Those lazy days of summer are almost behind us, and with autumn comes the crisp, cool weather runners love. Maybe you run to clear your head after a busy day, or maybe you want to improve your health and lose weight. Whatever your reason, the sport of running is convenient, accessible and free (all you need is a pair of good running shoes!), and especially fun considering Mississauga’s many off-road running trails.
The benefits of a good run are undeniable, both physically and emotionally. Running strengthens the heart and reduces blood pressure, and research shows that it triggers endorphins so that we feel mentally better after a run—’runner’s high’ euphoria isn’t a myth! It is a full-body cardio workout with very little necessary equipment. If you haven’t taken up running, there is no better time to lace up your trainers and get out there. Consider joining one of the clinics at your local Running Room if you don’t have a workout buddy and are hesitant to train alone. They offer groups for all levels and distances and can help you find the proper gear to get started. Running on busy city roads can be daunting, but luckily our city is blessed with almost 300 kilometres of well-marked trails, many of which pass through greenbelts and parks, alongside rivers and gorgeous natural habitats.
Here are a few to choose from:
Waterfront Trail // 20 km
The Mississauga section of The Waterfront Trail spans from Oakville to Port Credit south of Lakeshore Road, winding its way along the shorefront through parks and wetlands. In the 1990s, this trail was established in an effort to connect urban areas with the beautiful natural areas along Lake Ontario. In Mississauga’s section, there are 11 parks throughout the 20 kilometre stretch. The section through Rattray Marsh is especially interesting, taking you off-road and into the last remaining coastal wetlands in Ontario. Expect to see deer, birds, and turtles—but be careful after dusk or you may even spot a coyote!
The David J. Culham Trail // 12 km
You’ll feel like you left the city behind on this multiuse trail in the heart of Mississauga. The David J. Culham Trail is divided into two sections: Dundas Street to Mississauga Road and Church Street to Velebit Court. Wind your way along the Credit River through beautiful wooded areas with foliage that burns red, orange, and yellow in autumn.
Etobicoke Creek Trail // 11 km
Run along the beautiful Etobicoke Creek, trekking through urban and natural settings. The Mississauga section of this trail spans 11 kilometres and takes you through parks and green spaces. Since some areas are well-paved and others are no more than a foot trail, the terrain on this running trail is interesting and challenging.
Lisgar Meadow Brook Trail // 5 km
A smooth paved route without inclines, this trail is part of the 16 Mile Creek tributary greenbelt and extends around the Osprey Marsh. Nesting boxes have been placed along the marsh portion of the trail, so enjoy the diverse aviary population while you run.
Cooksville Creek Trail // 4 km
Cooksville Creek Trail provides a 4-kilometre route from Shipp Drive to south of Rathburn Road. With packed gravel and paved sections, it is a great pathway for running with a stroller and forgoing the usual busy roadways.
Lake Aquitaine Trail // 3.5 km
This circle route trail is a paved path around the man-made Lake Aquitaine. A peaceful escape from the busy centre of Mississauga, you will often see people fishing or birdwatching around the lake, which is stocked with fish. The route includes an outdoor exercise machine circuit to complete your workout.
Sawmill Trail // 2.5 km
This unpaved dirt trail follows the Credit River Valley between the Collegeway and Burnhamthorpe Road. Enjoy a quiet respite through beautiful forest with the sounds of the river providing a buffer from the urban city nearby.
Reasons to start Running:
Running promises a calorie-busting workout and is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.
Instead of slogging away on a treadmill, keep your workouts interesting by getting into nature and seeing the beauty our city has to offer.
Improve heart health:
Running lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Improve your mental health:
Running improves your memory, mood, and
Don’t drain your bank account with a pricey gym membership when Mississauga has beautiful outdoor, year-round trails to offer.
by Kristen Psihogios
Walk + Roll Peel