Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (2023)

Disappointed that summer is over? Don’t be. Canada is lucky enough to experience a lush, vivid fall. Only a few hours out of Toronto, you can experience the full glory of an Ontario autumn, including hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, apple picking, hayrides and haunted corn mazes.

Ontario attracts leaf-peepers to goggle at the vast, lush forests as they light up with bright oranges and yellow hues. Leaf-peeping is such a popular activity in the region, Ontario Parks has a leaf color tracker, a great reference for planning.

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Here are the best places to see fall colors within driving distance of Toronto.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (1)

Algonquin Provincial Park

Ifthere wasan autumn-themed snow globe with falling leaves instead of snow, Algonquin Provincial Parkwould be the inspiration. This is one of the most remarkable places to view the fall colors ofCanada.You can get lost in deep forests or view the huge expanse of fall foliage from various viewpoints and lakes. Algonquin Provincial Park is a full-day adventure, sopack a picnic and wear comfortablehiking boots. Seeking out the autumn colors is such a popularactivity here that the park websitefollows the change in trees across the park with live updates. Algonquin is vast, and it is worth doing a viewpoint hike to see the leaves from above. Popular hikes include Lookout Hike, Centennial Ridges and Track and Tower.

(Video) 6 of the best destinations across Canada to see Fall colours

How to get to Algonquin Provincial Park:Algonquin is a scenic three-hour drive from Toronto. Public transportation is tricky. There are no buses that go directly to Algonquin Provincial Park from Toronto, but various tour companies offer Algonquin day tours.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (2)

Spencer Gorge Conservation Area

Less than an hour from Toronto,Spencer Gorge Conservation Area is packed with natural phenomena, thanks to its location on the stunning Niagara Escarpment, a large series of ridges and cliffs stretching through Ontarioas well as Wisconsin, Illinois, New York and Michigan in the US. The autumn colors here are stunning, with plenty of viewpoints to choose from.Dundas Peak is the most famous, and it's a short forest hikefrom the parking lot and bus drop-off. After Dundas Peak, it’s a quick hike to Webster’s Falls and Tews Falls, two magnificent waterfalls surrounded by trees decorated infall colors. Hamilton, where this part of the Niagara Escarpment is located, is the waterfall capital of Ontario, and more stunning waterfalls like Albion Falls, Tiffany Falls and the Devil’s Punchbowl are just ashort car rideaway.

How to get to Spencer Gorge Conservation Area: From central Toronto, it's only a 50-minute drive to Dundas Peak. If you take public transportation, the journey is a little longer. You can get a shuttle from Union Station to Main Street Hamilton, and then it’s another bus to Dundas Peak. You can then walk to the waterfalls or check schedules for local buses.

Are you ready for Autumn?

(Video) Fall Camping 2021 | Chapter 2 | October'21 | Fall Colors 2021 | Ontario | Canada

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area

Rattlesnake Point in Milton is another section of the Niagara Escarpment, though this area overlooks the Nassagaweya Canyon instead. This forest towers with 100-year-old cedar trees, canopying you with fall foliage. This location is a popular spot to rock climb, and hiking trails have various levels of difficulty. If you get tired during your hike around the Point, you can drive 10 minutes to Chudleigh’s apple farm for a mug of hot apple cider, a crispy slice of apple crumble and a relaxing view of the fall cedars.

How to get toRattlesnake Point Conservation Area:You can either drive an hour from Toronto or take a bus or train from Union Station to Milton GO station, and then a series of buses from there. There is no direct bus to Rattlesnake Point.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (3)

Belfountain Conservation Area

The Belfountain Conservation Area in Caledon is located on the stunning Bruce Trail, stretching from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory, Ontario. The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest marked hiking trail, and the trees here are old and regal. The area is also home to a suspension bridge, allowing for more dramatic viewpoints of the fall foliage. Belfountain also includes Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, a great spot to admire the fall colors from the water, and the lake here is open for kayaking and canoeing. If you want to wind down after a day of hiking, head to Downey's Farm Market, a 20-minute drive away, to see possibly the biggest collection of pumpkins you’ll find in Caledon.

