It is no secret—we at York Durham Headwaters love trails! We love them almost as much as you do, in fact. There is nothing better than losing yourself (not literally, of course) on pathways that wind through breathtaking forests, wetlands, meadows and historic villages. Whether you prefer to hike, stroll, cycle or run, there is a trail out there for everyone. You’ve heard about the Trans-Canada Highway, but did you know that there is also a Trans Canada Trail? It’s true. This national trail is the longest network of multi-use trails in the world, and takes travellers through a wide variety of landscapes. For all you trail enthusiasts out there, get ready to be amazed!
Introducing the Trans Canada Trail
As the longest trail network of any nation in the world, the Trans Canada Trail connects Canadians and visitors to nature and to one another. From coast to coast, this network offers accessible and inclusive outdoor activities, as well as an epic journey for those who love to explore. When we say “coast to coast,” that is a literal description. This whopper of a trail network extends from Cape Spear, Newfoundland in the east, to Lake Cowichan, British Columbia in the west, and all the way up to Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Put simply, the Trans Canada Trail is a national legacy, a national asset, and a sustainable gift that encourages unity, collaboration and connectedness.
We are thrilled that two of our three regions—Durham and Headwaters—are situated along the Trans Canada Trail. In fact, it just happens to go through some of our favourite spots. Naturally, we’d like to suggest that you make a few stops along the way as you travel this amazing Canadian legacy.
Pickering Nautical Village
This unique waterfront community, which is only a few blocks away from Canada’s busiest highway, is truly a world of its own. Take a break from hectic urban living to discover quaint shops, cafés, scenic views and lots of lovely people eager to welcome you.
- PORT – This waterfront restaurant serving North American cuisine prides itself on being a valued anchor for the community, so you can expect to be treated like family while you’re here. Products are sourced seasonally and ethically, and each offering is prepared using quality, in-house ingredients. Cocktails reflect the passion and skill of the original bartender, and craft and international beer selections rotate seasonally, focusing on quality producers. 1289 Wharf St., Pickering
- OpenStudio Art Café – It’s all about passion at this innovative spot—passion for art, for music and for coffee. This is a place where artists can join a community, practice their skills, share their talents, and have a truly wonderful specialty coffee experience. Whether you are an artist or simply love art, you can enjoy homemade sandwiches, snacks and baked goods, sip a hot or iced drink, and indulge in the cozy art gallery setting. Live art and music are regular events, too. There is always something going on. 617 Liverpool Rd., Pickering
Historic Pickering Village
Originally a Quaker settlement, Pickering Village is home to a group of historic Tudor-style buildings. You can’t miss this breathtaking collection of businesses arranged around a courtyard, and you won’t want to. Settled in 1807, Pickering Village still contains many original buildings.
- Bean and Basket – This is your neighbourhood go-to for locally made goods, sustainable home solutions and great coffee. Bean and Basket is dedicated to showcasing handmade goods that have been carefully selected for you to enjoy, and they’re proud to support independent and local makers who share their love for the environment. 62 Old Kingston Rd., Ajax
Town of Uxbridge
Prepare to be transported in this community that is rich with history and surrounded by pure, natural beauty. It is fitting that the Trans Canada Trail goes through Uxbridge, because this town is officially designated as the Trail Capital of Canada. Uxbridge is the perfect place to re-connect with friends and loved ones, and it is home to chefs, brew masters, artists, and musicians who can’t wait to delight your senses.
- Blue Heron Books – Old-fashioned meets up-tempo. Comfy chairs, wood shelving, creaky floors, and a 200-year-old building give off awesomely bookish vibes in this charming location. There is always something happening, and some of the greatest literary giants have been showcased here. Come see this bastion of friendly chaos, in the heart of the town that Canadian treasure Lucy Maud Montgomery once called home. All are welcome to browse and dream. 62 Brock St. W., Uxbridge
- The Bridge Social – Welcome to your neighbourhood organic café and clean body care store. This unique shop proudly features a variety of local and Canadian products, from organic, premium loose-leaf tea and coffee, to pieces from local artisans, to delicious treats and eco friendly products. There is always something new in store, made locally and with a whole lot of love. 64 Brock St. W., Uxbridge
Town of Erin
Country living meets boutique shopping. Scenic, rural vistas, quaint shops and small-town charm—all this and more awaits in Erin. Stroll the beautiful, historic downtown strip as you browse shops for unique treasures. You will find everything from housewares and home décor, to clothing and toys. It can only be described as wonderfully eclectic.
- The Busholme – Fresh, made-to-order food is what’s on the menu in this historic location, which was built in 1866 as a hospital before it was converted into a hotel. This restaurant is brimming with authentic, small-town charm. Twelve draughts on tap are featured, which focus on locally brewed flavours, and there is live music every weekend. 156 Main St., Erin
- Tin Roof Café – This family-owned-and-operated business bakes tasty treats, and brews great coffee for its beloved community. Here, you will find locally roasted coffee along with a selection of rotating cookies, squares and other goodies baked in-house, from scratch. Only high-quality, wholesome ingredients are used like unbleached wheat flour, whole grain flours, real butter, and local maple syrup. You will also find gluten-friendly alternatives like coconut, oat, brown rice and almond flour. 4 Main St., Erin
- The Weathervane – You are invited to experience a warm and relaxed atmosphere, where you can leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life. The Weathervane offers exceptional service, selection and complimentary gift wrapping. This is what Southern Ontario’s most picturesque shopping destination is all about. Come and be inspired. 74 Main St., Erin
Story by Katherine Ryalen