The Best Places to See Fall Colors in Ontario4 min read
Autumn is a gorgeous time to be in Ontario, Canada. The province is covered with lakes, forests and cliffs. With very few peaks above the treeline, the province turns into a sea of fall colors every year.
Whether you hike, canoe, drive or take a train, here are our top places to take in the breathtaking fall colors.
Killarney Provincial Park
The white cliff faces of Killarney Provincial Park make a spectacular background for the bright fall colors. Rent a canoe and paddle around Killarney’s extensive lake network. From a day’s paddle to a multi-day trip complete with portages, you’ll find adventures for all levels at the park. Hikers can also follow the 78 km La Cloche trail to get a closer peek at the leaves (through-hikers take an average of seven days to complete the full loop).
Arrowhead Provincial Park
While Algonquin Provincial Park is famous for its fall colors, Arrowhead, Algonquin’s little cousin just down the road, hosts similar scenery with fewer crowds. If you’re hoping for a multi-day canoe or hiking trip with fall camping, stick to Algonquin. If you’d rather go for the day and stay in a (heated) cabin nearby or camp on maintained campgrounds, be sure to check out Arrowhead.
You’ll feel like you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean with the blue waters of the Bruce Peninsula. It makes the autumn colors feel even brighter matched against the rocky turquoise coast. Hike the Bruce Trail or camp in Bruce Peninsula National Park to appreciate the leaves changing in the day and a crackling campfire with the sounds of crashing waves at night.
Kawarthas Great Trail
This multipurpose trail spans the country from coast to coast. Originally called the Trans Canada Trail, this path connects to roads to St. John’s in the East and Victoria in the west. The Kawarthas section of the trail is a wide, flat, gravel path which makes it the perfect place for cycling or walking. You can stop off at small towns along the way to sample apple cider or visit one of the pumpkin patches in the region. There are plenty of character-filled B&Bs along the way.
Georgian Bay Islands
Muskoka is usually what Ontarians think of when you mention “cottage country” and the fall foliage here won’t disappoint. The quintessential Canadian Shield landscape makes a wander around this area feel like you’re walking through a fall painting. But Georgian Bay, in particular, is popular with boaters, hikers and campers looking to escape for a weekend or more into the stunning waterways.
Georgian Bay National Park is only accessible by boat and hosts several campgrounds open through the end of October. Taking a fall hike on this island also takes you around old indigenous trade routes and resting points in the area.
Prince Edward County
An area of the province that is quickly growing in popularity due to its natural beauty, artsy vibes and, not least, plentiful vineyards and cideries. Take a drive through this lush area, visit Sandbanks National Park and stop at some of the many local wineries and cider bars to sample the unique flavors while you take in the autumnal colors.
Railways once covered much of southern Ontario, but many of those routes are now closed down (and, wonderfully, converted into multipurpose recreational trails). However, head to Northern Ontario and you can discover the Agawa Canyon train—a gorgeous train route famous for fall color viewing.
Starting in beautiful Sault Ste Marie, one of the biggest cities in the northern part of the province, the train winds through fall foliage until it descends into the canyon. Here, you’ll get the chance to stretch your legs and explore the rapids and waterfalls nestled in the fall leaves.
On this trip, you might feel like you’re in a painting—literally. These landscapes inspired the work of the Group of Seven, a group of famous Canadian painters.
Ontario is a wonderful place to take in Canada’s autumnal beauty. You’ll be spoiled for choice and between rugged wilderness adventures and luxurious train rides and road trips, there’s a way everyone can experience the fall colors.