the Don trails, but if you want a true Toronto adventure, try to trace the length of the river on a bike. You'll have to spend some time plotting out the route, and you'll inevitably hit the road at some parts, but you can ride mostly on trails all the way from the waterfront to Bayview and Steeles.
Hike from Bluffer's Park to Rouge Beach
Everyone loves a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs, but if you want to make an adventure out of one of Toronto's most amazing geological features, you can try to hike them all the way to Glen Rouge Beach. You'll have to do some beach-walking, but this is a gorgeous journey.
Fish in the Humber River
Toronto's waterways are rich with salmon, perch, and that most scary, non-winning of fish that is carp. If you're feeling adventurous, start at the mouth of the Humber River and hike north while casting a line in the waterway. Something will surely bite if you're patient enough.
Le Tour de Toronto
Want a Toronto adventure that'll really test your mettle? Try to hit every one of the city's toughest climbs in a single ride. Too tough? Spread the hills out over a few rides. The best time to do this in mid July when the European peloton is slogging it out in the Alps.
Urban river kayaking
Yes, you can do this. Rent a canoe or kayak from Paddle Toronto and head down the old river before arriving underneath the Toronto skyline. The current gets nasty after the Arch Bridge, but the view is the worth effort.
Urban Scavenger Hunt
If you want to experience the city with a new set of eyes, try an urban scavenger hunt. It'll test your knowledge of Toronto and problem solving skills, all the while forcing you to explore the city that you already call home.
Tracing Toronto's concrete river
You're a person who like nature and concrete. This controlled watershed is the quintessence of the relationship between city and nature, and you can (legally) follow its hard shores as Black Creek snakes south of Eglinton.
Walking the end of the Earth at the Leslie Street Spit
There's no preparation required to tour the Leslie Street Spit aside from packing a good lunch, but you can spend a whole day here exploring its nooks and crannies in a way that most visitors never bother to. Venture off the central path to find the residue bricks worn by 40 years of waves, rare bird species, and the tender balance between development and nature
Photo by Piotr Halka in the blogTO Flickr pool.
by Derek Flack via blogTO