How to get to Belfountain Conservation Area:It's a 50-minute drive from downtown Toronto to Belfountain Conservation Area. Forks of the Credit Provincial Park is a further six-minute drive, or it's accessible via a hiking path. Public transport is a little messier. You can take the VIA Rail from Union Station to Malton GO, and then a series of local buses from there.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (4)

(Video) Fall Camping 2021 | Chapter 1 | October'21 | Fall Colors 2021 | Ontario | Canada

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara-on-the-Lake is a picturesque 19th-century town a 20-minute drive from Niagara Falls,lined with oak trees and filled with adorable shops that all decorate for fall. It's a great place to experience local wineries, especially in the fall, and you can rent a bicycle and explore the various vineyards, such as Two Sisters Vineyards or Peller Estates Winery, from the main town.

How to get to Niagara-on-the-Lake:From downtown Toronto, it's about a two-hour drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake, but on busy fall weekends, it could take as long as three hours. Public transportation might be less stressful, and you can take the VIA Rail from Union Station to Niagara Falls, and then a bus to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (5)

Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is all over Instagram for its up-and-coming food and culture scene. It's considered Canada’s coolest island, teeming with galleries, amazing restaurants and plenty of fall-themed activities surrounded by some spectacular foliage. The town itself is straight out of Gilmore Girlswith quaint antique shops, bookstores and cafes. You can experience nature at Sandbanks Provincial Park, and the tree-lined beaches are mysterious and misty come autumn.

How to get to Prince Edward County: It's a lovely 2.5-hour drive from downtown Toronto. If you're taking public transport, hop on a GO Train to Oshawa or VIA Rail to Belleville and then either a series of public buses or a quick taxi to Prince Edward County.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (6)

(Video) Landscape Photography | A look at the fall colors of Ontario.

Muskoka

Schedule a few days to explore the beauty and serenity of Muskoka, a region of forests and lakes that's particularly delightful in fall. You can take autumn-specific cruises to enjoy the majestic tree-lined lakes, experience cranberry festivals and farms, hike and cycle through Georgian Bay Island National Park, and even take a woodland wagon ride.

How to get to Muskoka: Muskoka is three hours from Toronto by car, but it's difficult to get there on public transport. Plan on spending at least a few days in the area:there are so many fall activities that it would be difficult to squeeze them all into a day trip.

Where to see the most spectacular fall colors in Ontario - Lonely Planet (7)

Sault SteMarie

Sault SteMarie is home to the Agawa Canyon Train, one of the most famous fall experiences in Canada. These landscapes have existed for 1.2 billion years and inspired countless artists, including the Group of Seven, Canada’s most prominent landscape painters in the early 20th century. Many of their paintings reflect the exact views you’ll be passing by in autumn. The fall foliage here is stunning, and the day-long train trip takes you through lakes, gorges and other natural phenomena.

How to get to Sault Ste Marie: Sault SteMarie is about a nine-hour drive from Toronto, making it impossible for a day trip but perfect for a longer escape from the big city.

This article was originally published in October 2019 and last updated in September 2021.

(Video) Fall Camping 2021 | Teaser | October'21 | Fall Colors 2021 | Ontario | Canada

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FAQs

Where is the best place to see autumn leaves 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.

Where is the best place to see the fall colors? ›

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

What is the best time to see fall colors in Ontario? ›

The best time for fall colours in Ontario is from mid-September to late-October. However, the colour burst in each area completely relies on the weather. The easiest way to know where and when to go for the best view is to check the Ontario parks fall colour report.

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 is the prettiest part of Ontario? ›

The Most Beautiful Places in Ontario You Should See
  • 1 / 20. Bruce Peninsula. ...
  • 2 / 20. Killarney Provincial Park. ...
  • 3 / 20. Muskoka Region. ...
  • 4 / 20. Flowerpot Island. ...
  • 5 / 20. Baptiste Lake. ...
  • 6 / 20. Thousand Islands. ...
  • 7 / 20. Cheltenham Badlands. ...
  • 8 / 20. Rideau Canal, Ottawa.
27 Aug 2020

What famous Falls is located in Ontario? ›

It goes without saying that Ontario's iconic Niagara Falls is a must-see. These three emerald-green cataracts straddling the Canada-U.S. border are North America's most powerful — and are less than a two-hour drive from Toronto.

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.

Where is the best fall foliage in October? ›

15 Best Places to see the Fall Foliage in October
  • Green Mountain Byway, Vermont.
  • Gatlinburg & Smoky Mountains, Tennessee.
  • Poconos, Pennsylvania.
  • Taos, New Mexico.
  • Ozark Mountains, Arkansas.
  • Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York.
  • Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
  • Napa Valley, California.
20 Jul 2021

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.

What is the best time to visit Bright for autumn colours? ›

Typically the peak period for autumn colour is around mid-April through to early May but this can vary from year to year.

What is the prettiest little town in Canada? ›

Whether you're considering a scenic road trip or a quick city getaway, here are a few Canadian towns worth exploring.
  • Golden, British Columbia. ...
  • Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. ...
  • Churchill, Manitoba. ...
  • Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. ...
  • Elora, Ontario. ...
  • Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island. ...
  • Banff, Alberta. ...
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
23 Oct 2022

What is Canada's prettiest town? ›

Nicknamed “the prettiest town in Canada,” Goderich charms visitors with its natural beauty and striking urban design. Set on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, in an area known as Ontario's West Coast, the town's location blesses its beaches with wonderful sunset views.

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 most beautiful lakes in Ontario? ›

Best Lakes in Ontario
  • Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau & Lake Muskoka. Lake Joseph, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Muskoka are neighboring lakes that represent the heart of Ontario's beautiful Cottage Country. ...
  • Lake of Bays. ...
  • Lake Simcoe. ...
  • Kawartha Lakes. ...
  • Haliburton Highlands. ...
  • Upper Rideau Lake.
19 Oct 2021

What is the most popular tourist Provincial Park in Ontario? ›

Top Provincial Parks in Ontario
  • Algonquin Provincial Park.
  • Quetico Provincial Park.
  • Killarney Provincial Park.
  • French River Provincial Park.
  • Bass Lake Provincial Park.
  • Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
  • Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.
  • Lake Superior Provincial Park.
18 Sept 2016

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.

What city has the best fall weather? ›

  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. ...
  • Taos, New Mexico. ...
  • Damascus, Virginia. ...
  • Mammoth Lakes, California. ...
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee. ...
  • Hanover, New Hampshire. ...
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though Minnesota is the fourth-coldest state in the U.S. ...
  • Troutdale, Oregon. The fall season in the USA doesn't get much better than in Troutdale, Oregon.

What is the best place to visit in October? ›

Best Places to Visit in October
  • Asheville, NC.
  • Bali.
  • Acadia National Park.
  • Serengeti National Park.
  • Santorini.
  • Kyoto.
  • Sonoma.
  • Vienna.

Which city in Ontario has the most waterfalls? ›

Promoted as the “City of Waterfalls,” Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, located on the banks of Lake Ontario, is home to 156 waterfalls within the city limits, the most to be counted and recorded to date by any individual city in the world.

Which is the most famous and beautiful falls located in Ontario Canada and one of the 8th wonders in the world? ›

There's no doubt that the Niagara Falls are one of the great natural wonders of the world – tourism boards and the general public alike have even been pushing to have the Falls officially named the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Why is Angel Falls so famous? ›

It is the world's tallest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 metres (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft).

Where are the best fall colors in Toronto? ›

If you're looking for places to see the fall colours in Toronto, head straight to Rouge Park. Looking for more fall colours in Toronto and downtown Toronto? Head to High Park, Glen Stewart Ravine, Moore Park Ravine, the Evergreen Brick Works and the Don Valley, the Toronto Islands, Crothers Woods, and the Leslie Spit.

