For people that live in the vast lands of the true north, Torontonian's are for the most part, pretty out of touch with their roots. (Except the store obvi, gotta have those salt and pepper sweats). Sometimes it's hard to imagine a day out of the hustle of the city, especially with so many exciting things going on as summer comes to a close. But we all need a break at times, and there's nothing more calming than taking a day away from our crazy connected world to get some much needed calm vibes back in your life.
Sure, for some people walking through a forest or staring at a waterfall seems as exciting as a mid season American Idol re-run. But on the real, we are incredibly lucky to live next to some amazing natural landscapes that can give you a fresh perspective on your everyday routine. So go! Take a summer adventure to one of these breathtaking locations, whether you want to have a fun filled day, or get in touch with your inner zen, go! It would be a waste not to enjoy the beauty that's literally right beside us.
1. Rouge Park // Scarborough
Rivers, trails and trees oh my! Get away from the cab ridden downtown scene, and replace the DVP with trails that will do the exact opposite of your morning commute. Only 20 minutes outside of the city means this is a trip you have no excuse not to make!
2. Willoughby Nature Reserve // Caledon
48-hectares of stunning forest is all yours at the Willoughby Nature Reserve which is just a quick drive away from the 6ix. Whether you plug in your Frank Ocean sound track or go minimal and just take in the sound of the sounds of the bluebirds and owls known to roam around the region.
3. Long Point Provincial Park // Port Rowan
Right by the shores of Lake Erie you'll be overcome by a sense of serenity that only the beauty of over 1.5 km shores of beach can give you. This beautiful park is worth the drive from Toronto for the clear water and sandy shores!
4. Lake On The Mountain // Picton Bay
Go beyond getting back to nature and see the miraculous natural sight that is the Lake on the Mountain. Beyond it's amazing turquoise water, unlock the secrets of how it even got there. What am I talking about? The lake has no visible water source, and the Mohawks called it Onokenoga (Lake of the Gods) and thought that spirits were in the deep waters. Ummm summer adventure? I THINK SO.
5. Grenadier Pond // High Park
There's a reason everyone on the west coast is so chill, they're by the water 24/7. And there's something about taking in the views of blue waters that reminds you to take a deep breath, remember you're part of something bigger, and relax. That's exactly the kind of serenity you can get in High Park at the Grenadier Pond. Best part? You don't even have to leave the city to see all this nature. BOOM! (That's the sound of the mic dropping by the way).
6. Rattlesnake Point // Milton
Whether you're coming here for a day or a weekend, you'll never be bored with the surplus of natural sights and activities at this unreal Ontario gem. From campsites, beautiful nature trails, rock climbing sites, to look out points that will redefine your definition of views; this place is a must hit for a natural cleanse. Can't make it in the summer? The surplus of forestry means there are some amazing fall colours that come out!
7. Riverdale Farm // Cabbagetown
You don't even have to leave the city to experience the stunning simplicity that comes with a life filled of farming. Think taking a stroll is only for those who still call it the Skydome? Have you ever taken hours thinking about nothing but the scenery around you? If the answers no, it's a beautiful thing, and Riverdale farm is the perfect oasis to take you there.
8. Smoky Hollow Falls // Hamilton
For a one hour drive you can be transported to a land that can only be described as Narnia like. Multiple picturesque waterfalls are the claim to fame for Hamilton, and Smoky Hollow Falls is one that is sure not to disappoint! You'll (water)fall in love.
9. Cheltenham Badlands // Caledon
These badlands are nothing short of badass. Are you in Ontario or are you in Arizona? Take in the stunning sight of these red clay hills that actually came from poor farming erosion. All we can say is that our nature loving side couldn't be happier for that beautiful mistake! Heads up, you can't actually go on the badlands!! But you can go for a sick photo op.
10. Mono Cliffs Provincial Park // Orangeville
Why not switch up your hour commute via the Gardnier for an hour drive to this natural oasis? There are small caves, nature trails and rave reviews about the beautiful landscapes. Surrounding yourself with tall trees instead of tall buildings will give you that much needed dose of nature you've been craving.
11. Belfountain Provincial Park // Belfountain
GTA coming in strong again with the natural gems! This park is nothing short of spectacular. From a rustic wooden bridge over a waterfall, to a quick hiking trail there's just enough here to make you feel refreshed enough to take on anything the city throws at you.
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