national urban park in Ontario

Rouge National Urban Park is a national park in Toronto, Canada.

Rouge National Urban Park overlaps the cities of Toronto, Markham and Pickering and the Township of Uxbridge.


Rouge National Urban Park covers an area of 62.9 km2 (24.3 sq mi). It is the largest urban protected area in North America. It stretches from Lake Ontario in the south, north to the post-glacial Oak Ridges Moraine in the north.

The park is open with free admission to visitors 365 days per year, though there are camping fees. There are over 12 km of rustic hiking trails in the Toronto and Markham areas of the park, though Parks Canada has plans to significantly expand the trail network and provide a contiguous link from Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine. In Toronto, the park is accessible by public transportation by Toronto Transit Commission and GO Transit.

The park has natural, cultural and agricultural landscapes, and is home to over 1,700 species of plants and animals, some of the last remaining working farms in the Greater Toronto Area, rare Carolinian ecosystems, Toronto’s only campground, and human history dating back over 10,000 years, including some of Canada's oldest known Indigenous sites.

Parks Canada offers dozens of educational programs, including Learn-to-Camp, Learn-to-Hike, fire side chats, and other free programming.


The park was established on May 15, 2015.

The human history of the park goes back over 10,000 years. Palaeolithic nomadic hunters, Iroquoian farmers, early European explorers, and the multicultural suburban population that one can see around the park today are all part of this history. Since humans began living in the area of the present Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands in Ontario, many groups of people made the lands and waters now protected in Rouge Park their home. The river and its valleys, uplands, forests and wetlands, along with the animal and plant species that lived here, sustained small nomadic groups, and later on larger, permanent settlements long before the rapid urbanization of the 20th century altered the landscape dramatically.


Rouge National Urban Park is located in the Rouge River, Petticoat Creek and Duffins Creek watersheds. The Rouge River remains the healthiest river that flows through the City of Toronto.

Flora and faunaEdit

This urban park features numerous fauna such as white-tailed deer, mice, opossums, raccoons, hawks, coyotes, skunks, ducks, beaver, bald eagles, shrews, red foxes, turkeys, weasels, golden eagles, river otters, kestrels, moles, swans, minks, bats, woodchucks, and porcupines.


Get inEdit

Main visitor areas in the City of Toronto:

  • Lake Ontario
    • Rouge Beach/Rouge Marsh
  • Glen Rouge Campground
    • Glen Rouge Campground
    • Mast Trail (south end)
  • Twyn Rivers Drive
    • Glen Eagles Vista
    • Celebration Forest
    • Orchard Trail (south end)
    • Twyn Rivers Day-Use Area
    • Mast Trail (north end)
  • Toronto Zoo Area
    • Parks Canada Welcome Centre
    • Vista Trail (north end)
    • Orchard Trail (north end)
    • Cedar Trail
    • Beare Trail Loop
  • Finch Meander Area
    • Finch Meander Trail
  • Woodland Area
    • Woodland Trail

Main visitor areas in the City of Markham:

  • Bob Hunter Memorial Park
  • Reesor Road Welcome Area

Main visitor areas in the City of Pickering:

  • Lake Ontario
    • Rouge Beach/Rouge Marsh
  • Glen Rouge Campground
    • Glen Rouge Campground
    • Mast Trail (south end)

Fees and permitsEdit

There are no entry fees.

Get aroundEdit


  • Toronto Carrying-Place Trail National Historic Event: This was an original portage route along the Rouge River to the Holland River, linking Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe. This route was created by Indigenous Peoples, and later used by early European traders, explorers and settlers. The Rouge River route is not marked by a federal historical marker, but the western branch of the route, following the Humber River, has one acknowledging both forks of the route. The Toronto Carrying-Place Trail was designated a National Historic Event on the advice of the national Historic Sites and Monuments Board in 1969.
  • Bead Hill National Historic Site: Bead Hill is an archaeological site of an intact 17th-century Seneca village and was designated a National Historic Site in 1991. The site includes the remains of an Archaic campsite, dating about 3,000 years old. Minimal excavations have been carried out, and the site includes a naturally protected midden, which is thought to contain a wealth of material. Because of its sensitive archaeological nature, it is not open to the public nor readily identified in the park. Its National Historic Site designation was prompted by imminent development plans that could have encroached on the area.


Hiking. It has 13 hiking trails ranging from 500 m to 5 km and from easy to challenging. The park's hiking trails travel through a variety of landscapes, including meadows, forests, wetlands, and farmland.








Stay safeEdit

Go nextEdit

This park travel guide to Rouge Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.