10 August 2013 The Riverside Trail has been closed for some years now due to the meandering of the Rouge River itself making the northern part of this trail dangerous to navigate where the bank has been eroded. The southern part of this trail is passable but Rouge Park officials have closed the entire Riverside Trail as it continues to be unstable.
We have been asked to update our trail maps by the Rouge to keep our hike on the recommended trails which we have done in this update in August 2013. In addition the trail map now shows four possible parking spots for the hike. You can begin and end the hike at any one of these parking lots and adjust the hike length by adding or removing trails such as the Cedar Trail and the Mast Trail depending on where you choose to begin the hike.
I always preferred beginning the hike at Pearse House near the zoo. However the zoo (boo!) has now erected "No Parking" signs all along the roadway near Pearse House. This parking restriction is in effect from May - September from 9 am - 6 pm. The reason has to do with increased visits to the zoo for the panda exhibition. If you still wish to park in this area, there are new lots to the north of the road which will cost you $10 per car. It's understandable why they are doing this as there is no (easy) way to distinguish hikers from zoo visitors.
The name of the L04 hike has been changed to Rouge Park. The following updates have been made: new trail map showing official routes and 5 parking locations; new photo album with 40 photos taken last Saturday August 10, 2013 showing the Mast, Orchard and Vista trails with the other 20 photos showing the Cedar Trail last autumn; new updated gps log; and new trail guide. revised road map showing the location of the four possible trailheads.
The Rouge Park would prefer that you stay on the main marked trails and stay off closed trails. Remember that biking is not allowed in the park although two bikes did pass me on the Mast Trail.
If you would like to explore another trail along the Little Rouge Creek, you can begin at parking area P4 on Meadowvale Rd. From this lot, cross the bridge and pick up the trail along the creek on your right. This is quite a scenic area and you won't get lost if you keep close to the Little Rouge. You can hike as far as the railway crossing but then there is no easy way to get past this. There is a path up the steep railway stone bed but this looks dangerous. You could try to squeeze through the metal and rock mass at the edge of the creek, or do what the path seems to do in satellite views -cross the Little Rouge Creek in your rubber boots and then back again. Too bad the railway company didn't make the minimal effort required to allow passage under the bridge for hikers. Perhaps they forgot. If you look at this area in Google Earth, you can see that this trail goes all the way up to Steeles. If you find a good passage, let us know because a bit further north there is a second set of train tracks.