#3 – Reasons NOT TO CLEAN: Walk & Hike

Use your time to get outside and walk!

Stop cleaning and allow us to clean for you.  Request an online estimate or call us at 416-535-9397 to find out more about Earth Concerns Cleaning. While we clean, you can spend time doing more important things.

1. Change Your Walking Route

We love our routines but trying a new route can bring back the excitement of exploring. For a great pick-me-up, choose a destination that’s just a little different than usual and take in the new surroundings. 

Local blogs and city websites are a great resource for walking. Toronto’s BlogTO has great suggestions, such as the most beautiful places to walk and winter walks that are dog-friendly.

To find a selection of inner city walks, check out Toronto city’s self-guided tours featuring urban, architectural, and discovery walks.

2. Making a Break in Your Routine

Walk close to home or the office. Get out of the office with a walking partner at lunch. If you work from home, schedule a walk with yourself or a neighbour to get yourself out of your home office.

Time may be short on your lunch break but even a quick twenty minute walk outside is a huge benefit to your mental and physical health. Keep time expectation manageable to enjoy every minute of freedom.

3. Join or Start a Walking Group

A walking group is just two or more people moving together. It can be as simple as one colleague walking with you at lunch time or walking home together. The best of social media takes you offline – here’s a Toronto meet-up group that explores Toronto in all kinds of weather. 

4. Discover Parks and Conservation Areas

Further afield, find and explore new trails to hike. Discover conservation sites in your area with the Ontario Conservation Authority. Stop to explore the trails in Ontario Provincial Parks. Buy seasonal day-use passes and pay less to visit more. Visit your favourite parks and get to know new parks and landscapes.

5. Apps with Maps

No matter where you reside, there are apps for touring inner cities, such as GPS My City, and for finding the best county trails, such as All Trails.

6. Walking in All Weather

If you only walk in sunshine, you are missing some of nature’s best attributes. You are missing a whole palette of colour and smells that emerge in the forest after rain. Post rain walks are the perfect time to see mushrooms and slime mold in all their glory. 

The beauty of winter hiking in snow and ice can only be captured in the full landscape of reality. Nothing on Instagram can compare to being surrounded by naked trees tipped with ice and snow, while soft snow flakes float around you.

To get in the spirit of all weather hiking, the High Park Nature Center has workshops, courses, and guided walks in all weather. 

7. Nature Journaling

You don’t have to be an artist, writer, or scientist to nature journal. All you need is a pencil, notebook, and the desire to learn new things. A wonderful community of nature journalists share their love and commitment for the process of journaling in nature both online and locally.

8. Birding

Birding can be a specialize skill or just an awareness as you walk of the sounds and movements around you. You can go all out if you like to wake up early and follow the call and migration of birders and birds.

Two thing I learned at a bird workshop with the High Park Nature Center
1. Birds like to hang out at the edge of the forest.
2. Walking along the shores of lake Ontario is a great place to see Raptors migrate because they don’t cross the lake, they fly around it.

Go to BirdsCanada.org for free online courses and more.

Identify the birds you see and hear with the Merlin APP from Cornell University 

9. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are all the rage and they should be. But most of us only know how to identify club shaped mushrooms. One short walk with the High Park Nature Center and I can now identify Birch Polypores, Wolf’s-milk Slime, Turkey-tails, Eyelash Cups, and Dead Man’s Fingers. More importantly, I now see more as I walk.

10. iNaturalist App

To identify the wonders around you, the iNaturalist app connects you to a global base of knowledge that can identify a tree, bird, plant, or mushroom that you come across. Record your observations, identify, and get expert advice about what you observe. 

Enjoy your time walking and exploring!