Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (2023)

Ontario Parks are an ideal place to see the Ontario autumn colours. Below, we focus on which Ontario Parks would be ideal for you to visit in order to see the best fall colours in Ontario, and look closely at Algonquin Park, and the parks nearby.

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (1)

Though autumn does signal that winter is on its way, it’s hard not to have a soft spot for autumn in Ontario because of its sheer beauty. San Diego might have the perfect weather all year round, but they don’t know what its like to see the trees bursting with bright oranges and reds that would have any painter salivating.

We recently wrote about some of the most breathtaking places to see fall colours near Toronto, but today we’re going to run through where else you can and should be looking to make the most of fall in Ontario. Specifically, we’ll focus in on how to see the fall colours at Ontario Parks.

If you’re looking for a great little autumn Ontario weekend getaway, or perhaps even to take a day off during the week and to soak it all in (don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss), then this article is for you.

The Ontario Fall Colours Report

Many Ontarians don’t know that Ontario Parks actually does a brilliant job of tracking fall colours for us. You can find their interactive map right here, and its diligently updated through the fall.

On the right side, you’ll see a colour icon that will be representative of each specific park and its fall colour report, so you’ll know which parks are in bloom. The colour of each region is determined by averaging all parks within that region.

Generally speaking, the best Ontario fall foliage is typically seen from the middle of September to the middle of October, but each year is going to be different, and that’s why we’re such a big fan of the Ontario fall colours report.

This is also a good way of discovering new parks in the province. You might come across a lesser known park that has gorgeous colouring, and decide to go and check it out. Here at Ultimate Ontario, we try to put the focus on lesser known parks where we can, and that’s why we focus on things such as Quetico Provincial Park’s Dark Sky Designation.

What You Need to Know About Fall Colours at Algonquin Park

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (2)

The most famous place to see fall colours in Ontario is undoubtedly Algonquin Park. There’s absolutely no question that it’s stunning, but it’s also busy as can be.

(Video) 5 Best Places in Ontario to See Fall Colours

We’re going to include some tips here directly from Ontario Parks to help you navigate seeing Algonquin Park in Autumn without getting snubbed because there’s no space for you left in the park.

This year, Algonquin is piloting a new service for day-use visitors:advance sales of daily vehicle permits. One hundred percent of daily vehicle permits will be available in advance. If you arrive without booking in advance, and they’re already sold all daily vehicle permits for the day, then you’re out of luck, so make sure you book in advance.

You’ll want to make a reservation if you’re visiting for the day.

From Ontario Parks:

“We know you don’t want to spend your time driving to Algonquin or sitting in lines, only to be turned away because we are already full.

If you’re coming for fall colours,book the Highway 60 Algonquin access point.

You can obtain a daily vehicle permit up to five days in advance of your trip,beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Make your reservation:

Online atOntarioParks.com or by phone at 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275) – open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST

(Video) TOP 6 places to see FALL colors in Ontario!

Not sure how to book?Here’s a walkthough.

Even if you have a season permit, you’ll need to make a reservation.

They’ve noted that you’re best to come on weekdays to see the Algonquin fall foliage. The cost is 21 bucks per day, per vehicle, unless you’ve already got a seasonal permit and then you’ll book in advance, but won’t be charged.

You can indeed stay overnight as well if you’d like at a selection of lakes, but, again, reservations are strongly encouraged.

What Other Ontario Parks Should I Have On My Radar for Ontario Fall Colours?

Some of this will depend on your location in Ontario, as well as you using the Ontario Fall Colours Report to find the best spot, but we’ll quickly run through some other excellent spots to see Ontario fall foliage.

The list below is in no particular order, and they’re all wonderful in their own right. We’ve focused more heavily on provincial parks that are near Algonquin Park in case you’re aiming to see the fall colours at Algonquin, but then have to make some ulterior plans. Most of these parks are located within a 2 hour drive of Algonquin.

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Large, treed and private campsites in the heart of Muskoka. You’ll also find three sand beaches on Arrowhead Lake which make for some lovely photography. Motorboat-free lakes, and over 15 kilometres of hiking trails, including a trail to a waterfall (Stubb’s Falls).

Restoule Provincial Park

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (3)

The ancient cedars of Restoule are lovely to paddle alongside in the summer, but they’re even more stunning in the fall. If the weather is nice, consider hiking the Fire Tower Trail for an amazing view of Stormy Lake. This park is also known for mountain biking if that’s your thing!

