Length: ~ 3 km round trip, 45 minutes to 1 hour
Trail conditions: Moderately flat with some inclines. Paved path and dirt path.
Dogs: Allowed on-leash
Parking: Mill Creek Overflow Lot
We’ve previously written about a short trail route in the north section of Mill Creek Ravine as well as a route in the south section of the ravine. In this Trail Trek how-to blog, we’re profiling a longer route on the north side that is great for biking, and also helps you avoid the flooding that happens in the ravine in the spring run-off months.
As Mill Creek stretches from Gallagher Park to Mill Woods, there are several different routes and access points for trekking the trails; this route just features one of many possibilities. This loop begins and ends at the Mill Creek parking lot, taking you around the higher parts of the ravine with a small dip that runs creek-side and over one of the ravine’s famous red bridges.
For this route, follow Google Maps directions to Mill Creek outdoor pool. Park in the north section of the parking lot as that is where the trail begins.
1. From the outdoor pool parking lot, head north. On Google maps, you’ll see an icon called the “Peace Mile.” This is where the trail begins. This section of the Mill Creek trail was dedicated to “honour world leaders in their pursuit for Peace during 1986, the United Nations International Year for Peace.”
2. The paved path continues north. Enjoy the spring smells and the shade of the trees as you continue, and the babbling of the creek below. Lots of mountain bikers weave in the thick trees just below the trail.
3. The trail comes to a bend by Scona Road after just over 1 km. Normally, you’d be able to cross the pedestrian bridge to get a great lookout view over Muttart Conservatory, but it’s currently closed due to LRT construction. Instead, follow the trail as it ascends a hill and curves back southwards.
4. If it’s later in the season and there’s no flooding, you can take the first crossroads and walk through the centre of the ravine creekside, but when the water is high, the trail is muddy and impassible. At this time, continue up the hill to take the high trail.
5. The trail transitions from being paved to dirt here. Continue walking.
6. At about 2 km, the trail splits. Take the trail that heads downwards into the ravine so you can be creekside. You’ll eventually reach one of the pretty red bridges and cross over the creek.
7. As you walk along the creek, there are a few great spots to stop and have a picnic, or let your dog take a dip.
8. Eventually the trail heads up and eastward to a picnic site and reconnects you with the Peace Mile. Turn left, and return to the parking lot where you started.