Brampton has a number of conservation areas and nature trails that provide excellent hiking options. But if you’re willing to venture just an hour outside of the city you could be treated to some of the most scenic trails in the country. From cliffs and caves to waterfalls and interesting wildlife, these 10 trails offer varying landscapes at several degrees of difficulty, and stunning scenery you won’t soon forget.
COVID-19 note: all trails in this article are open, but may have restrictions or require reservations. Please call to confirm before making the trip.
Location: Guelph, ON
Drive time: 40 minutes away
Located in the town of Rockwood is a great conservation area that’s reminiscent of Northern Ontario. There are two main hiking trails one of which gives you a stunning view of the entire area. Other attractions include caves, a waterfall, mill ruins, and a beach to cool off after your hike. There is a small entrance fee.
Location: Milton, ON
Drive time: 30 minutes away
Located a short drive from Brampton this conservation area has trails for all skill levels. Great woodland views and Niagara Escarpment terrain are just part of the appeal here: there is a stunning waterfall that you can go behind and explore.
Located in the small town of Waterdown, Ontario is Smokey Hollow and the Grindstone Cascade. The trail here can be rough in places, but the stunning view of the Grindstone Cascade makes up for any difficulty you may have getting there. This place is a dream, especially in the fall with gorgeous leaves and water rushing through large boulders.
Located just outside Georgetown, this area has several trails. There are large loops that take you over ponds and through cracks in the escarpment, while other trails have waterfalls. One trail connects to Scottsdale Farm, a heritage farmstead that is open to the public. Silver Creek has roadside parking, or you can park at Scottsdale Farm.
The small town of Limehouse has great hiking. You can park either on the road, near town hall, near the school, or at the top by the sports fields. The hiking here is pretty easy, with plenty of opportunities to experience the Limehouse cascade, a stunning waterfall that cascades through an old stone arch.
Caledon Trailway is a nice easy hike close to the city. This is a long trail with a few parking spots at every road crossing and a major crossing over Hwy 10 at Ken Whillans Conservation area. The Caledon Trailway is a wide, flat trail and is used by hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders. In spring you’ll find a large number of turtle nests around any of the ponds along this trail.
If you take the 401 westbound, you have probably seen a cliff face. That cliff face is part of Kelso/Glen Eden. This is a fantastic hike. The view from the cliff top is stunning as you can pretty much see the entire GTA, and it makes a great spot to sit and have a quick lunch/snap photos — safely of course. Some of the trees you’ll see here are the oldest in the province.
You can’t compile a list of trails around Brampton without mentioning the esteemed Bruce Trail. There are far too many access points to list them all, but a notable one is to take Credit View Road north until it ends. There is a trail here that ends at a stunning view of the Credit Valley through Forks of the Credit. If you just want the view without all the hiking involved, you can park on Caledon Mountain Road in Belfountain.
There are several trails in this park. Park either on Mississauga Road near Cataract or in the park’s lot itself just off of McVean. If butterflies and wildflowers are your thing, take the meadow trail. Most people come here to hike down to the valley and see the old power plant and waterfall, though. Bring a lunch, there’s a great spot to sit and eat by the river.
If cliffs, caves and stunning views are your scene, this hiking trail will check all the boxes for you. This conservation area just north of Orangeville offers all three along with great hikes. The conservation area has a large parking lot and easy access to many trails with varying degrees of difficulty.