It’s no secret that being outside is good for both your mental and physical health. Spending just a few hours in nature each week can have a multitude of positive effects including increasing your immune system, helping you focus, decreasing your stress levels and boosting your mood. There are a number of fantastic outdoor destinations in YDH so if you’re looking to get out for some fresh air, check out one of these top spots!
Kortright Centre for Conservation
Head just 20 minutes north of Toronto to immerse yourself in the forest in the heart of Vaughan! Here you’ll find 325 hectares of stunning woodlands with 16 kilometres of hiking trails just waiting to be explored. Wander through forests and meadows as you keep an eye out to see what wildlife you may spot from the various lookout points throughout the park! They also have fantastic programming for families where you can learn basic survival skills and orienteering. Families can also learn more about the park itself and some of the wildlife found within it!
Escape to a calmer pace and reconnect with the land at Jecara Farms in Schomberg. Book one of their three rustic cabins all constructed from reclaimed century-old barm beams! These off-grid getaways are perfect for slowing down and enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds you. Go for a dip in the pond, roast s’mores over the campfire and sleep soundly after a day of basking in the fresh air. Make sure to spend some quality time with the resident horses, cattle, dogs, cats and chickens while you’re there!
Campbell’s Cross Farm
When August rolls around, you will not want to miss out on visiting Caledon’s Campbell’s Cross Farm! Meander through the 700,000 sunflowers along their trails and enjoy a picnic with the family. Guests can enjoy a sunrise meditation walk, pick and create floral workshops, sunset yoga amongst the sunflowers, and more. This is also a fantastic destination to try the practice of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) and grounding (walking barefoot in nature). Of course, no Campbell’s Cross Farm trip is complete without indulging in one of their iconic watermelon sandwiches!
Pathways on Pleasure Valley
If you’re looking for a unique outdoor experience to have this summer in YDH, take up the reins on a horseback ride with Pathways on Pleasure Valley! Experience the gorgeous Oak Ridges Moraine as you’re guided along tranquil forest trails atop a noble steed. Take in the sights and sounds as you connect with these majestic animals while being surrounded by nature. Riders of all skill levels are welcomed so whether you’re experienced, or this is your first time on a horse, you will enjoy a ride you’ll never forget!
Makai Paddle Surf
Enjoy Lake Ontario from a whole new angle as you relax with the sound of the water on a stand-up paddleboard. Makai Paddle Surf offers a number of guided tours departing from Pickering. What better way to start or end your day than with a golden hour experience? Or watch the moonlight dance across the waves of this great lake with a full moon paddle. If you’d rather get the blood pumping, check out one of their PaddleFit classes for a unique way to work up a sweat.
Terra Cotta Conservation Area
Encompassing 485 acres of the Niagara Escarpment, Terra Cotta Conservation Area is a prime destination for outdoor adventure in Halton Hills. Strap on some solid footwear and tackle the variety of trails for hikers of all skill levels. New for 2023, they have added the “Tales on the Trail” interactive experience that promotes literacy while surrounded by nature. Park visitors will be connected to local authors thanks to captivating art installations as a creative way to inspire people of all ages to get outside!
Darlington Provincial Park
Let the rolling waves of Lake Ontario lull you to sleep with an overnight adventure at Darlington Provincial Park. One of the closest campgrounds to Toronto, it’s the perfect spot for a breath of fresh air without travelling too far! Pitch your tent and roast some marshmallows after enjoying the variety of outdoor adventures it has to offer. You’ll certainly feel happier and healthier thanks to all the great benefits the park provides!
Now the big question is which of these destinations will you visit first? Do you think you can hit them all this summer? Share your photos and tag us on Instagram at @visitydh so we can see your outdoor adventures!