Escape to Nature – Without Leaving Mississauga

by Chandra Robinson

There are few places where the urban landscape and nature collide, but that’s exactly what you’ll find in Mississauga. The city may be best known for its many downtown amenities and famed designer condos, but if you spend a day – or better yet, a long weekend – touring Mississauga, you may be surprised at just how much nature encroaches on the cityscape.

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle at home, you don’t even have to leave the city border to enjoy the serenity of forests, lakes and gardens. You can find over 500 parks right here in Mississauga, ranging from tallgrass prairies to conservation areas, including many hiking and cycling trails and waterfronts.

When you need to reconnect with nature, look no further than your own backyard. Mississauga has the perfect spot for you!

Take a Nature Break in the Heart of the City

If you’re a nature lover, the best thing about Mississauga is that there are so many parks, trails and scenic sights within walking distance from residential and downtown areas, including these favourites.

  • Wahoosh Falls: Discover this small hidden gem, which pours into Credit River, just before the Burnhamthorpe Bridge.
  • Lake Aquitaine Park: Only a short walk away from the Meadowvale Shopping Centre, you’ll find this favourite escape featuring beautiful wooded trails.
  • Kariya Park: Located downtown near Square One, this Japanese park, with its cherry blossom trees and water features, is truly an oasis.

Learn About Local Conservation 

Conserving the natural habitats of local flora and fauna is a common theme in Mississauga’s natural areas. When you visit these designated conservation areas, you can learn more about the city’s natural occupants and how they’re being protected, or just bask in the tranquility. 

  • Meadowvale Conservation Area: This free-admission spot offers views of the flood plain along Credit River and is home to rare and native plants.
  • Rattray Marsh Conservation Area: Known for its beautiful views from the pedestrian boardwalk, Rattray Marsh is beloved by bird watchers and also features a shale beach on Lake Ontario.
  • Riverwood Conservancy: This important ecological area is steeped in a rich history, with a fossil record that dates back 415 million years. It was originally used as a First Nations trading grounds. Now, you’ll find remnants of times past, including apple orchards from its agricultural ventures, as well as natural features that range from old growth forest to a native plant meadow for pollinators.
  • Jack Darling Memorial Park: Only three per cent of Canada’s tall grass prairies still remain, and this park is home to one of them. When you visit, you can help Mississauga’s Woodlands and Natural Areas team track the growth by taking a photo at the designated post and sharing it online (without a filter) with the hashtag #JDprairiewatch

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, you can find lots to do right here in Mississauga. There are lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors here besides hiking or relaxing in a park.

  • Kayak or Canoe the Port Credit River: Grab a rental and enjoy the slow current.
  • Take a Fishing Trip: Charter a boat and head out on Lake Ontario to catch salmon and trout.  
  • Enjoy a day on the links: Mississauga has some of Ontario’s most scenic golfing, including the popular BraeBen and Lakeview Golf Courses.

Whether you prefer an active day outdoors, a peaceful retreat, or simply a respite during your work day, there are many breathtaking #MississaugaMade natural areas to explore right in here in your own backyard. To discover more, follow Visit Mississauga on Facebook and Instagram.