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Rouge Park Guided Walks
February 2013

Hit the trail with Rouge Park's Guided Walks in our 4th year of adventure and discovery. Thanks to TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment for their support of the program.

Blow off the February Blahs and recharge your 2013 resolve to get moving with a fresh air outing! Join a walk to discover nature and wildlife with our friendly and fun volunteer leaders! Dress for the weather, we walk rain or shine!

As snow is hopefully piling up on the trails, we still will have slippery sections. Think about adding boot traction to your trail gear to be ready for anything - we like Microspikes.

Learn more about hiking in Rouge Park, to request a park map and to download our Visitor Guide.

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When would you like to walk with us?
  • Saturday February 2
  • Sunday February 3
  • Wednesday February 6
  • Saturday February 9
  • Sunday February 10
  • Wednesday February 13
  • Saturday February 16
  • Sunday February 17
  • Monday February 18
  • Wednesday February 20
  • Saturday February 23
  • Sunday February 24
  • Wednesday February 27
  • Check our online schedule in case of updates ahead of the day you wish to join us.

    Meeting Points, TTC and Parking Information

    Get Ready for Your Walk
    Bring at least 1 litre of water (try a reusable bottle) and a snack. Bringing a hot drink? Try a thermal mug instead of a disposable cup (it will stay hot longer too!).

    Trails are natural surface and could be muddy and damp, with steep grades - wear boots made for trails; leave your running shoes at home. Dress for the weather - we walk snow, rain or shine.

    Be ready for snow, rain and wind with a waterproof or water-repellant jacket. Don't forget a warm layers, a hat and gloves as it gets colder!

    It's also a good idea to start carrying a small backpack to carry things and stay hands-free.

    Do you have an allergy or asthma? Whatever your sensitivity, please plan ahead, bring your appropriate medication, and have it easily accessible.

    Click here to get totally ready to walk year-round!

    Group Outings
    Groups of up to 15: We welcome groups up to 15 people to a scheduled walk. But before you come out, contact us so we can discuss your needs. Groups of 15 or more: We can organize a private walk for your group of 15 or more for a nominal per person contribution. Click here to plan your special outing! Drop a line to hike@rougepark.com or call 905 713 3184. We can get back to you between Monday and Thursday.

    Be a Trail Volunteer! If you are interested in being a trail volunteer, let us know at hike@rougepark.com or call 905 713 3184.

    Still have a question? Drop us a line at hike@rougepark.com or call 905 713 3184. We can get back to you between Monday and Thursday.

    Donate to Rouge Park and our Guided Walks: Do you enjoy coming out with us on the trail? Your support keeps us going! Show your appreciation.