Whether you choose to do some waterfront camping or backcountry camping, Restoule quietely offers some of the best Ontario fall colour viewing opportunities.

(Video) TOP 5 Fall Destinations In Ontario

Silent Lake Provincial Park

Silent Lake has almost 20 kilometres of hiking trails, and to go along with that, they’ve also got 17 kilometres of mountain biking trails. Wherever you go, and however you choose to see this provincial park, note the remarkable lookout over Silent Lake. There are two sandy beaches, no motor boats, and some campsites available for walk-in camping enthusiasts.

There’s also four season accommodation at yurts and camp cabins available.

Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Earl Rowe is known for its abundance of quality hiking trails, including one that is a paved trail for those with accessibility needs. Earl Rowe Lake is a great spot for canoeing, fishing, swimming and everything in between. They’ve got a fair bit of RV and car camping for those interested in that.

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park

Many will know that Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park is located on the historic Mattawa River, which was a fur trade route in the scenic Mattawa Valley. This park is known province wide for its fall colours, and hiking trails which give vantage points of the colours. It’s also a fantastic place to explore via canoe, which is part of the reason the Voyageur Adventure Interpretive Experience is headquartered here.

Mikisew Provincial Park

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (4)

Mikisew has plenty of private campsites in mature maple and open red pine forests, which makes it a nice spot for fall foliage. If you’re fine with cold water, then you’ll be happy to know they’ve also got three shallow sandy beaches (which are popular with families in the warmer months). The hiking here will take you through hardwood forests and some picturesque ponds and wetlands.

Lake St. Peter Provincial Park

A large lake that’s ideal to explore via boat that, like Balsam, has ample fishing opportunities. Not to mention, a handful of beaches if you’re keen to take a dip (but, again, we know it may be a touch too late in the year). Lake St. Peter is located only 30 minutes from Algonquin’s East Gate, so it’s a fairly good backup if you can get into Algonquin because they’ve run out of permits for the day, but it is certainly beautiful in its own right.

Bonnechere Provincial Park

Bonnechere has a rich Ottawa valley history, but it’s got a lot more than that. They’ve got a lovely beach on the shores of Round Lake, the McNaughton Trail, a historic depot with log ranger cabins, and some rustic cabins to rent for those who are looking to see some fall colours and then spend the night.

Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park

Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park is located only 5 minutes from Algonquin’s West Gate so, again, that’s worth noting if you’re unable to get into Algonquin if it’s already full. You’ll find the impressive Gravel Falls here, and it’s only a short trail from the parking lot to get to a lookout of the thundering Whitewater Falls. Many people consider the falls here to be some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ontario.

Balsam Lake Provincial Park

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (5)

This is a spot to have on your radar if you wouldn’t mind doing some fishing while you take in the fall colours. Balsam is known for having some great Walleye, Muskellunge, as well as Large and Small Mouth Bass. There are some easy hiking opportunities here, as well as the chance to do a little boating on the Trent-Severn Waterway. Not to mention, a large sandy beach.

(Video) Top 5 Parks in Ontario to watch Fall colours & Fall Camping #shorts

You may also want to know that they’ve got a fully-furnished four bedroom rental cottage available.

Make the Most of Fall in Ontario

We’re lucky that before winter in Ontario, we get to see this remarkable transformation take place before our very eyes. Some years, we barely stop to take it all in, so we hope this article serves as a kind reminder that it’s worth it to make the drive or to stay overnight in places that allow us to truly appreciate the majesty of fall in this province.

If you appreciated this article, you’ll loveour newsletter, as well asour Facebook group! Feel free to join, all are welcome.

Where to See the Best Fall Colours in Ontario: The Ontario Parks Edition (6)

Christopher Mitchell

Christopher Mitchell is the Cofounder of Ultimate Ontario. He’s visited over 80 countries, and has lived on 4 continents, but now has his eyes set squarely on exploring this incredible province, and helping others do the same.

(Video) 8 Amazing Places in Ontario to See Fall Colours

FAQs

Where is the best fall foliage in Ontario? ›

The most famous place to see fall colours in Ontario is undoubtedly Algonquin Park. There's absolutely no question that it's stunning, but it's also busy as can be.

