walklistThe Urban Walk Series presents a group of pleasant urban walks for fitness and fun. Some of the walks are modified Discovery Walks where we try to give additional direction in places where the Discovery Walks can be a bit ambiguous as to where to go next.  In addition we present some background information about the area and parks and give detailed directions to the start point. All of the walks begin and end at TTC subway stations or bus and streetcar lines. Also provided is a photo album slideshow of scenes along the walk plus a zipped track log that can be downloaded to your GPS if desired. We hope you enjoy these walks.

Waterfall_Screen_3976555These are some of the best known waterfalls along the Niagara Escarpment from Dundas to Niagara Falls itself. While Niagara Falls is by far the best known area falls and perhaps the most spectacular, there are dozens of other lovely waterfalls along the Escarpment. Hamilton alone has some 15 waterfalls on the horseshoe-shaped section of the Niagara Escarpment that rims the city. Most of these are as high as a 3 to 5 storey building and one is almost as high as Niagara Falls.

While we haven’t visited them all, some claim there are as many as 70 waterfalls on the Escarpment although a number of them are very small. Some are cascading falls while others have multiple falls -an upper and a lower falls.

For hikes with waterfalls, look for the "F" in the hike number, i.e L45F in the Hiking section.

fallsnotes_1731905There are in the neighourhood of 70 waterfalls along the Niagara Escarpment, located between Niagara Falls and Tobermory, whose formation was influenced by the variety of geological conditions found along the escarpment. The Bruce Trail passes by many of these waterfalls.

Some of the waterfalls are cascading falls and some have multiple falls, upper, middle and lower falls. When you encounter any of these waterfalls while travelling along the trails, you will have some amazing sights that will definitely turn your walk into a very special one.

In this series of notes we describe how waterfalls are formed and explain how we classify the falls on this site. In addition we have developed a rating system for waterfalls that we have applied to each waterfall. The three criteria used in the ratings are also outlined.

Tutorials

Tutorials

main_5569700We include here a series of tutorials on a wide range of topics related to hiking in the outdoors. These range from selecting equipment such as day packs, hiking boots, clothing and socks to reading trail markings and dealing with a lightning thunderstorm or being lost in the woods. We also cover some of the other dangers in hiking such as meeting a bear or coyote. Some tutorials try to explain concepts such as reading an elevation profile or a topographic map and selecting a gps. Others cover equipment use such as using a hiking pole or packing a backpack. Videos are included where appropriate.

ecol-o-gy \ i-'käljê\ n. pl. -gies [G ökologie, fr. Ök-ec- + -logie -logy] (1858) 1. A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments. 2. The totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment. 3. HUMAN ECOLOGY. (Source: Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary)

ECO: It certainly isn't a new word. In Greek ("oikos"), it means the home, the place where we live. And ecology means the science of how all living creatures interact within our home - our environment on this fascinating and complex Earth.

In fact, it seems that many people think of the word “ecology” only in its biological context and as a synonym for the word "environment." While it’s true that the term "environment" generally refers to the sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an organism, the term "ecology" examines the relationship of living things to one another and their environment, or the study of such relationships.

   ES_carolinian_forest

What is the Carolinian Life Zone?

 ES_ontario_prairie  
 ES_ontario_tallgrass    ES_toronto_waterfront  
 ES_ontario_savanna    ES_ontario_greenbelt  
 ES_ontario_wetland    ES_great_lakes_sml  
       

 

 

     

ecology_5415949

ECO: It certainly isn't a new word. In Greek ("oikos"), it means the home, the place where we live. And ecology means the science of how all living creatures interact within our home - our environment on this fascinating and complex Earth.

In fact, it seems that many people think of the word “ecology” only in its biological context and as a synonym for the word "environment". While it’s true that the term "environment" generally refers to the sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an organism, the term "ecology" examines the relationship of living things to one another and their environment, or the study of such relationships.

 

ecology_323000Flora and fauna refer to plant and wildlife, respectively. The indigenous plant and wildlife of a geographical region is often referred to as that region’s flora and fauna. Both are collective terms, referring to groups of plant or wildlife specific to a region or a time period. For example, the flora and fauna of a warm region may consist of tropical to warm-temperate vegetation and exotic species of birds.

