Monday, 18 April 2016

Happy Wanderer - Hiking at Colonel Sam Smith Park

Now that spring is really here, we're making a dedicated effort to get the family out and moving.  I'm still wistful with memories of pre-children days when weekends included lengthy, challenging hikes, followed by even lengthier afternoon naps.  That being said I'm determined to get all of us outside more often, exploring wilderness in and around the GTA.  I can see lengthier hikes on the horizon, and it's going to be great.

This weekend our "ice-breaker" hike/walk was along the paths of Colonel Sam Smith Park (near the Humber College Lakeshore Campus at Kipling and Lakeshore).  What got us excited about this park was the extensive paths along the Etobicoke end of the waterfront.  This park has pay parking on weekdays (free parking on weekends) and is also TTC accessible via the 44 Kipling South bus.

 Checking out the skyline

 Path with a view

One of the principals highlighted in Scott Sampson's book, How to Raise A Wild Child, The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature is how exposure to outdoors and nature is a great way to help children develop their confidence and ability to practice safer risk taking.  As I heard Molly give herself the pep talk of "You can do it Molly!" each time she had to climb a more challenging rock, I knew this trip was a huge win.  Both minions gained more and more confidence as we played along the rocks and enjoyed the weather and view.

 Jack wanted to get a closer view of the swan we came across.  He named him Peter.

We all had a blast on this walk and the kids happily explored without complaining for over an hour.  Most of the paths are paved or dirt, with many other families out exploring on bikes as well.  The only issue we came across was a huge population of gnats, which is probably because it's spring, and we went late in the day (at around 5PM).  The gnats were everywhere! Cyclists were routinely stopping to brush the bugs out of their hair, face and sometimes mouths.  Jack walked a significant portion of our hike using me as a bug shield, but quickly got over it, as the gnats weren't nearly as bad when we were closer to the lake.

One of the neat features of Colonel Sam Smith Park that we weren't able to explore on this trip is that it is the site of Toronto's only outdoor skating trail. (This is definitely going on our to-do list for next winter).  

Have suggestions for excellent, but family friendly, walks or hikes?  Leave a comment or send me a note to

To read about our hike at Lambton Park click here.

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  1. Replies
    1. was a really cute moment to capture because they had no clue I was taking the picture