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Hidden Trail Park

Equipment by Little Tikes.

Surface: wood chips.

For the first hour of our visit to Hidden Trail Park, we couldn’t believe how empty this playground was. It was late afternoon on a beautiful sunny day, and the neighbourhood was so quiet it almost felt abandoned. The only sound was the near-constant rumble of airplanes flying low on their way to nearby Pearson.

And so, in between squinty glances upwards to watch the planes pass, we enjoyed a very private-feeling hour of play on what is a pretty nice playground.

It includes some of my favourite Little Tikes equipment. First there’s the “Web” – four of their Infinity Climbers connected to form a near-horizontal loop with rope webbing in the middle. I love this one; it’s a fairly low-to-the-ground piece that provides good challenge without too much risk. Then there’s something that I think they call a “Ball Maze” – although it’s less of a maze and more of a trio of pods that are surprisingly cozy to lie in.

Two fairly standard climbers, one for bigs and one for littles, are joined by a small toddler clubhouse and a caterpillar who is fun to climb and wonderfully goofy looking. The caterpillar is purple, as is most of the equipment. The whole colour scheme is a very soothing light purple and pink, which made the deserted playground feel even more soothing.

It didn’t last though; suddenly the whole neighbourhood appeared to decide to head out to the park at the same time. Within minutes, a stream of families arrived as steadily as the air traffic overhead, and before we knew it there were 30+ people enjoying the purple-pink equipment.

We tried to find the hidden trail that the park (and the street) are named for. It’s a long trail that runs through a ravine, eventually connecting to the much larger G. Ross Lord Park. From the satellite photos it looks awesome. But as far as we could tell, there was no entrance to the path from Hidden Trail Park, which was a bit perplexing. As the forest edges close to the ravine, a fence prevents access to the trail below.

We considered walking all the way up to an entrance off Fisherville Road, but our daughter felt like doing cartwheels on the grass instead. And in my experience, when your daughter suggests cartwheels on the grass, it’s generally a good idea to go for it.

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