The flora of the Great Lakes region includes white pine, hemlock, sugar and red maples, yellow birch, and beech trees. The fauna of the Great Lakes region includes deer, black bear, opossum, gray and red squirrels, otter, beaver, fox, coyote and skunk; birds include eastern bluebird, red-winged blackbird, robin, wood thrush, woodpecker, oriole, bobolink, crow, hawk, bittern, heron, black duck, and loon. Further north in the boreal forest area there are moose, caribou, black bear, lynx, timber wolf, marten, beaver, porcupine, snowshoe rabbit, red squirrel, and chipmunk.

hike_3647517To go for a hike, all you need is to put one foot in front of the other. That will go a long way to keeping you healthy and increasing your fitness. But a number of other things can make it a safer and more pleasant experience.  Here is TorontoHiking’s list of 10 essentials that hikers shouldn't leave home without.

Keep in mind that long lists of required items for a hike increases your pack weight, and hence fatigue and the chance of injury. We recommend a goal of keeping pack weight down as much as possible in order to hike longer distances with less effort.

Here is TorontoHiking’s list of 10 essentials that hikers shouldn't leave home without.

adventure_284878If you are looking for more than hiking the same local trails over and over, consider an adventure tour with an experienced local tour operator that offfers the personal touch. That way you can experience remote wilderness, meet locals, feel safe, be well taken care of and enjoy an adventure vacation like no other. Leave all the nagging details to someone else and just enjoy the whole outdoor experience. Many trips are designed for regular people with a reasonable level of fitness and an interest in outdoor activities so you can challenge yourself a little – or a lot, if that’s what you’re after. There are a number of  local and not-so-local tour hosts that are very good but most of my adventure trips were taken with a local Toronto group called Comfortable Hiking. I know you'll be very comfortable with them -just tell Maddalena that "Jack recommended you".

beyond_7270If you've travelled outside of Southern Ontario, and have some photos of the trip that you'd like to share with our visitors, then we'd be happy to have you send them along to us to feature in "Your Beyond Ontario". It can be Northern Ontario or even Southern Ontario where we haven't been. There is a lot of great hiking all across Canada that we'd like to feature as well. The USA is another great hiking area that interests many. Of course there are those tropical places that we love to visit and hike in exotic locales. Beyond Ontario can stretch across the oceans as well and we're interested in that also.

Give us a bit off background and some titles for the photos and contact us. It's probably a pain to have to send twenty photos two at a time using our contact us form, but if you let us know, we can give you our direct email address and you can just attach the photos as attachments and email them that way.

TorontoHiking Blog

Through this blog, I hope all of us with a love of hiking and the outdoors can communicate thatblog-keyboard to each other and to others. By giving people access to some of the things they may need for hiking, perhaps more people will be encouraged to hit the trails. But this is also the place to give us feeback on the site and your suggestions to improve it. You can share your photos with us and let us know about good youtube videos to add to the over 100 already on the site.

You can also share your hiking anecdotes, trail closure and update information and correct anything that needs it on the site. One person can't do it all and I'm looking for your input. You can suggest new hikes for us to explore and add to the present collection. We have quite a few rss news feeds ranging from budget travel for seniors to weather reports and hiking news.

Guest Blogs Welcome

Write for TorontoHiking Guest Blogs...
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hikers_710834These are the main hikes of torontohiking.com. All of the hikes listed below are either “loop” or "linear" hikes.

Loop hikes begin and end at the same point meaning you can park, do the hike and return to your car at the point where you started. You don’t have to walk along the trail for a distance and then turn around and come back to the starting point. Instead there are at least one or more loops so that you are crossing new country as you walk. Sometimes there are some short common sections between loops.

Linear hikes begin at one point and end further along the trail at another point. One way to do a linear hike is by car jockeying with a friend using two cars. To do this, park one car at the end and drive the other car to the start of the linear point-to-point trail. When you reach the end of the hike, drive back to the start. Another alternative is the linear return” in which you walk from one point to another and then return along the same trail or by using an alternate road route for the return.

waypoint_7957Waypoint trail guides give point-to-point descriptions along the trail along with the hiking distance in metres following the trail from waypoint to waypoint. They point out major intersections and turns in the trail to follow the selected route. Road crossings and intersections with side trails are all noted in the description. We also try to give a bit of the flavour of the hike by descibing the scenery and wildlife encounters we had along the trial with any special features of note.

Rivers and lakes encountered or requiring crossing are named along with any waterfalls on the route. In addition, difficult sections of the trail are described.

In order to help you select hikes in a particular area, we have grouped the hikes in four ways.

  • By location
  • Easy, shorter hikes
  • Challenging hikes
  • Long hikes
If you are looking for a fall colours hike, try one of these or see our fall colour drives and photos.

Updates to our hiking trails and trail guide information
including reroutes and closures of trail sections.

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Our selection of events of interest to hikers in Ontario. If your organization has an upcoming
event of interest to local hikers, please submit the event to us for publication.

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Our selection of the latest hiking news around Southern
Ontario and beyond of interest to hikers.

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