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Hike Info

N44.03952  W79.08950

14 km

4.5 h

Beginner/intermediate

282 m

Undulating hills and hollows

Free parking

None

Along the route as desired

08 Jul 2005

Not wheelchair accessible>/p>

None

You can omit any of the loops.

The Oak Ridges Moraine

X-country skiing; snowshoeing

 

The Site

Walker Woods

The Walker Woods hike takes place on the moraine. The Oak Ridges Moraine is Canada’s largest moraine created when a glacier retreated 10 000 to 12 000 years ago, leaving behind this massive ridge 170 km long ranging in width from two to thirty km. The hills are composed of sandy and gravely soil with the underlying till or boulder clay protruding up in places to form high ridges. Where a large block of ice broke off the glacier, a hole is left when it melted forming a lake, pond or wetland.

Trail leads into a pine woods

Rain that is collected and stored in the moraine’s vast underground layers of sand and gravel, which are known as aquifers, eventually resurfaces as healthy, clean water that feeds the majority of river systems in the Greater Toronto Area. As a unique and valuable environmental asset, the moraine is a key water resource, an area rich in biodiversity and a beautiful landform.

However, other land uses such as urban development and the extraction of sand and gravel compete for space on the moraine. 

Multi-use Trails – 74 kilometres: The multi-use trail network includes the Oak Ridges and Trans Canada trails and consists of a series of linked routes. The system provides users with a great variety of loop alternatives to explore over 1,500 hectares of forested area and experience significant natural heritage features and breathtaking vistas. The multi-use trails are all available for non-motorized, passive recreational use.

Trail marker posts are located at major trail intersections and other key locations. The posts are oriented to the north, are numbered and have directional signage including maps to help you navigate through the forest. As you travel through the forest you will notice that some apparent trails are not shown on the map. Toronto and Region Conservation and the local trails committee have declared these trails as surplus and have closed them to minimize impact on the natural environment. Please respect “closed trail” signs. Look for trail indicator signs that will let you know you are on an official trail and help to guide you in the correct direction. 

The key to surviving our long, cold Canadian winters is to find an enjoyable activity to do outside. Walker Woods is one area where people experience how pleasurable it is to travel the trails on skis or snowshoes in the winter. You'll find the trails look completely different without the leaves and with the ground covered in snow and the sun gleaming trough the bare trees.

When I first did this hike, it was a challenge to plan a route. There are numerous side trails throughout the Walker Woods area increasing the possibility of getting lost.  You will need to follow our maps and instructions carefully until improved trail marking is in place. We recommend the use of a compass or gps when traveling on these trails if you are not familiar with the area.

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