Rouge Valley – Park Trail

Posted on May 22, 2021 / 6309
Rouge Valley – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Note : New Trail
Total Trail Km : 12
Park Path % : 97
Road % : 3
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : paved, crushed gravel, wood chips, gentle hills
Faclities : parking, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, lodging, trails maintained
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 12+ km (one way)

97% park path
3 % road crossings, detours

Elevation – Flat along creek, short gradual hills, a few quick, steep climbs over bridges 

Terrain – Patchy surface partly paved other sections are gravel or woodchips. Path varies in width. Bridges, boardwalks and short road crossings with traffic lights.

Skill – Easy rolling for everyone

Maps – None yet say Rouge Valley, some signs say Villages & Valleys. Expect new signage soon. You may need to refer to a map app on your phone.

Traffic – Busy on weekends, typical path users, tourists

Facilities –  Parking lot, toilets, benches, picnic tables, rain shelters, bike repair stations, swimming at Milne Dam

Highlights – Boardwalks, large ponds/lakes, many bridges, (some grand), old homes, ever-changing scenery, tourist stops

Trail Fee – Free

Phone – 905 477 5530

Website – City of Markam 

Similar Trails – Oshawa Creek,  Nokiidaa,  Speed River

Local Clubs – Toronto Bicycle Network – TBN

Access –  On the north end there are two entry points for this trail south of 16th Ave. (we parked on a side street as there are no lots)

The trail runs by Toogood Pond and Carlton Rd. and Main St., here you can find parking lots or space on side streets. Large lots at Milne Dam Conservation Park and the Rouge River Community Centre further south.

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In Markam, a suburb on the north side of Toronto, we found a surprisingly pleasant 12 km bike cruise called the Rouge Valley trail. Following the Bruce Creek into the upper Rouge River tributaries, we encountered a patchwork of trails that lead us to ponds, a lake, bridges and dams that we loved.

We set out on a chilly spring day and found the trek full of winding ever-changing landscape that kept us interested in going further. Much of it was still natural and not overly cultivated open parkland.

Starting from the top at 16th Ave. we headed southeast following the creek on a twisty and easily navigable narrow path. Onward through ravines, over many boardwalks and bridges we went. The surface was old cracked asphalt with sections of gravel or a wood chip base.

Nothing was unmanageable on a good city bike with medium-sized tires. This was indicative of the rest of the ride. Some parts are newly paved, others not at all. A few road crossings are required but none seemed hazardous as larger crossings had lights.

I was going to call this route the Villages and Valley trail as posted on signs in the middle section of this ride.  Yet upon more research online, I believe it will be called the Rouge Valley trail, but I saw no signage saying so. This one in Markam is not to be confused with the larger, more well know Rouge Valley trails east of here in a much more significant valley. (I think this is a poor choice in names.)

We should expect someday soon directional signs are coming. Currently, it’s a little disjointed, regardless you can figure it out in short order. We didn’t get lost but adding a painted line down the middle works for me.

As now the longest bike trail in Markam, it is taking shape as two massive (impressive $$!) pedestrian metal bridges have just been built to join the route at the Milne Dam Conservation Park to more riding to the south. This path ends after you go under Hwy 407 and you cycle around the edge of a golf course.

On your return, there are options to take other paths closer to the water at Milne Dam or ride the other side of Waldon and Toogood Ponds, all worth seeking out.

Here is the best part, take your time, there are so many reasons to stop and relax, and forget about your worries. At Toogood Pond find a bench and watch the many geese swim about. Or visit the Varley Art Gallery or meander by the old storefronts in historic Unionville further south.

Plan a lunch there or at the Milne reservoir which has picnic tables for your group. Or cycle just beyond this park to the old village of Markham. Just head north for five minutes when you get to Markam Road.

A quick drive up the DVP highway will take you to the north end on 16th Ave. in no time.  A great find within the GTA and another recommended jaunt for local Torontonians.


This new ride review is not yet published in my book. But 65 other great destinations are with better maps, elevation graphs and more parking locations. Available as an eBook or paperback.


Rouge Valley - Markham bike trail map

Rouge Valley - Markham bike trail map

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