Why You Should Hike Along the Avon Trail

Explore nature with a scenic hike on this easy daytrip from the GTA

A hiker walks along a path on the Avon Trail in Ontario

If you’re looking to stretch your legs outside the city, try one of the routes along the beautiful Avon Trail. The 113-kilometre trail runs through some of the prettiest countryside southwestern Ontario has to offer. From St. Marys to Conestogo, it’s an easy drive from the GTA for those looking to decompress in nature. Just don’t forget to practice physical distancing and maintain a two-metre space between yourself and any fellow hikers you come across.

Here are four reasons to plan a visit to the scenic Avon Trail.

There’s a route for everyone

There are multiple trail heads where you can start your walk. Depending on your interest level, you can choose a route that will take an hour or five. There are a few hills—though they’re not challenging—and the trail is easy enough for kids (though it’s not stroller friendly).

Spot wildlife along the way

Glimpse a bounding white-tailed deer, bold raccoon, wild turkey and a variety of birds as you meander through forests and fields lined with crooked split rail fences and along the banks of burbling creeks. Don’t forget to look down: the forest floor bursts with mushrooms, acorns and fuzzy caterpillars.

You can be in the moment

The trail is infused with vignettes—abandoned sugar shacks and old cars, a random signpost in a forest. These are surprising when you find them. But there are many more moments when you simply breathe in the air deeply, sit by a stream or become mesmerized by light penetrating a stand of pines.

It’s easy to navigate

The trail has its own app you can download to navigate the trail with its interactive map. Otherwise, you can order the trail guidebook ahead of time.

For information about seasonal closures and general trail information, go to avontrail.ca.

Save on the way

Use the CAA Mobile App to find the nearest (and cheapest) gas station along your route.

Keep reading

As the weather warms up, learn how to protect yourself against blacklegged ticks when you’re outdoors.

Image credit: Courtesy of the Avon Trail

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