A Guide to Hiking Trails In London, Ontario
At CLC Tree Services, we encourage people to get outside all the time. Spending time in nature is shown to decrease stress, improve mood, strengthen concentration, boost your immune system, up your creativity, and maybe even save your life! Well, lengthen it at any rate, as typically most people exercise when they are outside, which improves your overall health.
One way to get that nature fix is through a walk in the woods. In London, we are blessed with an abundance of hiking trails to help you get that fix. Many of them are in local forests, but several meander by local rivers and streams too. You can find paved pathways along the Thames, wooden boardwalks in wetlands, and plenty of simple dirt or mulched hiking trails around the city. Whether you want a short loop, an easy stroll, or a more challenging hike, London trails have you covered.
Hiking Trails in London
- Warbler Woods – If you are up for a scenic walk, head to Warbler Woods. With several steep hills, it is not the easiest trail system, but with over 250 species of trees and plants, it’s worth the hike.
- Meadowlily Woods – There are 60 hectares of publicly owned land to explore at Meadowlily Woods in the east end of London. You will find upland forests, marshes, floodplains, and shrub thickets in this serene environmentally sensitive area (ESA). Time for some nature bathing in the woods!
- Sifton Bog – “There is a variety of trails within this site, totaling 2.7 km. A 370-metre long boardwalk leads from the parking lot at Oxford Street to Redmond’s Pond at the centre of the bog, where there is a viewing platform. Most of the trails are easy to walk, with a couple of short hills. The managed trails are marked with yellow blazes.”
- Kains Woods – If you are looking for something a little longer, drive west just outside the city to Kains Woods. The well-marked 5.8 km hiking trail offers views of black willow, cottonwood, hemlock and sycamore trees, plus plenty of birds and other animals. Be forewarned that there are steeper sections along this trail, which can get muddy during wet seasons.
- Westminster Ponds – Nestled in the heart of the city, the serene hiking trails in Westminster Ponds will almost make you forget you are in a metropolitan area. Wander along 10 km worth of trails that take you by six kettle ponds, marsh areas, rugged hills, and meadows. You can spy maples, oaks, hickory, basswood, and plenty of smaller plant life. Upwards of 200 species of birds and mammals like coyotes, deer, and beavers call Westminster Ponds home too. Don’t forget to visit the 250+ year-old white oak, which has the distinction of being London’s only Heritage Tree.
- Fanshawe Conservation Area – “Fanshawe Conservation Area offers something for almost everyone who loves the outdoors. There are 20 km of biking trails, 30 km of walking trails, fishing, boating, picnicking and playgrounds.”
- Kilally Meadows ESA – For an easy-to-walk hiking trail, try Kilally Meadows. Relatively flat trails border the Thames River, but meander between marshes, wet and dry meadows, grassy fields, and woodland areas. You’ll be sure to see a diverse population of flora and fauna
- Medway Valley Heritage Forest – Whether you enter Medway Valley Heritage Forest through the Museum of Archaeology or the Elsie Perrin Estate, you are in for a treat on these hiking trails. Follow Medway Creek with its 25 m steep banks, up stairwells, or across some of several bridges. This is the Carolinian Forest in all its glory!
- Komoka Provincial Park – Just west of London, Komoka Provincial Park is a day-use only park comprised of 11 km of trails. Expect a moderate trail with some steep hills, but a brilliant view of the Thames River. Be advised that paid parking off Gideon Dr is now your only access point, but the park is worth it.
- Thames Valley Parkway – Get moving along the city’s paved 40 km multi-use pathways. Whether you are walking, biking, roller blading, or running, London’s TVP connects several other trails as it wanders beside the Thames River. You are bound to feel better, even if you just sit on one of the many benches along the trail to enjoy the view.