In Ontario, the leaves begin changing colour in mid-to-late September and into October. While we often take them for granted while they’re here, the window to enjoy this seasonal foliage is pretty small. Here are some great places in the province to make the most out of this short time of year!
Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Park sits at the confluence of southern deciduous and northern coniferous forests. This makes for beautiful scenery, but it’s the high number of sugar maples that make this park a great place to see the leaves change early in the season. It’s also the perfect spot to camp, and they accommodate car camping, canoeing, and day excursions.
The Balsam Lake Lookout Trail is one of the best places to get a breathtaking view of the leaves changing. The trail runs for a little over 2.5 kilometres and would take you about one and a half hours to walk. That is if you’re not stopping constantly to take in the scenery. The trail winds through a cedar swamp, deciduous forest, and ridges created by ancient glacial formations called kames.
Of all the places in Ontario, Collingwood and The Blue Mountains might have the most ways to enjoy the fall colours. One of the best places is the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, which can take you to the very tops of the trees on a suspension bridge, or below the ground through ancient caverns and caves. Enjoy the full view of Georgian Bay from a gondola or luxuriate in the colours changing at a local day spa.
When you drive down the 401 towards Niagara Falls, you might notice that as the trees change colour, the whole horizon does, too! Enjoy the scenery up-close at the Devil’s Punchbowl just outside Stoney Creek or in Beamer Memorial Conservation Area just outside Grimsby. You’ll get a gorgeous panoramic view of the trees and some spectacular landscapes carved out by an ancient lake.
It’s hard to find pristine ecosystems still intact among the urban sprawl of the GTA. However, on the other side of the Niagara Escarpment in Milton is Rattlesnake Point. This conservation area in Halton is a hot destination for backpackers, hikers, and even mountain climbers, but it’s great for people just looking for a day out. The park has plenty of spots to enjoy the golden and red countryside going all the way to Lake Ontario. Take a day to hike the area and you won’t be disappointed.
More great places, even if you don’t want to leave the city…
… London is the Forest City for a reason! While the nickname comes from the thick greenery that grew when the city was founded, parts of this ancient forest still exist at Fanshawe Conservation Area, Sifton Bog, Westminster Ponds, and the Meadowlilly Woods Trail. These are truly great places to enjoy nature and see the colours change.