Toronto Islands – Park Trail Toronto
Posted on April 6, 2019
Toronto Islands – Park Trail
Listing Types : Park Trail
Note : Cruising
Total Trail Km : 15
Park Path % : 30
Road % : 70
Rate Skill Levels : Easy
Terrain : sandy spots, paved, crushed gravel, flat sections
Faclities : food close by, toilet, outhouse, drinking water, change rooms, lodging, trailhead map, good signage, trails maintained, bike rentals
Trail Fee : Free

Length – 15 km (5.5 km from end to end)

30% park path
70% road

Elevation – Flat, like the prairies.

Terrain – Wide asphalt roads with a few local service vehicles, as well as patches of gravel and sand.

Skill – Easy

Traffic – Busy in the peak season; watch for park vehicles and wandering tourists.

Maps – A few signposts and maps along the trail.

Facilities – Public washrooms, restaurants, patios, as well as a bike rental, picnic areas, and opportunities for swimming.

Highlights – Take in the city skyline, a small amusement park, the lighthouse, old cottages, yacht clubs, and four beaches, including Hanlan’s Beach (an optional nude beach).

Trail Fee – Free; $4.00+ for the ferry, depending on ticket type.

Phones – Toronto 311

Website – City of Toronto

Similar Trails – HarbourfrontAjaxHamilton Beach

Local Clubs – Toronto Bicycle Network (TBN)

Access – Ride in from any of the three island ferry docks.

Bringing a bike on the ferry is allowed, but on busy and long weekends it will be tricky with the crowds to get it there. If you can, it is better to go on a weekday in the summer.

Some years, the lake level is too high during the spring. This may cause flooding on parts of the island and delay the opening.

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This popular cycling destination is a joy to ride and a great day trip. Traffic is light, with only a few service vehicles and us cyclists, walkers, and seagulls.

Most of the Park trail is paved asphalt, but there are many side trails that take you onto crushed-stone paths and wooden boardwalks.

A direct line from one end of the island to the other is about 5.5 km; triple that distance by wandering down the different paths.

The Toronto Islands consist of (I counted) fifteen small islands, some of which are private sail clubs or animal sanctuaries.

There are three ferry routes to the island, and taking any one of them will be a great start to your island adventure. But note they are different.

If wanting to only cycle half the islands, I recommend the ferry to Ward Island on the eastern half to see the quaint, old cottage homes. (Sadly, there was once three times as many.)

The west side of the islands has a few marinas, some parkland, and the airport. It is perhaps a bit less appealing, but more tranquil for a picnic lunch.

On this end, you will find the longest beach in the area, Hanlan’s Point.

In the central area are the public gardens, more parkland, a small kids’ amusement park, and the pier jutting out from the beach.

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, circa 1808, is the oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes (and they say haunted!).

The Toronto Islands have a long history, and were formed from the sands from the Scarborough Bluffs. (First by a shifting sandbar and then, after many storms, the islands were formed.)

Bikes may be rented on the…

 

…to read more, please consider buying my trail guide.

Toronto Island bike paths map

Toronto Island bike paths map

 
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