With around 10km of natural trails, a diverse bird population and some spots offering a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline, Crothers Woods is a popular escape into nature.
Crothers Woods offers approximately 9 km of multi-use, one-metre wide natural surface (dirt) trails. These trails include some steep sections and are rated as intermediate level trails.
Other trails in the area:
- The Sun Valley Trail is a 1.3 km granular surfaced trail that is 2.5 metres wide and classified as a multi-purpose beginner trail with one 100-metre steep section.
- Cottonwood Flats Trail is a two-metre wide, 0.7 km granular surfaced trail that is classified as a multi-purpose beginner trail.
- A trails map is posted at the Loblaws Trailhead. View the map online in the Crothers Woods Trails brochure (PDF).
Crother Woods is an Environmentally Significant Area due to its diverse, mature and relatively undisturbed forest, and the presence of wildflowers and tree species that are rare in the Toronto region.
History and Ecological Restoration
Despite the pressures of urbanization, parts of Crothers Woods contain a great diversity of herbaceous plants and tree species, similar to what was in the area before European settlement. In 1995 the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA) designated Crothers Woods an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) due to its relatively undisturbed woodland habitat, and the area was adopted as an ESA in Toronto’s Official Plan in 2015. This area is home to many mature trees, including some that are over a century old, as well as some plant and animal species that are rare in the Toronto area.
While Crothers Woods has a healthy canopy, much of the understory was lost due to past unmanaged recreational uses. The popularity of the site for recreational use poses a risk of further habitat disturbance. Environmental impacts of public use of this natural area were addressed by the City of Toronto through the Crothers Woods Trail Management Strategy. The Strategy outlines ways to restore and protect the area in order to maintain existing natural heritage features, create safe, logical, and sensitive trail systems, and improve park user safety. The City of Toronto has worked with volunteers to control invasive species, maintain trails and encourage trail users to enjoy the area responsibly.