2 – Rouge (National) Park

Rouge ParkNon-linear • Rouge Park is currently managed by Toronto and Region Conservation, but it’s in transition to become Canada’s first Urban National Park, managed by Parks Canada. It is huge – 40 square km, 13 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. It is diverse – with every type of landform from beach to forest, including working farmland and wild wetlands.

Rouge Park offers family-friendly organized events and activities year-round. Please visit the website to find an event or plan to explore on your own. At the moment, there is no linear route for the Toronto to Algonquin Greenway (TAG) to pass through it, and it may be difficult to visit without a car. TAG will monitor this situation. There is talk of creating a bike route or improving connections between the trails and public transit.

It’s important to note that this area is extremely hilly and not at all suitable for the casual rail trail type cyclist to venture out unawares. The local Durham Cycling Club rides these hills regularly with fast-paced group rides on skinny tire road bikes. If that’s your style – connect with them here.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is a vast geological feature draped across Ontario and intersecting with TAG. Whereas TAG runs N/S the Moraine runs E/W. It’s an extraordinary 130 kms end-to-end by an average of only 13 kms wide. This land form provides the groundwater for most of the GTA, the Greater Toronto Area. It is 90% in private hands, but there are many ways you can enjoy it. Oak Ridges Trail Association is an all-volunteer membership organization dedicated to maintaining almost 300 km of walking trails through the Moraine. They organize about 200 hikes a year that non-members are welcome to attend. The group publishes a continually updated guide-book mapping all the trails – a good reason to become a member.

The Oak Ridges Moraine is an important part of Ontario’s Greenbelt. We hope that establishment of the Toronto to Algonquin Greenway through this area will encourage visitors to learn more about the significance of the Greenbelt and the Moraine.