For many years I lived in Mississauga, the growing city west of Toronto. And in the 25-plus years that I was a resident, I never explored the trails at Riverwood Conservancy, until I met my future husband.
Since we loved doing hiking dates, one early spring day and one summer day, we hiked the trails at Riverwood Conservancy.
Urban Trail in MIssissauga
Located just west of “downtown” Mississauga on Burnhamthorpe Road, Riverwood Conservancy is a popular urban trail.
The first day we visited, so did many others desiring some sunshine and a change of pace. Long winters suck and when you get a hint of warmer air, I love heading outdoors.
Riverwood in April is on the cusp of blooming. Crocuses peep out from underneath dead leaves and branches on the ground. Small plants are starting to appear and the wildlife is waking up from its winter slumber. We saw a number of animals along the way including chickadees, chipmunks, red squirrels, and a garter snake.
The trails around Riverwood are well-marked and an easy walk in most spots. While heading back to the parking lot, there is a hike up a steep hill.
The 18 kilometre Culham Trail that follows the Credit River from Erindale Park, links up at Riverwood and continues north through to Brampton.
Although there is the hum of cars from the major roads in the area, you also hear and see many birds. Well-placed benches allow for a little rest and to listen to the natural sounds found here. It’s a welcome break from the urban concrete jungle.
A few months after our initial spring visit, we decided to take in a bit of nature once again at Riverwood.
This time everything was green and lush. Given that the Credit River runs through Riverwood Conservancy, the meadows are lushly green and full of Queen Anne’s Lace, Chicory flowers (often confused with cornflowers) and Tiger lilies among others.
We found the best time to walk during the height of hot summer season is early in the morning. This is a busy place on weekend mornings. You’ll see speed-walkers, runners and the walking enthusiasts out in full force by 8:00 a.m. Although it’s a busy spot, it’s always good to have somebody with you, as this is a city park and there’s safety in numbers.
Staying on the trails is important as the area has Giant Hogweed and poisonous wild parsnip – both which can cause serious health problems if touched.
The best thing about Riverwood is that it’s in the city. As it’s easy to get to, with free parking and entry, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t visit.
Directions to Riverwood Conservancy from Toronto:
Go west on the QEW to Hurontario Street, and turn north (right). Head up to Burnhamthorpe Rd. West and turn west (left). Continue on Burnhamthorpe until you go under the GO Train bridge. At the next light, turn right on to Riverwood Park Lane. You can park at the entrance just immediately on the left, or continue on to the large parking lot near the McEwan Field Station.