Highland Creek – Park Trail

Scarborough, Toronto
Updated April 25, 2019
Highland Creek – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Note : NEW Review
Total Trail Km : 7
Park Path % : 90
Road % : 10
Rate Skill Levels : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : sandy spots, smooth soil, paved, crushed gravel, bridges, flat sections, drains well, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, change rooms, trailhead map, good trail signage, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 7 km (one way)

90% park path
10% roads, crossings, parking lots

Elevation – Ride the hill down to get to the bottom of the valley; then a flat path with a slight slope down to the lake.

Terrain – A wide asphalt path with some sections of gravel and sand, as well as crossings at both metal and wooden bridges.

Skill – Easy

Traffic – Cyclists, walkers, dogs, strollers; never too busy.

Maps – There is a map at the trailhead, as well as signs on the trail. (Note that some were missing.)

Facilities – Plenty of parking lots and a few washrooms, as well as park benches and picnic tables. There are no food stores close by.

Highlights – Views of Lake Ontario, beaches, bridges, and a quiet ravine valley; Morningside Park and University of Toronto, Scarborough campus.

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – Toronto 311

Website – Toronto Conservation

Similar Trails – Humber River,  Taylor Creek

Local Clubs – Toronto Bicycle Network

Access – Find parking on the west side end of Greenvale Terrace, central Morningside Park, or on the east side at Old Kingston Rd. and Highland Creek Dr.; also access from the Waterfront Trail at the lake, or park in the east at the other side of the treatment plant.

Highland Creek Park is a favourite local getaway. Explore the ever-changing landscape as you ride this 7 km trail, especially when the fall colours are out. This bike path curves up and around Kingston Rd. to Morningside Park then back down to Lake Ontario.

I recall the path as easy and paved, flowing back and forth over the creek via bridges and on to the lake.

The route never seems too busy, and feels as though you are riding out of the city. Looking up from the path at the treeline it’s not hard to imagine you are in the country, as the houses are just out of sight.

The park has a half-manicured parkland, half-wild ravine feel. Two creeks meet in the valley, and flash floods seem to damage the path every year. There may be detours set up, as the city is always working on the problem.

Once down in the valley, there are no monstrous hills—until you need to get out. The signage keeps you on track, but a few more markers would be nice.

In the middle of the route is Morningside Park, a large woodland that can be a starting point or the perfect picnic stop. With families coming here for BBQs, it has plenty of picnic tables and washrooms.

East, and up the north bank of the valley, sits the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus. These modern, architectural builds are worth a look, but the path there starts as a gradual climb and soon ends at a flight of stairs. (Hmm, not so bike friendly. Time to hike-a-bike….)

Watch for the two large road bridges you pass under, as you ride farther down. Growing on the flood plains at the mouth of the creek are some lovely fields of ferns under the tree canopy.

When you reach the lake, three metal bridges greet riders at the mouth of the creek. Wait fifteen minutes and I am sure a train will roar by.

Down at the water’s edge, find a place on the beach to stop and dream away the day, or read a book.

Take in the view of Lake Ontario and decide which way to go: head back or find much more path to ride, heading east along the Rouge Valley part of the Waterfront Trail.

MTB riders will only find the odd short trail, surprisingly not much here worth trying.

For those coming from farther away, the Guildwood GO station is close to the west end of the trail.

This is the best bike trail in Scarborough, and a top ride in the city. I am not sure everyone knows this, but now you do!

Open Street Map
Highland Creek bike trail map

Highland Creek bike trail map

Total Score 1 REVIEW
Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout:
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Fun Factor: Scenic: Trail Design: Technical: Workout: