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Monday, March 22, 2010

Cullen Central Park and Heber Down

Warning: this post won't be very interesting if you don't live in the Durham Region of Ontario, Canada.

You've been warned!

OK then. You're still here? Good!

Normally, I equate mountain biking and trail running with a trip up to Durham Forest. There are acres and acres of trails to get lost on, it's wonderful.

But what about mid-week, when one has an hour to burn? What then?

Answer: Cullen Central Park and Heber Down Conservation Area!

Cullen Central Park

Recently purchased by the Town of Whitby, it is now open to the public free of charge. Gone is the miniature village, the mini golf, or anything that used to make this a tourist attraction.

Left behind? A small series of trails suitable for everything from hiking to biking.

Click here for a map.

If you're on a bike, it's possible to follow the top yellow trail across the creek right to the end of the arrow... keep an eye out to the north, and you can connect to Heber Down (via the Group Camping area). The town eventually intends to make this link more official.

Heber Down

Heber Down is a conservation area in north Whitby. Trees, trails, creeks, a taste of nature right next to the town.

Click here for a map and brochure

There are many trails in the park, mostly unpaved and suitable for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking.

The only caveat - many dog owners treat this as an off-leash area, despite the signage clearly stating dogs must be leashed. Take appropriate precautions.

Urban (and Suburban) Trails

Having been through various portions of the Toronto area, I know this is not entirely unique... sometimes a chunk of nature is right under your nose, you just have to find it. It may take a bit of exploration and a few dead-ends, but that's part of the fun! Happy Urban Trailing.


Andy said...

Thanks for posting this info. I am a retired Durham Region resident and like hiking on local trails.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog! Here is a map I created of the trail that goes from Cullen Central Park to Heber Down. Here is the link to the latest version of the Heber Down Conservation Area trail Map.

Jon P said...

Thanks! Updated the link on my post to the new map. The Cullen link you posted is a bit different from how I've gone usually, this is my route:

The advantage of yours is no creek crossing, though. :) It's OK on the bike, but not so great on foot (especially if the creek is high from rain).

Anonymous said...

Heading to Heber other than crossing the creek as noted means you actually are trespassing (and parking as indicated by the arrow) on land currently owned by the Cullens.

Jon P said...

Not trespassing - the land was sold by the Cullens to the city a few years ago, it is all part of Cullen Central Park.