Celebrating International Trails Day!

The first Saturday in June is designated as International Trails Day – a day meant to celebrate trails and the healthy lifestyles they inspire. Spending time on trails can offer many benefits, both from the physical activity of hiking and from the opportunity to reduce your stress and improve your concentration, focus, and memory through practices such as forest bathing.  

Markham is home to several trails that you can spend some time on but if you are new to hiking, here are a few tips to remember to stay safe!  

Map out your route before heading out. 

To find trail maps and guides, you can check out the websites of trails such as the Bruce Trail or the York Regional Forest, check out a guide book, or download the Markham Public Library's Trail Project app for self-guided tours of trails in Markham. Make sure to bring a copy of your map or guide with you when you go on your hike!

Communicate your plans. 

Once your path has been mapped, make sure to let others know where you are going, when you are headed out, and when you expect to return.  

Know your limits. 

Select a trail that reflects your experience with hiking. Some trails, such as those that are operated by Parks Canada will include difficulty ratings ranging from Easy to Route. These ratings are determined by factors such as the characteristics of the trail and the availability of facilities such as benches along the trail.

Dress appropriately for your hike. 

Trails can contain a variety of landscapes and changing weather conditions. Make sure that you are wearing the appropriate shoes and clothing and that you are protect yourself from the weather by wearing sunscreen and bringing along water bottles and snacks. 

Do not approach any animals you may see while hiking. 

Parks Canada recommends staying at least 100 metres away from bears, bison, cougars, and wolves and at least 30 metres from other large animals. If you're expecting to see animals on your hike, stop by the Markham Village or Unionville branches to borrow a pair of binoculars from our trail collection so that you can safely observe them from afar!

Further Reading 

International Trails Day

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