    How's the weather?
    Saturday February 2
    9:30am Vista
    up to 4km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Groundhog Day!
    Leader: Judy
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Come out and learn about the groundhog and Groundhog Day traditions. Let's see if we can see our own shadow and look for other signs of spring as we walk through the forest trail.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 5 and older welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Rouge Marsh and Waterfront Trail
    up to 4km
    Meeting Point and Parking info
    The Magic of Winter Photography
    Leader: Christine
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Winter Photography can be magical. Join Christine and explore the Rouge Marsh and the Rouge Beach Trail then exploring the Waterfront Trail for the many photographic opportunities this area has to offer. Dress warmly and bring your camera - yes even your cell phone camera.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Please bring your dog on another walk.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Cedar
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Partners, Pairs and Couples Walk
    Leader: Chana
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate (stairs)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: In the spirit of Valentine's Day, this walk is for duos. So bring your special someone, you son or daughter, your mom or dad, your BFF, your life partner or even your best four legged friend and join Chana. As we await the birds to come back, and many species of our animals are getting ready to expand their families, we will talk about how some wild pairs play the ‘mating game’.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 10 and up welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Sunday February 3
    9:30am Rouge Marsh and Waterfront Trail
    3-4km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Waterfront Birding
    Leader: Glen
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Let's check to see what birds are spending the winter at Rouge Beach and area. We will look for Great black backed gulls, mergansers, common golden eye, red finches, turkey vultures, red tailed hawks and friendly chickadees. Bird books and binoculars are helpful, dress for wind!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 10+ on foot welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Please bring your dog on another walk today.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Flags of Nature
    Leader: Martyn
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging (hills)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Tall and strong, swaying in the breeze, trees are the flags of nature. The trees come together to form a nation we call the Forest. Let's go for a walk through part of Toronto's largest forest and admire some of the trees that grow within it. Good boot traction like Icers or Microspikes will keep you on your feet as the trails can get rather slick at this time of year.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Beare Wetlands and part of Cedar
    up to 4km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Snow Secrets
    Leader: Tove
    Challenge: Easy, but 1 set of stairs
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Take in a magical wintry landscape while taking a closer look at snow. We'll discuss interesting facts about snow and how wildlife has adapted to it, and examine snow crystals using magnifying glasses. Don't be a "flake" and stay indoors.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot and in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Wednesday February 6
    9:30am Orchard and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    I Heart the Rouge!
    Leader: Laura
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: February is the month of hearts, both the muscle and the metaphor. Let's exercise the former and give Rouge Park a little sugar with a brisk walk on two great trails and lots of admiration for its many winter charms.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot and in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Saturday February 9
    9:30am Beare Wetlands and parts of Cedar and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Wild Year Ahead
    Leader: Rob/Jenna
    Challenge: Easy, one set of stairs
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Gather up the kids for a wild walk! This family friendly walk will help you learn what to expect as each season arrives. Starting with Winter, there's still lots to show you, so grab your boots and warm layers. You will earn that hot drink you've been thinking of after some good walking!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 5+ on foot and smaller kids in carriers welcome. Please no strollers.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Winter Wonderland Walk
    Leader: Urmilla
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging (hills)
    Pace: Moderate/Fast
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Join us for a faster pace than usual hike and walk your winter blues away! Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Cedar
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Welcome to Rouge Park
    Leader: Lindsay
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate, 2 sets of stairs
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: If you are new to Rouge Park or a regular visitor, this walk will get you ready for further adventures with us! As we always say, "You never know what will happen."
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Sunday February 10
    9:30am Vista and Orchard
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Love is in the Hare
    Leader: Aasiya
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Ready to share the gift of nature with your loved ones? Bring them along to join Aasiya for some fresh air and breathtaking views in Rouge Park! We'll hike through meadows, explore the park's Carolinian habitat, and maybe even find some rabbit tracks in the snow. Don't forget trails are in winter conditions so we recommend boot traction or at least boots for hiking, no smooth soled boots or shoes.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids age 10 and up welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Please bring your dog on another walk today.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Vista and Orchard
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Did You See the Groundhog?
    Leader: Barb
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: We are on our way to spring, but there is still plenty of winter to enjoy. Come out for another winter walk and a chance to learn about the species who live right here in our backyard.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Winter Fresh
    Leader: Chris
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging (hills)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: What better way is there to exercise than getting outdoors and breathing in the fresh air. After this introductory hike, you will be an expert hiker (or at least a bit more "in the know"). Surrounded by trees, we will hike along the historical Mast trail to Twyn Rivers road and back. No experience needed, just a good pair of hiking boots (no flat soles please) and warm socks. Another tip: layer your clothing and keep the cotton at home!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Wednesday February 13
    9:30am Cedar
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Winter is Here
    Leader: Kathy
    Challenge: Moderate (stairs)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: The snow is on the ground and it appears that all the Rouge Park's residents are hibernating... but are they? Today we'll look for evidence of birds and animals out and about their daily business and talk about how they cope with the challenges of winter. Please dress for the weather. Traction aids recommended.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot and in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Saturday February 16
    9:30am Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    I Heart Hiking
    Leader: Daniel
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging (hills)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Roses will always be red,
    But the winter is now cold.
    Come romp through Rouge Park's Mast trail,
    And let your love of trail adventures unfold.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Orchard and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Poetry of Nature
    Leader: Darlene
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: It is Valentine's weekend, so come to the Rouge and hear some of the poetry that been inspired by nature. Copies of the poems will be provided to those who RSVP. While we walk through the park, we will look for signs of Spring!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome; please note there are stairs on the trail, so strollers are not advised.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Beare Wetlands and parts of Cedar and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Wild Year Ahead
    Leader: Bruce
    Challenge: Easy, one set of stairs
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Gather up the kids for a wild walk! This family friendly walk will help you learn what to expect as each season arrives. Starting with Winter, there's still lots to show you, so grab your boots and warm layers. You will earn that hot drink you've been thinking of after some good walking!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 5+ on foot and smaller kids in carriers welcome. Please no strollers.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Sunday February 17
