In Mississauga, explore the 8 km Erin Sawmill Park Trail. An interesting ever-changing bicycle loop I designed because everyone loves loops. They bring you back to your start point when complete.
In 2020 I scouted this out and encounter a few sections being resurfaced by the city. So I waited till now to suggest it as a good, convenient city park ride for those on the west side of Toronto.
This route encompasses a few different trail sections so the name changes and so does the terrain. It flows well between one neighbourhood to the next with few street crossings as most roads have an underpass for cyclists. Hurray!
That said riding it for the first time will require a map to stay on course. There are lots of side trails to keep you guessing. Signs are posted, sometimes but this is not a loop the city has mapped out.
We started from Mississauga Rd. and The Collageway taking the Sawmill Valley Creek trail into the wooded ravine. It is shady as it follows the water on a dirt/woodchip path you need to contend with. This is the more natural, secluded part of the loop.
As it curves around westward it rises gradually 60 m to street level into more of an open parkland setting by the time you get to Pheasant Run Park. (Another good start point.) Here the kids can hit the playsets for a break.
For the rest of the route, which is all paved, you will be cruising the Glen Erin/5th Line pathways between townhome backyards and school playing fields.
And cruise you will, as you glide down the second half of this loop as it now descends back to your start point.
This route thou at times has a residential feel to your ride (as it is in the city). It is quiet and laid back. Cars are in the distance to be ignored and there are no commercial malls or industries you will encounter.
With that said, a quick detour can get you to a variety store or pub patio for a pit stop at any time on this loop.
Though short, this path is never boring and is one of the few off-road Park loops I know. Rated more of an Intermediate Park ride as you have to sort out your route, manage the elevation and unpaved spots.
By the way, the Culham Trail is another nearby route we ventured on and soon bailed. It turns eventually into a rough gravel base that requires a MTB. That may change as there were signs of upgrading this path.