Rouge National Urban Park

In celebration of the 150th year of Confederation, we are trying to visit every Canadian National Park that we can. 

Of all the parks across Canada, Rouge National Urban Park was always the hardest one to plan to visit.  Not because it’s far away, but because it’s so close.  I mean, it’s on the eastern border of Toronto and I work in Toronto.  Which means I don’t want to go to Toronto unless I have to.  Well as luck would have it, I agreed to make a birthday cake for a woman at work for her daughter’s birthday.  It was a perfect excuse to head to the city and I may as well make the trip worthwhile and bring the dogs with me.

It was already hot when I dropped the cake off even though I couldn’t feel it since I had the air conditioner on full blast to keep the frosting from melting.  In fact, I think I lost all feeling in my toes during that drive.  Once the package was safely delivered, we headed to the park.

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That is one terrifying Elmo.

Now you would think by now that I would have figured out where I was going before I left home.  However, you would also think that a major urban park would have signs indicating where one would park and where gates are and such.  I later learned that what makes getting to the main gate confusing is that it is in the same area as the Toronto Zoo.  Now the park may be nice, but there is no way I am going to be paying to park, especially on such a hot day when we are not likely to spend hours wandering around.

Eventually I found a sign for Rouge Park and turned in to the Woodlands Trail.  Almost immediately, the sounds of the city died away and I could almost forget that we on the border of the largest city in Canada.  The sign in the parking lot warning about coyotes and ticks may scare off some people; but not us.

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There’s something you don’t see every day.

There are well-marked and level trails but we soon ducked off those and into the trees.  The smaller and more shaded trail was more to our liking.  Soon we found ourselves walking next to a stream and I couldn’t resist letting the dogs jump into the water; to drink and cool off of course.  Even in the shade, it felt like an oven.  We stayed in the water as long as we could.  We even found a little den under some branches that hung over a rocky bar.  Jack and Leo channelled their inner tightrope walkers on some fallen logs.  Piper would not participate in such silliness.

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Piper eying the trail.
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First dip in the water.
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Our little den.
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Leo balances…
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Leo pounces!
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Jack makes it look easy.
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The view from inside. Kind of wish I had brought a chair and drinks…errr I mean snacks.
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We were here.

Finally it was time to go home.  Ummmmmm hey guys do you remember where we parked the car?  I know it’s somewhere thatta way…Crud.  I had been so relaxed that I had been aimlessly wandering downstream.

Needless to say, we ended up taking a somewhat scenic route rather than do the simple thing and backtrack.  I will say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip to the Rouge and even though it was a great day for a hike, we hardly saw anyone there.

I’m happy to say that Rouge National Urban Park is currently under development.  It is slated to expand from roughly 40 sq km (15.4 sq mi) to almost 80 sq km (30.5 sq mi).  That’s huge!  Not only that, the park can be accessed by public transit and there’s a campground in the south end.  I am amazed that I had never heard of this even when I lived in the city.

INFORMATION

Rouge National Urban Park

3620 Kingston Road, Toronto,  (office address)

105 Guildwood Plaza, P.O. Box 11024 (mailing address)

Telephone: (416) 264-2020

HOW TO GET THERE

The main gate is accessed at Zoo Road but there are other parking area, Toronto Transit Commission (bus), heck you can even get there by bike.

THINGS TO DO

Hiking and biking are a given but the Rouge River also provide ample space for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing.  Once the snow falls, those trails will be perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

WHAT TO EAT

The sky truly is the limits as you can hop out of the park anywhere and get everything.

18 response to "Rouge National Urban Park"

  1. By: leggypeggy Posted: September 14, 2017

    Glad no ticks interrupted your fun.

  2. By: tippysmom2 Posted: September 14, 2017

    Sometimes we miss the gems because they are close to home and we are looking in far away places. I do the same thing. There are lots of neat places in my home town that I haven’t been to in a long time. I’m talking 40 years or so. Glad you went. Looks like everyone had a great time!

    • By: adventuredawgs Posted: September 15, 2017

      I think we all take the local stuff for granted because, well, it’s local. It’s fun to rediscover those gems. They had a blast and how could I not be happy watching them?

  3. By: Maxxtrails Posted: September 14, 2017

    We had planned to stay at the campground when we were in Toronto last year, until our plans fell through, so it was interesting to read this blog. But seriously where is the picture of the cake???

    • By: adventuredawgs Posted: September 16, 2017

      The cake was actually kind of scary looking. I’ll update the post with a photo. In all honesty I did tell her it would be good, not pretty. Toronto is truly a world-class city. It has actually spoiled me for other cities.

  4. By: Maxxtrails Posted: September 18, 2017

    The cake looks great! Thanks for posting a picture 🙂

    • By: adventuredawgs Posted: September 19, 2017

      Thank you. Decorating was never my thing. Maybe I just need more practice 😉

  5. By: bigdogtravelblog Posted: September 19, 2017

    What a gorgeous hike, and the pups looked like they had a blast on the adventure. The cake is also really cute 🙂 I hope to visit one day!

    • By: adventuredawgs Posted: September 20, 2017

      Thank you. They certainly did, especially once water is involved. You should visit for sure! Toronto isn’t the best dog city but it’s also not he worst and there are so many things to do within a short drive if you are so inclined to bring puppies. If not, there’s a TON of people stuff.

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