Sawmill Valley Trail provided our family with such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon! The trail was fairly easy, with no exposed roots or especially difficult terrain, which meant that all three kids, at their different levels and abilities, could navigate it independently and safely. As I mention below, we did remain cautious and vigilant of the creek, but for the most part, it was isolated from the trail by either railings or brush. It was a very peaceful walk, with the sounds of the rushing water as the soundtrack, and offered plenty of absolutely stunning views. It was almost entirely shaded, which helped it feel cool and not stifling on a fairly hot summer afternoon. The trail was also very clearly laid out, and whereas sometimes Y will attempt to detour or go off into the brush, this time it was easier to stay on course. Definitely one of the most family-friendly and enjoyable trails we’ve visited!
Below I’ll address different elements that I take into consideration when planning in the hopes of clarifying any accessibility or suitability questions you may have as you plan your visit! These are all based on our personal experience (our oldest son is autistic and non-verbal, and we are a family of 5 with a 7-year-old, 6-year-old, and 2-year-old). I would suggest doing a quick search to ensure availability before heading out to avoid any disappointment (especially with changing health protocols, potential grounds upkeep, events, etc).
There are a variety of entrances to the trail and addresses to accompany each. The main address we used to get close to our destination was
1955 Burnhamthorpe Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5L 3A5. There was also an entrance about 0.3 km from U of T Mississauga, so you may be able to input that as an alternate address to locate the trail. See below for the parking address we used that was super convenient!
We found a parking lot with free parking directly across the street from an entrance to the trail. Following the trail from here allowed us great views of the creek as well as the ability to explore a variety of different terrain. The parking lot was located immediately next door to Sawmill Valley Public School at:
3675 Sawmill Valley Dr
I’ve included a photo in the gallery below with parking information.
We found the terrain very manageable. The kids were all able to walk independently and while we remained cautious and vigilant of the creek alongside the trail, it was a very pleasant and easy hike. The terrain did change a few times from paved, to light, even gravel, to a fabricated boardwalk, to a wooden one. The paths were very wide, with ample room to pass anyone walking by and at no point did we feel too confined. The boardwalk had a rail on one side and not the other and Y attempted to step off of it a couple of times, so that is something to note or be aware of. Unlike Glen Stewart Ravine or Crawford Lake, it isn’t enclosed on both sides (links to both trails can be found below). Photos of the different paths and terrain are included in the gallery below.
Overall, the trail was very quiet. There was a small stretch where you could hear the sounds of traffic from nearby roads, apart from that, the sound of the creek was the main thing heard! There was a formation of rocks that the kids sat on near the creek to take a break about midway through, other than that there weren’t many places to sit and rest.
Size of Location/Busyness
We visited on a Sunday afternoon in July and it was not busy at all! We occasionally passed other families or people walking dogs, otherwise, it was very quiet!
Variety of Activities
As I mentioned above in the Terrain/ Accessibility portion, there are a variety of terrains to explore, as well as different areas where you can stop and look at the creek fairly closely. There was an underpass with a few different murals that was a fun photo spot as well! We passed families who were walking dogs or biking, both of which are great options as well, if applicable for your family.
There was no cost to visit!
Other helpful links in this series:
Summer Adventures & Accessibility!
What We Consider When Planning An Outing
Guild Park and Gardens
Glen Stewart Ravine
Crawford Lake Conservation Area