What is one of the best places to watch the leaves changing in the fall? ›

The Most Beautiful Places in the World to See Fall Foliage
  • Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. Ali MajdfarGetty Images. ...
  • Aspen, Colorado. amygdala_imageryGetty Images. ...
  • Vermont, USA. DenisTangneyJrGetty Images. ...
  • Sleepy Hollow, New York. ...
  • New York City. ...
  • Napa Valley, California. ...
  • Asheville, North Carolina. ...
  • Denali National Park, Alaska.
12 Oct 2022

Where are fall colors best? ›

Perhaps it's time to start packing the binoculars, strapping on the hiking boots, and firing up the Instagram feeds for some autumn adventures.
  • Bar Harbor, Maine. ...
  • Ozark National Forest, Arkansas. ...
  • Catskill Mountains, New York. ...
  • Huntington, New York. ...
  • Stowe, Vermont. ...
  • Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. ...
  • Eastern Shore, Maryland.
29 Aug 2022

What is the most beautiful Provincial park in Ontario? ›

Hands down, the most well-known is Algonquin Provincial Park. Why? Well because of its beauty, but also its size. This park is huge: 2,955 hilly, craggy square miles of trails, lakes to fish, and clear rivers, populated by moose, bear, wolves, and myriad wildlife.

Is there an app for fall foliage? ›

Find and report the best and brightest foliage colors with Yankee Magazine's Leaf Peepr app. Featuring the ability to share photos, write comments and even rate the foliage status of your current location, this app uses user generated content to deliver the most current conditions.

Where is the prettiest town in Ontario? ›

Prettiest Towns in Ontario: Goderich

Goderich has gained the reputation as “the prettiest town in Canada“. It has historic charm, natural beauty, and astoundingly stunning sunsets. First, go for a wander around The Square, the hub of Goderich.

What colors are in this fall 2022? ›

Fall / Winter 2022-2023 Colour Trends
  • Red Molten Lava and Lava Falls. A classic fall color, red tones are present in all the fashion weeeks of the season. ...
  • Tangerine Tones. ...
  • Yellow Spicy Mustard and Samoan Sun. ...
  • Abundant Green and Martini Olive. ...
  • Pastel Pink and Rose Violet. ...
  • Meadow Violet. ...
  • Blue Hues. ...
  • Gray.

Which month is best for fall colors? ›

Typically, the second and third week of October are the peak times, but it shifts depending on where you live and your local weather conditions. Foliage starts to change in the northern-tier states out West and in the Midwest by late September. By October 4, the leaves in some areas will be past their prime.

Where do fall colors last the longest? ›

Connecticut boasts the longest-lasting fall foliage season.

Connecticut may be the third-smallest state in the US by square miles, but it's the state with the longest-lasting fall foliage season, making for captivating views at just about every corner.

Should you go lighter or darker in the fall? ›

With a darker shade, you'll not only feel ready to take on fall, but you'll have the color to match. Lighter summer hair goes well with bright summer dresses. But fall is all about bringing back the warmth with sweaters, boots, auburns, and wines. A deeper tone can add dimension back into your hair.

What is the most visited provincial park in Ontario? ›

1. Algonquin Provincial Park. Algonquin Provincial Park, just three hours north of Toronto, offers easy access to Ontario's amazing wilderness.

How do I access fall detection? ›

Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch. Go to SOS > Fall Detection, then turn on Fall Detection. You can also open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch, tap Emergency SOS, then turn on Fall Detection.

Does iPhone have fall detection app? ›

If you have iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro, Fall Detection notifications to emergency services may be communicated by the Emergency SOS via satellite system when you're outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, where Emergency SOS via satellite is available.

Is there a fall detection app for iPhone? ›

FallSafety Home is the most comprehensive fall detection designed to provide you and your loved ones peace of mind. FallSafety home uses intelligent fall detection and automatic alerts for emergency assistance. Both big and small falls are set to be detected by default. FallSafety Home is easy to use.

What is the cheapest small town to live in Ontario? ›

With a population of roughly 233,000 people, Windsor offers the most affordable rent in Ontario, according to Rentals.ca.

What is the friendliest city in Ontario? ›

Friendliest Communities (and Towns) in Canada
  • Carp, Ontario. ...
  • North Hatley, Quebec. ...
  • Bayfield, Ontario. ...
  • Miscouche, Prince Edward Island. ...
  • Malahat, British Columbia. ...
  • Taber, Alberta. ...
  • Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. ...
  • Quispamsis, New Brunswick.

