I dream about big long family bike rides. Every year we get a little bit closer – a kid in TOw graduates to a two-wheeler and we move from cycling on sidewalks to testing out Toronto’s bike lanes. Then there are the bike trails. These offer the biggest adventure of all – an escape into nature right in the city.
On a sunny Saturday, we tagged along with a super cycling family to explore and test out our two-wheeling skills at the pump track, a circuit of bumps and jumps, nestled in the woods near the Sun Valley gravel loop in Crothers Woods.
1 – Getting there: The easiest access is taking the Lower Don Trail north of Pottery Road. There is a small area to park just west of the railroad tracks off Pottery Rd. Take the Lower Don Trail north. You can also access Crothers Woods by the Loblaws parking lot on Redway Road off Millwood Rd in Leaside.
2 – Ride the right bike. While a lot of the bike trails are paved, those that take you into the ravines are narrow and have a dirt or gravel surface. Any kind of bike is okay on pavement but it’s easiest and safest to manage on mountain bike, BMX bike, fat bike or for the littlest in TOw a run bike.
3 – Wear at helmet of course. Depending on the season, parts are muddy and grassy, wear long pants, socks and runners.
4 – The trails and pump track are made for two-wheels, but you can also explore Crothers Woods by foot. The pump track is fun to run and jump, but keep your head’s up – bikers have priority.
5 – On weekends, go early to avoid the most bike traffic.
6 – The trails are accessible year-round but stick to the paved trails if it’s really wet and muddy. It’s more difficult to maneuver in the mud, but it also destroys the trails.
7 – Pack water and a snack. There are benches at the pump track to hang out. There is a garbage can there but it’s questionable whether and how often the City removes it. Take your garbage out with you.