As mom to a young boy, I am always on the lookout for stroller-friendly trails around me. They ensure that I get good long walks, while my child can get into the stroller whenever he is tired.
Not only does this work perfectly for moms of infants and early-walkers, but these trails are also great for families who want to bike together. And now that my son is nearly five years old, he no longer gets into the stroller, but he loves accompanying us on his scooter, which is only possible on paved trails.
The five trails I have described below are of varying lengths, so you can choose one depending on your walking capacity. Or if you are anything like me, you will want to do them all! They all have parking spaces available.
So here is the list of my favourite stroller-friendly trails in Clarington:
- Farewell Creek Trail
Nestled between South Courtice’s residential areas on the one hand and Highway 2 on the other, Farewell Creek Trail is a little gem. It can be accessed from Tooley’s Mill Park. The turn towards the park is easy to miss, so look out for ‘Old Kingston Road’ south of the Tim Hortons at Centerfield and Highway 2.
Tooley’s has a small parking lot, which can accommodate four to five cars at the most. The parking is free. There is a cute gazebo at the entrance, which makes a great place for exercising, chatting with friends or yoga in the midst of nature. If you have a young one, bring a little mat and let him stretch out in the gazebo.
The trail starts right beside the gazebo and runs alongside Farewell Creek. This paved trail is about a kilometer long one-way and ends at a lovely bridge going across the creek.
If you don’t have a stroller, you can continue on the unpaved trails that criss-cross through the forest, else you can turn and walk back to your car.
One of the highlights of this trail is the hidden painted rocks that can be found in various nooks and crannies. Our son loves spotting these beautiful coloured rocks. If you do spot one, you can share a picture on the Facebook group: Clarington Hidden Rocks!
2. Courtice Beach Trail
After living in Courtice for over two years, we discovered that the town has its very own beachfront. Granted it is tiny, but the walk along the shoreline is beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset.
Finding this trail can be a tad difficult but worth the effort. Head south on Courtice Road until you are south of the 401. Take a right at the first crossing and you will see another right turn going towards the Darlington Provincial Park. Don’t turn for the park and instead head straight into the tunnel in front of you. The road on the other side is bumpy and not well-maintained, but it will take you right to the mouth of the beach.
You can walk on the beach or if you have a stroller, opt for the paved trail that runs beside it. This trail is about 3kilometers and involves a few steep climbs, but the views are absolutely gorgeous on a sunny day.
Parking here is free and easily available.
3. Bowmanville Valley
This is one of my personal favourites because it is paved, wide and beautiful. As a bonus, if you are walking in the spring or fall, you might be able to catch the Salmon and Trout run up the Bowmanville Creek. It is a sight to behold!
Travelling east on Highway 2, after the turn for Bowmanville Avenue, take the next right to Roenigk Drive. As soon as you turn into Roenigk, there is a road to the left curving downhill to the Bowmanville Valley parking lot. Parking is free and very spacious.
There are multiple other entrances to the Bowmanville Valley Trail. One of our favourites is through Nelson Parkette on Nelson Street, because our son absolutely loves the playground there. One can also park and enter from Baseline Road. Alternately, if you are further north, come in from Longworth Avenue.
The entire trail is about 8kms long, but you can choose to do different sections on separate days and slowly explore the entire path.
4. Darlington Provincial Park
There are a couple of paved trails inside the Darlington Provincial Park, which are quite easy to walk on with a stroller. The Provincial Park is just south of the Highway 401 near Courtice. Head all the way south on Courtice Road until you see the tunnel leading to the Courtice Beach. Turn right on the Darlington Park Road and follow the winding path until you arrive at the entrance.
Parking costs $$3 for 2 hours. My personal favourite is the Waterfront Trail which offers some breathtaking views of the McLaughlin Bay. There are picnic tables by the bay, where you can settle down for a snack. If you choose to do the entire loop trail, you are in for a 5.5km walk.
5. Soper Creek Trail
Nestled in a residential area of South Bowmanville, Soper Creek trail is beautiful when maintained through the warm months. It has a wide paved trail that winds through the neighbourhood and if you are adventurous enough, extends north of King Street towards a group of abandoned buildings. Apparently, these held prisoners of war a long-time ago.
However, if you are not exactly a history buff, the trail south of King is open, with green grass extending in all directions. There is a playground and basketball court beside the parking lot. Parking is free.
Know a stroller-friendly trail in Clarington that I missed out? Fill out a Contact Me form and let me know your ideas!
In Search of Love... a sweet love story!
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.