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London’s top parks and trails

Cityscape of London, Ontario.

When life gets stressful, exploring the great outdoors is the perfect way to get some exercise and ease your mind.

The Forest City earns its namesake by providing an abundance of parks and trails, many of which are easily accessible by public transit. Get out and smell the flowers at these popular local nature spots.

Springbank Park

1085 Commissioners Rd. W.

One of the more famous nature-packed routes, expanding over 300 acres of land, this park is comprised of plenty of natural woodlands, garden vistas and family favourites such as Storybook Gardens, along with flower displays and landscape gardens. Springbank Park is open to strollers, cyclists, roller-blades and skateboards, with scenic trails taking visitors through quite the journey over 30 kilometres of pathways.

Harris Park

531 Rideout St. N.

With a view of the Thames River, Harris Park’s main trail leads to an area just after the river forks, with paved pathways and bench seating; the route opens to a grassland containing a newly built band shell used for events, primarily Rock the Park.

Victoria Park

580 Clarence St.

This iconic park, named after Queen Victoria, is the most popular park in London. The squirrels have become so comfortable with people they may even approach if invited. Located in the heart of the downtown core, this park is a must-see destination for any newcomer to London. Take a walk through the park on the winding paved walkway, or relax after shopping downtown on a bench or picnic table.

Kiwanis Park

1475 Brydges St.

Covering the area from Dundas to Trafalgar Streets, Kiwanis Park has pathways helping to link the surrounding neighborhoods. Described as a long narrow park, it features an accessible playground, two baseball diamonds and a skateboard plaza just south of Wavell Street. There’s a play structure for small children with baby swings, a triple slide and a merry-go-round, as well as a spray pad with washrooms close by.

Gibbons Park

2A Grosvenor St.

Similar to Springbank Park, Gibbons Park has a trail that runs along the Thames River and also a cross-country race route, a paved biking/running trail and warmup areas for stretching and other activities. If you need a cool down after your walk, there is an on-site outdoor swimming pool and splash pad open during the summer.

Westminster Ponds

696 Wellington Rd.

This site is one of London’s favourites with all the beauty and wild nature it has to offer. Hills, wildlife, plants and flowers make up over 200 hectares of nature trails. Visitors can be sure to bump into one of the five large kettle ponds during a solo trip, or alongside dogs, as this is a pet-friendly location. The ponds are home to over 200 species: birds, turtles, salamanders and beavers are just some of the animals you could see. As a heads-up, bicycles are not permitted into the pond area.

Medway Valley Heritage Forest

29 Doncaster Ave.

Medway Valley is more than just a forest; surrounding the heritage creek, this trail is the ideal site for swamps, marshes, valley slopes and communities of plants. Both sides of the stream are lined with over 10 kilometres of yellow blaze-marked trails. Situated between Windermere, Fanshawe Park, Western and Wonderland roads, Medway is deemed an environmentally significant area. It is closely monitored and protected to ensure the preservation of wildlife throughout the area.