The Don River
|Trail:||Paved cycle path|
|Connections:||Waterfront trail, Carlaw Ave, Tailor Creek Trail, Don Valley Brickyards-Belt line|
Whenever I ride this trail it seems like a bike highway with cyclists pumping their way down to the Lake, family and children out for a ride, and individuals enjoying nature and the view. During the summer, there are always people on the trail at all times of day. There are as many riders at it northern limits as there are at it's south. It's always an enjoyable ride. The trial description begins at lakeshore at ends at Edwards Gardens.
The trail begins at the intersection of lakeshore blvd and Cherry St. From the Toronto side, as you curve around onto Cherry St. at the lights just before the bridge, you'll see a bike path across the street on the other side of Lakeshore Blvd (see blue arrow). It's quite a set of traffic lights to cross. Once across, The path circles back and heads east between the elevated expressway and the road and then turns north where you come to a 'T' and meet up with an alternate path. Turn right (eastward) and follow the path till it turns and crosses the railway tracks.
Some take an alternate route at the lights earlier at Parliament and cycle along the path on north lakeshore (the old path) and cross Cherry St at the underpass. Pick up the trail on the other side of the underpass where it runs beside the railway. You'll shortly meet up with the main path joining your path. Continue straight, through the junction and follow the common path eastward as it turns and crosses the railway tracks.
Carlaw Ave Path
After the tracks, you'll dip and curve passing between the tracks and hydro station, and will pass a connection to Carlaw Ave (This takes you out to Lakeshore and Leslie where you can cross over and go on toward the Beaches). This is a very quick bypass if you're heading to (or from) the Beaches.
Queen and Dundas Bridges
You'll pass under the Queen St. bridge then the Dundas and Gerrard Bridges and finally under the Riverdale Park pedestrian bridge with access stairs west side of the path. The stairs have a bike wheel guide rail to ease walking the bike up the stairs. You'll shortly cross the Don, over a pedestrian bridge to the other side to the lower Don Valley. Continue along as you'll come up beside the Don Parkway until you come to a sharp turn and go through a culvert. Good idea to ring your bell, but you should always expect oncoming traffic and turn with caution.
Prince Edward Viaduct
The trail then passes the Chester Springs marsh with Price Edward Viaduct (Danforth) in the distance. Continue under the viaduct then under an overpass first climbing up and then spinning down beside the expressway as you see the Mill chimney on Pottery road across the highway.
Continue along to the Pottery Road crossing. At Pottery Road, you'll first cross the southbound lane to the barriers in the island, then proceed to cross the northbound lanes.
I have also detoured and headed south (right) on Pottery road to visit the Todmordem Mills, but unfortunately got there too late to see all of the exhibits. It's just a short jog down the road from here so I might make another visit on another trip. You can also turn north (left) up Pottery Rd and under the bridge and continue to Bayview Ave. Head back south on Bayview and enter the Don Valley Brickyards at it's south end.
On the other side of Pottery road you'll head down an old abandon road that will take you though the lower Don parklands with the Don river to the west and the Don Valley Expressway to the east. You'll come to a cross roads where the main path continues straight ahead. Alternatively, to the east, the road connects the communities of Pape and Donlands Ave. To the west, at the cross road, you cross the tracks and an old bridge into a large open field that I think (if you head south) brings you out to Nesbit Ave. through Mountain Bike trails (not for the beginner).
The main trail, however, goes straight through the cross roads and brings you past the Beechwood and Crothers woods. On a hot day, a (short) dip back into the woods is a welcome cool down. Continue on under the Milwood Rd overpass through more wooded areas and uphill to dip under the Don Mills Rd where on the other side you'll see the elevated man-made concrete wetlands sculpture (The teeth).
Charles Sauroil Conservation Park
Now you will be entering the branch to Taylor Creek park or follow the main path over the white bridge to Charles Sauroil Conservation Reserve Parking lot.
Cycle through the small parking lot to the other end and exit through the gate back onto the cycle path. Climb uphill and cycle over what I call the bang-ity-bang bridge. Not only do you cross over on the bridge, you go down the wood ramp on the other side that will lead you into a parking lot. Ride on road, being careful of the cars, Cycle along the parking lot access roads, with one of the largest apartment towers looming above the trees to the east.,
E. T. Seton Park
Pick up the path through the center of the parking lot circle, and continue on the cycle path on the other side as you head under the Overlea Blvd overpass and enter E.T Seton Park. You'll notice direction sign posts dotted along the path that help you know where you are. Continue straight along the main path until it branches with cyclists on the east and pedestrians on the west. Cycle though the woods, under the rusty train bridge and exit into the parking lot at the other end of Seton Park. Cycle to the other side, and follow on road under the Eglinton overpass, and continue on road to the stop sign. Go straight, or keep to parallel to the river, after the stop sign and stay on road until you cross a small bridge come to a pubic wash room junction at Sunnybrook Park.
Wilket Creek Path
Here you can continue on road to follow the park roadway up to the stables, and sports fields or turn at the washroom (it's easy to miss because the path in front of the facilities continues as a bike path) and follow the cycle path to Edwards Gardens. Take the path along Wilket creek crossing several pedestrian bridges and head up to Edwards Gardens. Here the pedestrian traffic to and from the gardens can be heavy so go slow and give right of way.
At Edward Gardens, park you bike and lock it up, or walk the bike as bikes and roller blades are not allowed in the park. Pause here, take a tour, and rest before heading back. You'll notice that it's mostly downhill as you head back to Lakeshore Blvd.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Trail descriptions are provided as public information only. The author assumes no responsibility for damages or injuries that may occur to person or property as a result of biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. The author also assumes no responsibility for any damages or injuries to person or property caused by any person biking or otherwise using the trails described herein. Ride at your own risk. Pictures and web site copyright 2004,2005