Rouge Conservation Area Hiking

I am a liar…

In my last blog post, I said I would be trying a new trail every weekend in May without a car! While I did try a new trail this past weekend, I am a big fat liar who dragged their friends along so they ended up driving. In my defense when I invited my pal I thought we would be taking the bus together, but nonetheless! This is a trail that is super accessible by transit and super gorgeous.

How to get there
I went to the lookout spot in the winter to take some pics, unfortunately did not get one of the platform!

To get to the Rouge Conservation Area you need to end up on the 86A route to the Toronto Zoo. This bus starts at Kennedy subway station and then heads to the zoo, super easy and super convenient. When catching the bus just be mindful that you need the 86A as there is the 86c that runs pretty frequently and does not go to the trail!

The conservation area is just across from the Toronto Zoo at 1749 Meadowvale Rd. There are multiple trails in the conservation area including a lookout platform overlooking the beautiful cliff side!

The road less travelled
The ‘road’ we walked down

To start the hike my friends and I took what we thought was part of the trail and went down the rock road/what once was a road/weird path thing along the power lines that ended up being way more steep and treacherous than we had thought from the top. Luckily, we made it down the side trail in one piece and got a good laugh out of it. Definitely recommend staying on the well marked trail and not trying to decipher your own navigation!

Once we got to the bottom there was a side trail that looked like it had been well traversed and led us to the Little Rouge Creek. From there we walked through the forest and eventually climbed up the mountain side to get back to the main trail as we had reached a dead end.

The hill we ended up climbing.

Thankfully the trail was dry so we did not have to figure out how to navigate going up this hill in slippery conditions! Definitely learned my lesson about staying on the trail!

At the top of the pictured hillside is the Mast Trail which is where I spent the rest of my time in the Rouge Conservation Area.

Mast Trail
Me (Katherine) pictured next to a tree with a 'Mast Trail' sign nailed to it. I am wearing black leggings and a brown pullover sweater with a blue nalgene.
The trail was well marked and easy to follow!

Once I made it back onto the Mast trail I followed it for what was remaining of the 5.1km loop.

At one point on the trail you do need to cross over Twyn Rivers Dr. the crossing is well marked but there is no cross walk or lights to stop traffic. When you go make sure to keep an eye peeled especially if you have little ones with you.

The weather was wonderful and the trail was super well maintained. The trail is also dog friendly so I will have to take Spud with me next time. I saw some folks with strollers but there is quite a bit of uneven ground and definitely a lot of roots to navigate. You will need your all terrain stroller!

Don’t forget your mask!

The trail was overall super beautiful and also super busy! If you do visit the conservation area make sure you bring your mask, hand sanitizer, and stay safe, it is so important to get outside during these weird times but even more important to stay safe.

Here is a rough marking of the route I took however, I do not recommend going off trail. For your own safety and to follow leave no trace principles.

Have you ever been to Rouge Conservation Area? Tell me down below your favourite spot to hike in the city!
– Kat 🙂

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