The best hiking in Ontario can be found close to home, so make a date with your boots and hit the trails! Hiking is one of the most popular forms of outdoor physical activity. Most people already know it is great cardiovascular exercise, but there are some other not-so-commonly touted benefits of hitting the trails.

It’s Affordable

Who says the best things in life aren’t free? Hiking in Ontario is one of the most inexpensive physical pursuits.  Many of the trails in Ontario are free to use – all you need is a good pair of supportive hiking shoes or boots, a few snacks and a sense of adventure. Some trails may be located in provincial parks or private property and will charge a reasonable fee for use of the trails. A small price to pay to enjoy the great outdoors!

4 Season Fun and Fitness

When most people think about hiking, they picture sunshine and warmer weather, but the truth is winter is also an incredibly rejuvenating time to hit the trails, invigorating and scenic form of exercise. You can buy or rent a pair of snowshoes, bundle up and enjoy a tranquil winter wonderland.  If you have younger children who may tire easily, bring a sled.

Great Family/Couple Time

Sometimes your need to disconnect from your daily life to reconnect with your loved ones. Turn off your phones, computers and iPOD’s and take a long walk. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even plan a scavenger hunt. Seek out some of the local flora and fauna or wildlife – but don’t actually collect it. Hikers are always encouraged to leave a minimal ecological footprint.

Perfect for all Fitness Levels

It doesn’t matter if you’re a marathon runner or a leisurely stroller, hiking is great exercise for everyone. Just keep the competitive streak at bay and your stores of patience stocked. If you’re an avid and experienced hiker hitting the trails with a novice, the experience could be frustrating for you and discouraging for your partner.

Heightens Environmental Awareness

Hiking the trails of Ontario is a great way to gain appreciation of the natural environment. Moreover, by using Ontario trails, you’re supporting the sustainability of our ecosystems that are vital animals, birds, fish and plant habitats.

Sleep Better

Research shows that exercising outside increases your quality of sleep. Natural sunlight helps to regulate your internal clock, which is used to tell us when to eat and sleep. Your internal clock also normalizes hormonal functions that occur at specific times of the day. People who sleep better also have healthier immune systems and tend to weight less. Combine this weight loss with the 370 calories an hour the average person burns during an hour hike, and you’ve got one hefty reason to hit the trails.

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