Canada as a whole is a haven for brilliant fall colours, but Ontario specifically has an abundance of easily accessible spots to bask amongst the vibrant trees. While this round-up of where to find the best fall colours in Ontario does include some more far-off destinations, the majority are easily visited from major cities such as Toronto and Ottawa. Get your hiking shoes ready, or hop in your car for a luxury weekend, no matter what kind of travel or adventure style you like, there’s a place with Ontario fall colours for you.
When is the best time for falls colours in Ontario?
Typically the best time to see fall colours in Ontario is from mid-September to mid-October but this can change from year to year depending on the weather. Most fall colour viewing areas in Ontario, including parks, will have guides on their sites of how vibrant the colours are so you can always check before you head out!
Best Places for Fall Colours in Ontario
Mark these in your Google Maps and keep your eyes peeled on park and area fall colour forecasts to be there at the best time possible.
Algonquin Provincial Park
Without a doubt, Algonquin Park is the most famous area in all of Ontario for spotting fall foliage. The Highway 60 corridor is well-known for being a beautiful drive that cuts through the park and finding fall colours in Algonquin is so popular that you can even book day trips from Toronto just to see them, driving down this exact corridor. Don’t let this deter you from visiting though. Algonquin Park is truly massive and with many hikes and multi-day treks, you will be able to find your space and see your fall foliage too. With 24 different kinds of trees that change colours at different times, you have very high chances of spotting bright yellows and deep reads anytime between mid-September to mid-October. But just to be safe, keep an eye on the Algonquin Fall Colour Report. Some of the best hikes for fall colours in Algonquin are Barron Canyon (which is also amazing to canoe down) and The Lookout, but seriously every trail will be impressive.
READ MORE: Best Provincial Parks in Ontario
Ontario’s prime cottage country destination doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fall colours. A trip to or through Muskoka is a treat for the eyes where you can see the fall foliage reflecting on the waters of the some 1600 lakes in the region. Muskoka borders Algonquin’s west gate and is where the town of Huntsville sits. This is a pretty spot for a weekend trip and will put you in an amazing spot along the Highway 60 corridor to explore both Muskoka and Algonquin Park. Dorset Fire Tower, Huckleberry Rock, and Lion’s Lookout are some of the best places to get a scenic autumn picture overlooking the colours.
The Bruce Peninsula is seriously stunning any time of the year but there’s something extra special about visiting this area during the fall. The contrast between the bold reds and vibrant oranges and yellows against the stunningly blue waters of Georgian Bay is something to be seen. You have plenty of hiking opportunities here to see the colours change in Bruce Peninsula National Park, but it’s definitely worth visiting the observation tower that will bring you 65-feet high, just high enough to get an epic view overlooking Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, and the town of Tobermory.
READ MORE: Best National Parks in Ontario
Spencer George Conservation Area
Located in Hamilton and an easy day trip from Toronto, the Spencer George Conservation Area has multiple hikes that will lead you through beautiful fall colours and to waterfalls for some pretty epic scenery. Dundas Peak is the most popular viewpoint and hike for fall foliage, and Tew’s Falls is a towering 22-metre waterfall that becomes surrounded by orange leaves.
Thousands Islands National Park
Nestled between Kingston and Brockville, Thousand Islands National Park is a treat for your eyes when the fall colours make their turn. This park is made up of over 1500 islands and inlets and is a wonderful place to combine water activities with fall colours in Ontario. You can opt to go hiking, take a boat cruise, or rent a kayak for your viewing pleasure. But the prime spot for catching the colours at Thousands Islands Park is at the top of the Thousands Islands Tower so that you can take in the views from above.
Blue Mountain is a great destination for nature and luxury lovers alike. It’s also a prime spot to venture around for fall colours. It’s highly recommended that you check out the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures where you can walk on top of the trees on Southern Ontario’s longest suspension bridge. Blue Mountain also has lots of hiking and biking opportunities and luxurious activities such as spa days, golfing, and wine tasting where fall colours are just an added bonus as a scenic backdrop.
Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and Beyond
This park is seriously stunning any time of the year but it is especially so during the fall. Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park has plenty of lakes, and there is something to be said for being able to canoe down a still lake surrounded by Canada’s natural beauty. You have the option to camp in the park but there are also accommodation options close by and it could easily be done as a day trip from Toronto. Don’t think you have to stick to the park either, the surrounding areas are a striking landscape as well.
I’ve listed the Niagara Region as a whole because fall colours are easily found in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and beyond. Personally, the sound of sitting back and sipping on a glass of wine from a tasting while looking out over the coloured vineyards sounds spectacular, but so does seeing the fall colours from high above while overlooking Niagara Falls. Try taking a helicopter ride, visiting the Skylon Tower for a meal and a view, or jumping on a ride at the Skywheel for epic views. Don’t forget the Whirlpool Aero Car where you can soar over the falls too. Balls Falls Conservation Area is a prime spot too where you can hike to waterfalls amongst the changing colours. Cataract Trail is a favourite for many.
READ MORE: 11 Best Places to See Fall Colours in Canada
Agawa Canyon is visited in true style, a train trip, from Sault Ste Marie. At the end of the 4-hour train ride you can stretch your legs while taking in the views of Agawa Canyon. You’ll also have the chance to hike in Agawa Canyon Park or just chill out on a bench while having lunch. The trip has a commentary so you can learn about the area on your way too.
Killarney Provincial Park
You have ample choices in Killarney Provincial park for Ontario fall colour viewing with 10 hiking trails that range from multi-day treks such as La Cloche Silhouette Trail to shorter, 4-hour hikes such as the popular The Crack. This park inspired the famous Canadian artists, the Group of Seven, so there is no doubt that his park is truly magnificent.
Find more Canada travel inspiration!
- Most Incredible Natural Attractions in Canada
- Best National Parks in Canada
- Best Yoga Retreats in Canada
- USA in the Fall
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