What is the cheapest town to live in Ontario? ›

However, like every province in Canada, real estate prices vary from city to city. The cost of renting or buying a house in Ontario depends on the home's size, location, and condition.
...
  1. Sudbury. ...
  2. Sarnia. ...
  3. Windsor. ...
  4. Thunder Bay. ...
  5. Rainy River. ...
  6. Deep River. ...
  7. Peterborough. ...
  8. Barrie.
6 Jul 2022

What color is in style right now 2022? ›

Royal purple, jewel-tone teal, and burning red are all trending hues incorporated on the Fall/Winter 2022 runways, each with its glamorous style.

Which Colour is trending now 2022? ›

Pantone's Color of the Year 2022: Very Peri

The blue-purple hue is described as “blending the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red.”

What is the most popular color right now 2022? ›

Leading paint companies Benjamin Moore, PPG, and Sherwin-Williams all agree: 2022 is the year for gray-green. The sophisticated hue symbolizes balance and harmony often seen in the natural world.

What is the prettiest tree in the fall? ›

TOP TREES FOR FALL COLOR
  • VINE MAPLE (Acer circinatum) ...
  • FRANKLIN TREE (Franklinia alatamaha) ...
  • WASHINGTON HAWTHORN (Crataegus phaenopyrum) ...
  • APPLE SERVICEBERRY (Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Autumn Brilliance') ...
  • RED OAK (Quercus rubra) ...
  • QUAKING ASPEN (Populus tremuloides) ...
  • DOGWOOD (Cornus florida) ...
  • SASSAFRAS (Sassafras albidum)

What is the number one fall tradition? ›

1. Carve a Pumpkin and save the seeds! I know it's cliche to say this, but so many people just let their kids color or paint a pumpkin.

Where are the fall colors in Caledon? ›

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park for a plethora of foot trails, bridges and water falls. Elora Cataract Trailway is stroller/bike-friendly. Belfountain Conservation Area with trails, suspension bridge and historical features. Terra Cotta Conservation Area scenic trails around Wolf Lake.

How long do fall colours last in Ontario? ›

This spectacular display of fall leaf colour is visible all over Ontario. This seasonal show takes place in the months of September and October. The absolute best time to see fall colours in Ontario is in October. By the end October, leaf fall is significant and if there is heavy rain it can end quickly.

Why are the leaves changing color so early 2022? ›

Experts say during a drier season, leaves tend to turn colors earlier and will end the process quicker than in years with more precipitation.

What month is fall the prettiest? ›

California. Peak time: Mid- to late October is the best time to view fall color, starting from the higher elevations in the Shasta Cascade region down to the foothills and coast.

Why is fall color so late this year? ›

The timing comes down to several weather factors

Areas where warm temperatures persist can see fall colors arrive later than normal, especially if they've had near-average amounts of rainfall.

What weather produces the best fall colors? ›

A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.

What are the 3 fall colors? ›

What are fall colors? The colors most associated with fall are orange, red, yellow and brown, inspired by the seasonal changing of leaves' colors as temperatures drop and daylight shrinks. (Learn more about the science behind the dazzling colors of fall.)

Do mornings get darker in daylight Savings? ›

The transition between DST and Standard Time has darker mornings and more evening light.

Does hair color change with seasons? ›

Like the skin, hair is exposed to the sun, and therefore UV rays, during the summer. Your hair reacts to the sun, as does your skin, by changing colour. The sun slightly bleaches your hair, even more if you expose your hair to seawater or swimming pool water (that contains bleach).

Do mornings get lighter in winter? ›

It would seem logical that after the shortest day has elapsed the mornings would start getting lighter earlier, but this isn't what happens - the mornings continue darkening until early in the new year.

What age is a senior rate at Ontario Parks? ›

Seniors and Ontarians with disabilities

Ontario Parks offers discounts on day use fees to Ontario residents aged 65 and over and Ontario residents who possess a CNIB identity card or Ministry of Transportation accessible parking permit.

What is the most beautiful park in Canada? ›

Best National Parks in Canada
  • Jasper National Park.
  • Gros Morne National Park.
  • Banff National Park.
  • Yoho National Park.
  • Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Kootenay National Park.
  • Auyuittuq National Park.
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

What is the oldest provincial park in Ontario? ›

Algonquin Provincial Park, established in 1893, was Ontario's first provincial park and one of Canada's oldest. Today, Ontario's diverse system of parks protects an area greater than Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island combined.

