Thornton Bales Conservation Area Loop Trail

MODERATE 70 reviews

Thornton Bales Conservation Area Loop Trail is a 4.0 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near King, Ontario, Canada that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4 km
156 m

dogs on leash



trail running






Thornton Bales Conservation Area is famous for its steep slopes and rugged beauty. This Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) is part of the Oak Ridges Moraine, and has an elevation that drops 54 metres from its southwest corner to its northern boundary. Nicknamed "The 99 Steps", this conservation area is best suited to people who are in good physical condition and enjoy a challenge. Water bottles and comfortable footwear are strongly recommended for hikers targeting these woodland trails. Among the wildlife that can be found in this ravine-like setting are pileated woodpeckers and white tailed deer.

2 days ago

Love this trail. Markers are well displayed. But it’s also fun to “get lost” and discover hidden secrets. Always finding a new route on this trail!

16 days ago

This was a pretty decent trail in terms of its moderate ranking, the nature it offers, and the workout. This trail goes pretty deep into a forest and isn't marked very well. I came across a few people who were a little lost; the directions on this app were the only thing that saved me and I still got off track ! You're rerouted by a sign put up from U of T doing research. On that reroute I became disoriented and eventually had to go off trail into the area I wasn't supposed to be in in the first place ! I enjoyed this trail and will probably go again. Advice: take your phone, be mindful of tick bite prevention, and maybe if you're a woman don't go alone like I did ! Because when I went it wasn't trafficked and you go pretty deep into a forest where it gets dark and desolate.

1 month ago

Amazing trail lots of paths to chose I enjoyed the landscapes and different species and plants. It’s a good walk up and down the hills. I recommend this site

1 month ago

not sure why it's rated moderate, I'd consider it pretty easy, but then I'm also used to steep mountain hikes in the west. none the less, great scenery and a great way to recharge if you're needing that nature break away from town.

1 month ago

The hills and stairs were great exercise. Not marked the best but had a great time finding our way!

1 month ago

Great trail and fairly maintained. Lots of hills and nice trees. A lot of people keep their dogs off leash but they shouldn't be as it's an on leash area.

2 months ago

this Trail was about 45 minutes north of Toronto and we did about a 4 km walk. there are lots of ups and downs and it's really hard to believe you're so close to downtown. We went on April 22nd and there was still a fair bit of snow and ice but the temperature was around 12 degrees C and beautiful for a walk. Will come back again.

3 months ago

This trail has been a favourite for years - it’s hilly (“99 steps”) and they’ve done some maintainence over the years so it’s much easier at the beginning however this is not a light stroll. It’s hilly and if winter - slippery and involves some creative moves across the terrain :) Will definitely get your heart rate up. Lovely space for a family walk, a date, a stroll, for dogs too.

5 months ago

6 months ago

watch out with winter hikes, slopes are difficult to navigate,but still doable with minimal ice.

7 months ago

Great trails, amazing views . Does have a lot of hills and rough terrain but love it. A little muddy in some parts , and they do need to come in and remark some of the areas. I found many people were getting lost from the Bathurst entrance ( I parked at the 19th side rd ). Blue trail turns to White markers near the end . Over all great like will defiantly do it again.

8 months ago

At the entrance of the trail there is a sign indicating that ticks are present in the area. Enter at your own risk.

9 months ago

Lovely forested area. Most of the main trail is wide, well-marked, and fairly easy. There are a couple of steep grades and other smaller trails tat are not marked. Unfortunately, the main trail was closed at major sections, so I could not complete the loop. I didn't see the waterfall or pond, but perhaps those are on the closed sections.

10 months ago

A little confused about the trail map - first half was clearly marked then trail got narrow and a bit overgrown but it was the actual trail on your map. Gorgeous tall, old maple forest - lots of hills and valleys. ❤️

11 months ago

nice forest, few visitors, poor signage

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's a great set of trails: slippery but gorgeous in winter, buggy but gorgeous in summer, and stunning in the spring and fall. The only downside, unfortunately, is as others have noted (thought it was only me that was bothered by this) that *very few* dog owners follow the dogs on leashes sign. It's not an off-leash dog park and with so many dog-walkers, it can feel like that to anyone just trying to hike, or with an on-leash dog or skittish kid, and not interested in your "he's well trained and only wants to say hi" dog. It can also get very busy, but hitting the side trails with higher elevation changes tends to fix that.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Short but fun!

Monday, February 27, 2017

very different in winter then fall// many locals walk dogs off leash.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Love these trails!!! Dogs are exhausted by the end of it! Every season looks splendid here.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Run in snow for 2 loops.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hiking shoes are a must. Some mud - some hills - overall a very moderate trail with great views.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

it was nice, but could use a more accurate mapping system. I ended up at jokers hill and not on purpose.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Awesome trail! Definitely wear your hiking shoes! A great workout with lots of ups and downs. Very easy to get lost this app is very helpful!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Great trail be careful I went with my kids and got lost

Sunday, July 24, 2016

There was a lot of hills, it was a great and challenging trail for us!!! We loved it!!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

It was a good trail that took approximately 1hr 15min to complete. While on the trail there were a few forks with different difficulty levels. We picked the hardest route which meant climbing up two steep slopes. This trail wasn't that scenic, more of a nature walk perfect for dogs. If I had to rate the the difficulty of this trail it would be a 2 out of 5 with 5 being the most difficult.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Great trail. Only thing is that no one abides by the on-leash rule and random dogs kept running up to me and my Shepherd.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Long walk with my dog. My only issue is there were a lot of people with their dogs off leash and my dog does not like strange dogs coming up to her. It makes her uncomfortable. I would have preferred owners to keep their dogs on the leash.

13 days ago

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