Trails In London – Your Guide to London’s Best Hiking for Health

Trails In London – Your Guide to London’s Best Hiking for Health

Do you need a little “Vitamin N?”  As much as I personally love the gym, some of the best fitness can be discovered and achieved in nature. For Londoners, getting outdoors and connecting with nature is easier than you would think. If your interests include hiking, running, mountain biking, or you just enjoy going for a stroll, you may be surprised to find that you can accomplish many of these activities local to London. With so many options, you might even be able to step into nature from your own neighbourhood!  Here’s my list of the best hiking & fitness trails of London, Ontario, to see for yourself why we’re coined “The Forest City”.

Fanshawe Lake Trail

Northeast London – 20 km Loop – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Biking (paths & roads—night riding prohibited)

Experience spectacular views, a variety of terrain, and the opportunity to bump into all kinds of local wildlife. This lakeside trail is located within the Fanshawe Conservation Area, and is open to both hikers and cyclists from dusk–dawn, 7 days a week.

Maps & Info: fanshawe | Maps/Brochures

Westminster Ponds Trails

South London – 10.5 km – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Cycling (off-road), Snowshoeing, Backcountry

With 6 major ponds and wetlands spanning over 300 hectares, Westminster Pond Trails are located on one of the London’s largest Natural Areas—right in the middle of the city. Upon entering the scenic trails, sounds of the city almost completely disappear. A brisk walk on these trails will have you forgetting that you never even left.

Map & Info: Westminster Ponds/Pond Mills Conservation Area | UTRCA: Inspiring A Healthy Environment

Thames River Loop

Downtown London – 8 km – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities:  Walking, Hiking

#ldnont #iveypark #thamesriver

A photo posted by oh hey 🙂 (@aldinasaur) on

Located right in the city’s core, this popular trail offers a combination of both natural and man-made views, meaning you don’t have to travel far to get some fresh air & exercise. If you’re feeling ambitious, the Thames River Loop connects to the Medway Forest trail for a double-dose of Mother Nature.

Information: Thames River Loop | Ontario Trails Council

Boler Mountain

Byron (West London) – Mountain Biking & Fitness Trails – Biking: 1–5 km, Hiking: 2 km – Biking: 1–5/5 Difficulty, Hiking: 4/5 Difficulty – May–September

Activities:  Walking, Hiking, Mountain Biking

Boler Mountain boasts some of the best cross-country terrain in the province of Ontario. Mountain bikers and hikers can purchase day and season passes to experience and explore the 120-hectare property. Bike rentals and lessons are also available for reasonable rates.

Information: Mountain Biking & Fitness Trails Rates & Information | Boler Mountain

Sharon’s Creek Conservation Area

Delaware – 47.6 hectare – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Canoeing, Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Backcountry

Almost 50-hectares of natural landscape to explore. Open all year for hiking, picnicking, snowshoeing, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. Generations of London-locals can recall dangling off rope-swings and swimming in the famous “Sharon’s Creek”—a long-time right of passage for adolescents growing up in the area.

Maps & Info: Sharon Creek Conservation Area « Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority

Sifton Bog

West London – Multiple small trails – 2.7 km – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking

This diverse natural area is the most southerly intact bog in Canada, featuring a network of small trails and boardwalks with views of unique vegetation, tree frogs, turtles, chipmunks, and even white-tailed deer. Sifton Bog is the perfect spot to slow down and spend a peaceful afternoon connecting with nature, and you don’t even have to travel far since this little gem is located in West London.

Map & Info: Sifton Bog | UTRCA: Inspiring A Healthy Environment

Thames Valley Trail

Delaware & London – 110 kms – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backcountry

Just a casual mid-run yoga break while Exploring the trails of London with my Sawahhhhh @sarahhreynolds 💁🏾💁🏼

A photo posted by Tonya Malcolm (@tonya_malcolm) on

Lace up your best hiking boots, and get ready to take in all that Southwestern Ontario has to offer. Part of a major network of scenic trails, this mega-trail combines man-made walkways with natural paths, and is a link between the Elgin Trail to Port Stanley and the Avon Trail to St. Mary’s. Technically, you could walk all the way to Niagara Falls or Tobermory starting with the Thames Valley Trail, although you may want to invest in a new pair of hiking boots afterward.

Trails, Maps, & Info: Overview Hiking London TVTA Thames Valley Trails Association

Kilally Meadows

Northeast London – 11 km – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Running, Cycling (roads & paths, off-road), Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backcountry, Geocaching

Maps & Info: Kilally Meadows | UTRCA: Inspiring A Healthy Environment

Elgin Trail

Port Stanley & St.Thomas – 41 km – 3/5 Difficulty – Year-Round –

Activities: Walking, Hiking

Maps & Info: Trail Maps | Elgin Hiking Trail Club

Avon Trail

110 km –  2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backcountry 

Maps & Info: Map – The Avon Trail

If you’d like to make some new friends and are interested in joining a regular hiking group, or for more information on trails included in the Thames Valley Trail visit the Thames Valley Trails Association website.  <- Home Hiking London TVTA Thames Valley Trails Association

Mother Nature has been generous to London, Ontario, and opportunities to get outside, explore, and do something active are abundant thanks to a large network of well-maintained pathways, parks, and protected natural areas. Take some time to unwind from the day-to-day grind by visiting one of these incredible local escapes.

Other nearby trails & natural areas to explore:

Medway Forest

Northwest London – 10 km – 2/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking

Safe to say he made some adventurous path choices 💦👟 #mistertoots

A photo posted by Joannah ❄️ (@joannahcampbell) on

Sometimes steep and varied terrain, stream-side views with tree-lined slopes reaching up to 25 meters high. Close to Western University.

Maps & Info: Medway Valley Heritage Forest | UTRCA: Inspiring A Healthy Environment

Kettle Creek Conservation Area

St. Thomas – 22 km – 2–3/5 Difficulty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking

A network of trails and natural areas located just outside of St. Thomas.

Maps & Info: Hiking Trails – Kettle Creek Conservation Authority

Longwood’s Road Conservation Area

Mount Brydges – 6 km – 2/ 5 Diffuculty – Year-Round

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Snowshoeing

Hiking with the whole family today #canada #canadianblogger #ontario #travel #nature #longweekend

A photo posted by Zeba ▫Toronto Fashion Blogger (@ellaprettyblog) on

A scenic network of nature trails and host to Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum.

Map & Info: Longwoods Road Conservation Area / Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum « Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority

Komoka Provincial Park

Komoka – 11km – 2/5 Difficulty – May–December

Activities: Walking, Hiking, Mountain Biking (permitted in marked areas), Horseback Riding (permitted in marked areas)

escape the ordinary☀️ #lifesgood #komokaprovincialpark #hike #livealittle

A photo posted by s h a y 💫 (@shaygillan) on


A collection of trails for walking, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, and even horseback riding.

Map & Info: Komoka.pdf

 

Have I missed any great spots in the area?  Chime in with a comment if you have any recommendations or personal favourites.

Trails In London – Your Guide to London’s Best Hiking for Health

Dr. B.J. Hardick

About Dr. B.J. Hardick

Raised in a holistic family, Dr. B.J. Hardick is the co-author of the best-selling Maximized Living Nutrition Plans, used in natural health clinics worldwide, and a contributing author for its follow-up publication, The Cancer Killers. Dr. Hardick shares his own journey dealing with heavy metal toxicity in Real Detox, his e-Book available on DrHardick.com. An organic food fanatic and green living aficionado, all Dr. Hardick’s passions are anchored in helping others achieve ecologically sound, healthy, and balanced lives. Learn More