One of the best sections of the Waterfront Trail system lies out on the east side of Toronto, on the far end of Scarborough into Pickering.
This 9 km scenic paved park trail has serene views of Lake Ontario that crosses over Highland Creek and the Rouge River.
The landscape is forever changing, and the elevation though mainly flat at lake level does rise over bluffs and to cross bridges. Well paved and marked it is a popular, well-used route with good reason.
The path starting from the west end at East Point Park descends a long steep hill to meet up with three bridges at Highland Creek (also a great trail ride). The other bridge is for the train tracks that separate you from the neighbourhood exits till Port Union and the Rouge Hill GO Station.
Passing by many stone water breakers and beach inlets, one eventually comes to the mouth of the Rouge River. This is a buzz of activity on a weekend with kayakers, fishermen, and families BBQing.
Take the white pedestrian bridge up and over the river that leads you to Rodd Ave. which is one of a few short road detours on this route.
A quick run across the parkland in Petticoat Creek Conservation Area and you will need to detour up and around the block on the road again. Take Marksbury Rd. to Surf Ave. then to W. Shore Blvd.
The last detour is much larger at Frenchman’s Bay. There is no bridge at the channel so you need to go up and around.
I have included the part that gets you to the top, as it continues a pleasant trek with two quiet street detours to connect.
When you get to the top at Bayly St. and hear the 401 hwy it’s all road riding over and down the other side to the Pickering marina. If you choose to continue, there is a lot more similar bike riding to Ajax, Oshawa and beyond from here.
This ride had a signs asking to walk the bridges, which I found odd as they were as wide as the paths themselves. Are riders falling off bikes when they see a bridge?
For those of you far away, consider taking the GO train as it stops at Rouge Hill station right beside the path.
Always cooler by the lake, pack a windbreaker. As you can see in the photos, on a nice day it is a joy to cruise on.