Toronto Trails Festival kicks off in the Bluffs

Over 100 people took in beautiful scenery while getting a little cardiovascular exercise at the launch of the seventh annual Toronto Trails Festival on Sept. 21.

The event began its six-week journey at the Scarborough Bluffs on a bright Sunday morning in Guildwood Park.

“Basically this program empowers people to get up off the couch, move, get their blood going,” said event director and founder Tom Fiore.

The festival continues until the end of October, taking place on the weekends. Three themed walks are included: The Tour of Toronto, Yoga Walks and Rhythm Walks. A list of upcoming walks and events is on The Toronto Trails Festival website which also provides the level of difficulty judging by terrain, speed, and length.

First time festival walker, Carolyn Cote, had missed the group’s departure from Guildwood, but decided to do the walk anyway.

“I found this place where I’d never been – because I’m not [originally] from Scarborough – and it’s beautiful. I want to come back and bring my camera.”

The goal of the trail walks is to promote a healthy lifestyle while embracing the city’s inspiring landscape that, amid the hustle and bustle of everyday responsibilities, may often get overlooked.

Fiore says there is a big need for this type of program in the community that challenges people, while making it easier alongside their peers.

“You can tell by the expression on their face. They’re happy and they feel fulfilled and that’s the important thing.”

For Cote, her favorite part was to just be walking along the water, seeing the seagulls, smelling the wildflowers and just breathing it all in.

“When I’m around the water and trees, it’s really healing for me, so I’m just enjoying being out and just feeling that again.”

The next hike will be on Sept. 27 beginning at 10 a.m. at Grenadier Restaurant in High Park.