Rattray Marsh and Jack Darling

Rattray Marsh Conservation Area & Jack Darling Memorial Park

Today’s report is going to be a little lacking in the photo department. I went on something of a date with a boy from the internets, and we decided to check out the trails in Rattray Marsh Conservation Area, and Jack Darling Memorial Park. And in my anxiety-riddled panic getting out the door I completely forgot my camera.

Rattray Marsh Trail Map

I’m terrible at meeting new people, but I’m most comfortable on the trails which I thought would help (it didn’t). And this trail is nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario in Mississauga, so I figured it would be fairly well occupied (because I’m not stupid enough to meet some random guy in the back country, that’s just asking for trouble!).

We parked at Green Glade Senior Public school off Meadow Wood Rd and hopped on the Secondary Trail. At the junction we took a right and headed down towards the Waterfront Trail. Unfortunately this was under construction, with a bridge out, so we had to backtrack and take the Secondary Trail up and over the top.

We got back down to the Waterfront Trail just to the left of the Knoll Trail. From here, we followed the Waterfront Trail to the east, towards Jack Darling Memorial Park. Just before Rattray ends and Jack Darling begins, there is a small trail to the right that leads to a pretty little beach. It’s only mildly less busy than the beaches at Jack Darling but worth the short side trip.

In to Jack Darling the crowds got much thicker. It was a beautiful day and many families and couples were taking advantage of that. The beaches were packed, and every picnic table and bench was claimed. A good chunk of the grass was covered with blankets too. Much too busy for my tastes, but I had my own company to (try and) keep me distracted.

The paths in Jack Darling are paved and open to cyclists, so watch for those. It’s a simple “J” shaped trail, leading from Rattray Marsh along the lake, and then straight up to Lakeshore Ave. A little boring, to be honest.

We covered Jack Darling fairly quickly and retraced our steps back to Rattray Marsh. On our way back along the Waterfront Trail, we took to the left to check out Knoll Trail. This is a nice boardwalk trail overlooking the mouth of Sheridan Creek. There are steps here, so it’s not wheelchair accessible.

Where Knoll meets back up with Waterfront, we checked out the downed bridge just to the left. There is an unmarked trail here that heads north from Waterfront. We decided to take that one and see where it brought us. It cut through the conservation area and joined back up to the Secondary Trail somewhere near the north end.

Just before Secondary Trail meets up with Waterfront Trail, there is an access point to the school. We decided to retrace our route down Secondary yet again to the Waterfront Trail and loop back to the cars through the school yard.

It’s a very pretty area and great for a short trip.

1h 26mins
94m elevation gain

Rattray Marsh and Jack Darling

Have you ever gone on a hiking date? Tell me about it in the comments!

Happy Trails,

About Mia

I'm a weekend warrior, escaping the bustle of Toronto by exploring a new trail in south central Ontario nearly every weekend. Hiking, camping, backpacking, crafting, baking and beer are a few things you'll find here.

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