Sustainable Trails in Toronto’s High Park

High Park has a network of official trails that help people access areas of the park in a way that is safe for people and nature alike. However, over the years many small unofficial footpaths and trails have developed while existing trails have widened. This has increased the impact on the natural environment of flora and fauna. 

Trail in Black Oak Woodland. Photo: James Kamstra

Minimizing Damage

Keeping the public and pets on designated trails is a crucial aspect for protecting and encouraging a healthier natural and biodiverse ecosystem. 

These negative trends are compounded by an overall increase in trail use and high impact activities such as mountain-biking and off-leash dog traffic in environmentally sensitive areas. These few additional stresses are contributing to a number of impacts on High Park including further fragmentation of natural areas, trampling of native vegetation, soil compaction and erosion, and increased opportunities for invasive plant species to establish themselves.

High Park’s habitat potential is diminished when people and pets get closer to bird nests, animal dens and foraging areas.

Interpretive signage encourage park users to stay on the trails and be respectful of the natural environment, while natural obstacles such as shrubs or fallen trees also help keep traffic on the trail.

Articles, Galleries and Guides

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