YRF Dainty & Clarke Tracts

York Regional Forest – Dainty & Clarke Tracts

It’s a beautiful sun-filled day here, so where better to enjoy it than the cover of some forested areas? Off I go to explore the York Regional Forest tracts of Dainty and Clarke.

Dainty Tract has the parking lot, just off of McCowan at Aurora Road. So here is where the journey begins.

YRF Dainty Tract Map

There was no one here when I arrived, but upon completing the loop, a few more guests had joined me. Still plenty of room in the parking lot!

YRF - Dainty Tract 01

The trails are well-kept and wide. I assume because these are mixed used, so beware of cyclists at breakneck speeds.

YRF - Dainty Tract 02

There’s also a lot of dog walkers on the trails, which is always fine by me. But I guess if you’re afraid of them, beware as well.

YRF - Dainty Tract 03

The Dainty Tract loops back around and follow Aurora Road for the length of it.

YRF - Dainty Tract 04

I’m not much of a fan for being so near people and cars so I took the mid-way trail back in to the center.

YRF - Dainty Tract 05

The center trail cuts across and joins back up with the trail I followed in. So I took a left when an opportunity presented itself.

YRF - Dainty Tract 06

This led back down to McCowan and followed it back to the parking lot.

YRF - Dainty Tract 07

You can cut your visit short here, but my plans included Clarke Tract across the street. It’s about 50m past the parking lot, on the opposite side.

YRF Clarke Tract Map

There’s not really any parking outside here, but if you want to be a jerk, you could pull up on the side of the road. But seriously, Dainty Tract’s lot is well within walking distance – that’s what you are here for, right?!

YRF - Clarke Tract 01

Clarke started off at a junction of three trails. I headed right, right in to the mud. It hasn’t rained for days!

YRF - Clarke Tract 02

Despite that, the rest of the trails were ok. Watch out for horse poop. And possibly horses – I didn’t see any, but if you should, please stop and allow the horse to pass you or follow the riders directions. Horses can be spooked pretty easily and that’s not a good thing in tight quarters like a forested trail, so minimize your movements.

YRF - Clarke Tract 03

It was at this point my camera died. Rookie mistake – always charge your batteries! Or at least check if you have enough for the day.

YRF - Clarke Tract

I didn’t and I wasn’t happy with myself. Originally I had planned on completing the Patterson Tract as well, since it’s just across the street from Clarke. York Regional Forest makes it easy to lengthen your trip like that. But instead I headed back towards the Clarke gates and down a really nice lane of trees.

YRF - Clarke Tract

I had tried to find the trail that looped back around from Aurora to McCowan, but I failed.

YRF - Clarke Tract

Back to the car! I’ll get Patterson another day – when I remember to charge my camera’s battery!

1h 30mins
100m elevation gain

YRF - Dainty + Clarke Tract

Grab your maps of ALL the York Regional Forest Tracts here: YRF Tract Guide

Have you ever ruined your trip with a dead battery? Was it all your fault, or did you have assistance? Share with me 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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