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The summer family fun finder for Kids 12 and under

The best places to go hiking with kids, no car required

Add these 5 beautiful trails to your summer to-do list

H Credit: iStock/Getty Images

Exploring the outdoors with your family just got easier. If you don’t drive — or would simply prefer to spend travel time connecting with your little ones instead of navigating traffic — GO Transit can take you directly to many beautiful, family-friendly hiking trails within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area this summer. And now that kids 12 and under ride free on all GO trains and buses, visiting the Greater Horseshoe Region’s many provincial parks, nature trails and conservation reserves via transit has never been easier — or more affordable.

Here are five amazing GO-accessible trails you can hike with your kids this summer — time to cross “hike a waterfall” and “run through a field of wildflowers” off your summer vacation bucket list!

Family in train

Rockwood Conservation Area, Rockwood

The stop: Rockwood

Outdoor lunch time Credit: iStock/Getty Images

Take the Route 31 GO bus to the intersection of Alma Street and Inkerman Street in Rockwood, and you’ll be right near the entrance of the Rockwood Conservation Area. This stunning park offers two trails with plenty of unique sights to explore, including a reservoir, limestone cliffs, glacial potholes, dramatic ruins of a former textile mill and caves. Bonus: There’s even a mini-golf course and a great sandy beach in the conservation area.

Downsview Park, Toronto

The stop: Downsview Park GO

Plane in play zone Photo courtesy of Canada Lands Company

When it’s not hosting music festivals and papal visits, this sprawling urban park in Toronto features 45 acres of forest, an orchard, a farm and an easy 2.7 km paved walking trail that takes you through all of the site’s natural highlights. After your hike through the woods and around the Circuit Path, you’ll want to stop by the brand new Play Zone for some aviation-themed playground fun. The playground is walking distance from Downsview Park station along the Barrie GO train line, with connections to TTC’s line 1.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, Port Union

The stop: Rouge Hill GO

Lake Credit: iStock/Getty Images

Ontario’s 3000 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail offers countless family-friendly hiking ideas, and several are easily accessible via GO Transit. Just 0.3 km from the Rouge Hill GO station, there is a pedestrian tunnel that leads to the picturesque Highland Creek Trail and the new Port Union Waterfront Park, which features a playground and a scenic pebble beach.

Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area, East Gwillimbury

The stop: East Gwillimbury

Bird Credit: iStock/Getty Images

The charming Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area is a 16-minute walk from the 68 GO bus stop in East Gwillimbury. There, you’ll find many species of birds, easy trails through a variety of habitats and meadows being restored and replanted with native, pollinator-friendly plants in order to attract an abundance of birds and butterflies.

Sherman Falls and Tiffany Falls, Hamilton

The stop: Hamilton GO + HSR

Waterfall Credit: iStock/Getty Images

There are so many breathtaking waterfalls in and around the Hamilton area, but not all of them are kid-friendly or easy to get to using public transportation. But from the Hamilton GO station, you can take local HSR bus 5 to Sherman Falls and nearby Tiffany Falls, which are popular with families and free to visit. Plus, you can easily access the Bruce Trail from both waterfalls, in case the kids aren’t quite done hiking yet.

Ready to GO on your next adventure? Click here to discover more about taking GO Transit.