What is the number 1 visited national park? ›

Coming in at the top spot with a whopping 12.1 million visits, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the country's most-visited national park. Crossing North Carolina and Tennessee, this park is known for its wildlife, waterfalls, and fog-covered mountains.

What is the most beautiful provincial park in Ontario? ›

Hands down, the most well-known is Algonquin Provincial Park. Why? Well because of its beauty, but also its size. This park is huge: 2,955 hilly, craggy square miles of trails, lakes to fish, and clear rivers, populated by moose, bear, wolves, and myriad wildlife.

What is the clearest lake in Ontario? ›

Florence Lake, Temagami

The sparkling water is so clear, you can see to a depth of 20 metres below your canoe. Sandy beaches and mysterious caves dot the shoreline, and Florence Mountain—accessible via a rough trail—rises almost as high as Temagami's famous Maple Mountain, with superb views from its rocky summit.

What is the cleanest lake in Ontario? ›

Grand Bend's namesake beach is a popular Lake Huron getaway. It is one of the cleanest lakes in Ontario and one of just 27 beaches in the country that's been awarded Blue Flag status for strict water quality regulations.

Where can I see leaves change in Ontario? ›

14 Best Places to See Fall Colours in Ontario
  1. Georgian Bay Island National Park.
  2. Lion's Lookout in Huntsville.
  3. Huckleberry Rock in Lake Muskoka.
  4. Red Leaves Resort (the JW Marriot)
  5. Driving the local highways.
13 Oct 2022

Where are the best fall colours in southern Ontario? ›

Southern Ontario
  • Spy Rock Lookout. Head to Foley Mountain Conservation Area in the Rideau Valley for a fantastic viewpoint atop a protruding granite ridge. ...
  • Scarborough Bluffs. ...
  • Skinners Bluff Scenic Lookout. ...
  • Rattlesnake Point. ...
  • Eagle's Nest Lookout. ...
  • Cheltenham Badlands. ...
  • Dorset Scenic Tower. ...
  • East Lookout.
21 Sept 2022

Where are the most waterfalls in Ontario? ›

The Devil's Punchbowl in Hamilton

The Hamilton area on Lake Ontario's western tip, about an hour's drive from Toronto, has 100 waterfalls alone.

Where are the fall colors in Kawartha Lakes? ›

There are many other hikes we'd recommend in the Kawartha Lakes area, but check out the Ken Reid Conservation Area and the Fleetwood Creek Natural Area to see the fall colours at their best. Fall is fleeting in Canada, so be sure to take advantage of every second of fall beauty you can while it's around.

Where are the leaves changing color now? ›

Leaves will be most brilliant in states like Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The midwest and southeast regions of the country won't have much, if any, foliage change at this time.

How long do leaves stay at peak color? ›

When do Fall Leaves Change Color. Leaves can change their color from as early as mid-September all the way through early November. Typically, the second and third week of October are the peak times, but it shifts depending on where you live and your local weather conditions.

What is the most colorful fall tree? ›

10 Most Colorful Fall Trees & Foliage in the USA
  • (1) Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) ...
  • (2) Red-Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) ...
  • (3) Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) ...
  • (4) Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) ...
  • (5) Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) ...
  • (6) Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) ...
  • (7) Tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
7 Oct 2021

Where is the best place to see the fall in Canada? ›

Québec is famous for its autumn colors because of the sugar maple trees. Also prevalent are the provincial yellow birch and the American beech. Try the Laurentian Mountains in southern Quebec—north of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers—for one of the most beautiful displays of fall foliage in North America.

How long is the 4 waterfalls walk? ›

The 4 Waterfalls Walk is around 4.5 mile. However, depending on which point you decide to start, the route will vary slightly in length. Here is a breakdown of the distance and the estimated time it will take you to complete the walk directly from the car park.

Where is the prettiest waterfall located? ›

  • Victoria Falls — Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Havasu Falls — Arizona, US.
  • Angel Falls — Venezuela.
  • Dudhsagar Falls — India.
  • Yosemite Falls — California, US.
  • Seljalandsfoss — Iceland.
  • 'Akaka Falls — Hawaii, US.
  • Iguazú Falls — Argentina and Brazil.
20 Oct 2022

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