Where in Canada is fall the longest? ›

Rumour has it that Prince Edward Island has one the longest fall foliage periods in North America. Because of its moderate climate, you can experience warmer waters and warmer weather heading into the fall. Compared to the rest of Canada that is. This also means it has some of the best fall colours around.

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.

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.

Is 2022 color of the year green or purple? ›

Very Peri by Pantone

Last but certainly not least, industry leader Pantone announced its color of the year for 2022 in early December. The selection was Very Peri, a perfectly purple blue shade of periwinkle.

What is the best color for this coming 2022? ›

These Are the Biggest Color Trends To Keep An Eye On In 2022
  • Gray-Green. Brie Williams. ...
  • Earthy Tones. Björn Wallander. ...
  • Citron. Annie Schlechter. ...
  • Deep Aubergine. Brie Williams. ...
  • Chartreuse. Kelly Marshall. ...
  • Warm Neutrals. Thomas Loof.
18 Oct 2021

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)

When and where do fall foliage colors peak? ›

Fall colors reach their peak, on average, by late September or early October in the Rockies. In the eastern states, this time of year can provide peak color in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan and a strip from northern Pennsylvania to upstate New York and northern New England.

Where are the fall colors in Prince Edward County? ›

Sandbanks Provincial Park has been frequently visited by tourists in Prince Edward County for decades- but most visitors don't get the chance to explore the park as the leaves begin to change colours.

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.

Where are the fall colors in Waterloo? ›

Sean Fox talks fall leaves at University of Guelph Arboretum

Explore Waterloo Region also offers a few suggestions for people check out: The 6.8 km hiking trail beside Conestogo River in Woolwich Township. The trail runs from Bridge Street in Waterloo to the old mill in St. Jacobs.

Which season is the most Colourful time of the year? ›

Autumn is upon us and it's our most colourful season. It's also the one that signifies the end of my beloved summer and the coming of winter.

How long do fall colours last in Toronto? ›

Visitors can see the Sugar Maples and Red Maples turn to their rich orange and red hues from mid-September to early October. The park recommends anyone who wants to catch the Sugar Maples at this time go to the western side of the Highway 60 Corridor on Sept.

What color is the sky during autumn? ›

In the fall, the humidity levels drop off as the temperatures go down, and there is less moisture in the air. This means less Mie scattering, which scatters all wavelengths equally. As a result, more blue light reaches us.

Where is the best fall in Ontario? ›

Below you'll find nine of the most beautiful autumn destinations in Ontario.
  1. Agawa Bay. ...
  2. Temagami. ...
  3. Pukaskwa National Park. ...
  4. Cheltenham Badlands. ...
  5. Mattawa River. ...
  6. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. ...
  7. Bruce Peninsula National Park's Grotto. ...
  8. Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park.
13 Sept 2022

Where does the leaves change color in Ontario? ›

The best fall colours in Ontario are seen at Algonquin Park. Every autumn, thousands of locals and tourists flock to the provincial park to see the stunning fall colours as the leaves change. Other amazing places to see the best fall colours in Ontario include Prince Edward County and Calabogie.

Where is the best place to see the changing of the leaves? ›

North Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

North Lake Tahoe, which unfurls across both California and Nevada, is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

What is the prettiest area in Canada? ›

1. Vancouver, British Columbia. Located in British Columbia, Vancouver is easily the most beautiful Canadian city. You'll discover mountain vistas in the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Stanley Park downtown.

Which city is the prettiest in Canada? ›

Vancouver is easily the most beautiful city in Canada. With mountains to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the enormous Stanley Park right downtown, the city's landscapes are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Which Algonquin campground is best in fall? ›

The Mew Lake Campground is the Park's only year-round developed campground suitable for late fall or winter camping opportunities.
  • Mew Lake (open year-round)
  • Achray.
  • Brent.
  • Canisbay Lake.
  • Kiosk.
  • Lake of Two Rivers.
  • Pog Lake.
  • Rock Lake.

Can you see the northern lights in Algonquin? ›

Known for thousands of lakes and pristine wilderness Algonquin Provincial Park is also a great spot for stargazing and catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

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