Planning for a day on the Pan Am Path
We at Friends of the Pan Path love to take spontaneous trips, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when planning an extended trip on the Path.
After all, there's a whole 87 KM to explore!
1. Consider your mode of transportation
The Pan Am Path stretches for 87km across 13 wards in the Greater Toronto Area, and is a perfect place to take a relaxing walk, rollerblade, skateboard, or a ride on your bicycle. Any of these are great options, but preparation is key to avoiding unexpected difficulties.
If you’re walking or jogging, bring a comfortable pair of footwear; if you’re riding your bike, make sure it is in good condition and the wheels are properly inflated.
If you don't have a bike and don't want the committment either, you can rent two-wheelers at various Bike Share locations throughout the city.
2. Decide your route and keep a source of navigation with you
The Pan Am Path is comprised of many paths and roadways, and at certain points it is easy to take one wrong turn and get lost. To avoid any detours, we recommend that you bring a device to pull up our website and moble map.
For users who prefer to be offline, you can download a pdf copy of our map here, which can then be stored on your mobile device or printed out and kept in your pocket.
For battery powered devices, recommend using a solar power charger or power bank.
3. Check the weather & dress appropriately
In our city the weather can vary dramatically, so make sure that you are prepared for the conditions that await you. We recommend to bring a backpack: you can store extra clothes, a blanket for spontaneous picnics, ponchos and umbrella's are also a great option to bring along with you.
4. Be aware of any obstacles, closures & safety concerns
Have a flashlight and reflectors on your bike, so drivers and other cyclists to see where you are.
While uncommon, it is possible that certain parts of the Path will be closed due to construction or inaccessible due to flooding or other adverse weather conditions. You want to be aware of these obstacles so that you can find ways around them ahead of time.
We are working with the City of Toronto and the TRCA to be able to provide this information through our website, stay tuned!
5. Have fuel for your body on hand
While there are many places to get food and water along the path, there are long stretches (particularly in the ravines) where food and water will be difficult to find. So, don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated, particularly on hot summer days.
For food you can throw something light into your backpack, be it a couple of granola bars, a bag of trail mix, or a sandwich. Trust us, they will make a huge difference!
6. Give yourself freedom to explore
While you may start out with a short visit to the Path, you can likely find yourself changing your mind in the moment. Perhaps you come across of the many events happening on the Path every month or maybe you’d like to make a pit stop and go to one of the many great restaurants nearby or explore a city neighbourhood that you’ve never been to before.
Either way, we recommend that you buy a sturdy U-Lock to securely park your bicycle when the opportunity to go off the trail arises. If you are using an alternative mode of transportation (like rollerblades) we recommend you bring a big-enough bag with you to store them, so you don’t have to lug them around.
Finally, bring your wallet with you so that you can pay for transit and aren’t limited to coming back the way you came.
Have a great day on the Pan Am Path? Let us know by using #PanAmPath and tagging @panampath on your posts and stories!