Published on October 4th, 2017 | by Miriam Porter
Must-See Fall Sights in Ontario.
After a late summer heat wave, fall weather has finally arrived and the leaves are changing colours throughout Ontario. If you want to catch this spectacular event up close, pack up your car with a few cozy blankets, a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee and of course a camera and check out our must-see spots in Ontario to capture the magnificent colours of fall. Whether if you’re going to a provincial park, lookout point, trail, boat or even a winding road, these are some of the best places to discover the magnificent fall scenery.
Fall and Muskoka go hand in hand so if you have yet to visit this popular cottage country destination, now is the perfect season to head on over. For something a little different, consider a boat cruise along the Muskoka waterways. There are six cruises to choose from, including Muskoka Steamships in Gravenhurst and the Midland Tours in Port Severn. Until October 8, they there is a fall colour tour on the Serendipity Princess to the Big Chute Marine Railway. If you can’t get to Muskoka until later in October there are other ways to see the fall colours at several lookout points, including Huckleberry Rock Lookout Trail. This scenic trail is home to some of the oldest rocks in the world that are over a billion years old. The views from this lookout point is sure to fulfill all your fall foliage desires.
Algonquin Provincial Park is a popular Ontario location to see the leaves changing colour in autumn. It features an array of forests, which include spectacular Sugar Maple and Red Maple trees and the aspens, Tamaracks and Red Oaks are also gorgeous. Now until mid-October is the perfect time for a road trip to this diverse park. You can make this a day trip or consider a weekend adventure if you want to canoe or check out fall biking or hiking trails. It’s also an ideal picnic destination, so bring your favourite sandwiches and enjoy lunch under the changing leaves. Along the Highway 60 corridor is a good place to start your journey and there is also a museum, art centre and interpretive walking trails so you can snap photos of the stunning leaves as you saunter by.
If you want to combine a Canadian history lesson with your fall foliage road trip head over to Bon Echo Provincial Park. Located in Cloyne it’s about a three-hour drive from Toronto via the Trans Canada Highway. For a spectacular view of the glorious maple trees ride the ferry to the Cliff Top Trail. There are interpretive boat tours on Mazinaw Lake that sail over to the impressive 100-metre high Mazinaw Rock. It’s here you will find over 260 Aboriginal pictographs right in the face of the rock. Mazinaw, which means painted rock, is home to the largest collection of noticeable pictographs on the southern Canadian Shield and the only sizeable pictograph site in Southern Ontario, so allow time to see all of them. If it’s a weekend, rent a canoe and paddle at your leisure or choose one of many hiking trails to explore the wilderness. Bon Echo is open until October 15 so this long weekend is the perfect time to plan a trip to this unique destination.
For a stunning scenic drive that stretches from Niagara on the Lake to Fort Erie, you will want to check out the Niagara River Parkway. The parkway runs next to the river for 55 km, so your views are guaranteed to be picture-perfect. There are so many places to stop along the way, including Chippawa, Queenston and, of course, Niagara Falls. The Niagara River Recreational Trail has great biking trails that wind along the river and take you on a journey past historical sites and attractions. For a totally unique experience, ride the Whirlpool Aero Car to soar above the rushing Niagara Gorge and whitewater rapids for more autumn views of this unique area.
Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Killbear Provincial Park – a destination for fall hiking and biking along the rocky shoreline with striking views of peaceful pines and nearby islands. It’s open for camping and day use until the end of October. You can also canoe on Georgian Bay through a 12-km stretch and explore the fall colours of several islands on the route. Or hike along the Lookout Point trail that winds through the forest. There are several trails to choose from which are also the perfect places to look for birds (there are bird checklists available at the Visitors Centre). For the truly memorable, stay overnight so you can see a famous Georgian Bay sunset.
For the latest up-to-date information on where to see fall foliage, visit Ontario Parks’ Fall Colour Reports. And if you are looking for more seasonal activities, we have a list of the top 5 fall activities in Ontario to visit.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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