    9:30am Cedar
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Wild Year Ahead
    Leader: Giselle
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Gather up the kids for a wild walk! This family friendly walk welcomes kids 8 and older to help you learn what to expect as each season arrives. Starting with Winter, there's still lots to show you, so grab your boots and warm layers. You will earn that hot drink you've been thinking of after some good walking!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 8 and older welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Homes in Rouge Park
    Leader: Sherry
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate (2 sets of stairs)
    Pace:Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Even in the winter, Rouge Park is home to a number of different species. Winter provides an excellent opportunity to see the various dwellings without the leaf cover.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome, no strollers please.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Orchard and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Dog Lover's Walk
    Leader: Mikal
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Calling all pooches of all shapes and sizes, colours and textures. Bring your canine companion for a pooch-friendly walk to meet other dog owners and dog lovers. Share stories of how your furry friend makes you laugh, and we will share how dogs can enjoy Rouge Park right at their owner’s side. All welcome, but if you aren't crazy about Fido, or Fido is not comfortable around other dogs, try another walk today. Cameras and binoculars are optional and dress appropriately for the weather. We look forward to seeing you.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids aged 10 and up welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Monday February 18
    10:00am Beare Wetlands and parts of Cedar
    up to 4km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Wild Year Ahead - for kids 4-9
    Leader: Diana
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Gather up the kids for a wild walk! This family friendly walk for kids 4-9 will help you learn what to expect as each season arrives. Starting with Winter, there's still lots to show you, so grab your boots and warm layers. You will earn that hot drink you've been thinking of after some good walking!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 4-9 on foot or in carriers welcome. No strollers please.
    Dog Friendly?: Sorry no dogs on this walk.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    1:30pm Beare Wetlands highlights and Vista
    4km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    The Wild Year Ahead
    Leader: Aasiya
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace:Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Gather up the kids for a wild walk! This family friendly walk for kids 10 and up as well as adults will help you learn what to expect as each season arrives. Starting with Winter, there's still lots to show you, so grab your boots and warm layers. Bring your favourite hot drink in a reusable insulated mug, as you will earn it after some good walking. We still recommend boot traction or at least boots meant for hiking, no smooth soled boots or shoes.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: For kids 10 and up. Please bring younger ones to our morning walk.
    Dog Friendly?: Sorry no dogs on this walk.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Wednesday February 20
    9:30am Orchard and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Tracks in the Snow
    Leader: Peter
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Using Peter's new animal track and scat guide (yes, it tells you what type of droppings you are looking at!), we will compare and identify wild tracks and look for patterns of movement.We will also discuss factors which cause various animals to travel in winter.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids age 10 and up welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Saturday February 23
    9:30am Rouge Marsh and Waterfront Trail
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    I Heart My Heart! Fitness By the Lake
    Leader: Diana
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Moderate/Fast
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: Meeting at the upper parking of the Rouge Beach/Marsh area, we will view what winter is like at the marsh area and then head west on a newly opened section of the waterfront trail, turning around when we reach 2.5km or an hour, whichever comes first. This is a fitness walk with a quick pace but the path is flat with gentle inclines. Along the way we will talk about winter fitness, how to mix up workouts and use heart rate training zones to improve the effects of your exercise. Diana will demonstrate how her heart rate monitor helps her make her workout work better! And of course, we will talk about the natural features we can see along the trail. Hiking boots are still advised as it's winter and the path may be snowy and damp. Please no running shoes or smooth soled shoes. Dress for wind.
    Get a head start by learning about taking your heart rate and heart rate zones for fitness (from About.com, an external link)
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Adults only.
    Dog Friendly?: Please bring your dog on another walk today.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    A Winter Extended Viewpoint of the Forest
    Leader: Vicki
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging (hills)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect:With very little leaves on the trees, our view of the forest is greatly expanded. We will hike and see how many terrain features we can find, even in the winter snow. We will look for a copse, a spur, a re-entrant, ... We may even find a witch's broom!
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot ready for hills or in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Please bring your dog on another walk today, owing to an allergy concern.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Orchard and Vista
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Welcome to Rouge Park
    Leader: Erik
    Challenge: Easy/Moderate
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: If you are new to Rouge Park or a regular visitor, this walk will get you ready for further adventures with us! As we always say,"You never know what will happen."
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Sunday February 24
    9:30am Woodland
    5km
    Meeting Point and Parking info
    What's Happening in Woodland?
    Leader: Marie
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: This relatively flat trail might seem unassuming, but there is always something up on the Woodlands Trail. We'll check out the Little Rouge and ivestigate the flow of the water, see if there are any signs of an early spring, look for animal tracks, and keep our heads to the sky as we pass through the meadows.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot and infants in carriers welcome. No strollers please.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    12:00pm Cedar
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Traces in the Snow
    Leader: Mikal and Walter
    Challenge:Moderate (stairs)
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: This trail looks gorgeous in the peak of winter. If covered with fresh snow or trodded by many steps, it offers an unforgettable winter experience. A cedar and a birch tree hug is a landmark to take some photos, and hey, you might recognize the traces of some forest inhabitants that roam here out of our sight.
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot or in carriers welcome. No strollers please.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!
    2:00pm Woodland
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Input Inspiration
    Leader: Linda
    Challenge: Easy
    Pace: Moderate
    Duration: 1.5-2 hours
    What to expect: Input inspiration means that during this hike Linda would love to hear your ideas on environmental topics that are of interest to you that she can do research on and post the topic as the theme for a future hike of hers. Feel free to come with your ideas written out on paper, otherwise she will take good notes!! Linda wants to offer meaningful hike themes for people and to get meaningful, open minded discussions going about environment-related topics. So come prepared with ideas and see you soon !
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids 8 and older welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!

    Wednesday February 27
    ALERT! WALK CANCELLED DUE TO TODAY'S STORMY CONDITIONS
    Please join us next Wednesday.

    9:30am Mast
    5km
    Meeting Point TTC and Parking info
    Midwinter Blahs
    Leader: Peter
    Challenge: Moderate/Challenging
    Pace: Easy/Moderate
    Duration: 2 hours
    What to expect: With spring less than a month away what are the signs that winter is nearing its end? Does the cold really deepen as the season passes? Have all the preparations for the cold paid off, or are some creatures in distress? What beauty can be found in the dullness of old snow and dark bark before the new life of spring begins?
    Please RSVP
    Family Friendly: Kids on foot and in carriers welcome.
    Dog Friendly?: Dogs on leash welcome.
    Get Ready for the Trail: Tips for walking in any weather!


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