For those looking to chase the changing colors of the fall, Ontario offers an array of autumnal activities. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures of harvest season and plan your weekend getaways to some of the most scenic spots just north of the border. Here are five spots in Ontario for you to visit this fall.
Caleigh Alleyne is a travel and lifestyle writer and editor of The Creators Commune.
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1. Thousand Islands
Just north of the border, the Canadian counterpart to the New York Thousand Islands offers a unique vantage point along the St. Lawrence River in Gananoque. The Thousand Islands is home to over 1800 tiny islands varying in size from 40 square miles to smaller ones only able to accommodate a single residence or small wildlife and greenery. Explore the secluded bays and islands by water with the Gananoque Boat Line to see some of the most notable sights along the river. Splurge and book the 1000 Islands Helicopter Tour for astonishing aerial views of this region to see the range of leaf colors from above.
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2. Sault Ste. Marie
Salut Ste. Marie is Northern Ontario's third largest city bordering Michigan to the south. "The Soo" (as locals call it) is an ideal launching point for those looking to explore nearby Pancake Bay Provincial Park, Batchawana Bay Provincial Park and Lake Superior Provincial Park. For some of the most scenic views of the region hop aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, which travels 114 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie through the natural beauty of the lakes, rivers, forests and granite formations creating the Canadian Shield.
Photo by Northern Ontario Travel
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3. Peterborough and The Kawarthas
Stretching over Eastern Ontario, Peterborough and The Kawarthas is an Instagram-able area to explore 134 lakes and nearby forests. It is only fit for you to first explore this region by water as Peterborough is home to the largest collection of canoes and paddled watercrafts in the world at The Canadian Canoe Museum. Take a trip through the Trent-Severn Waterway to see the feats of engineering with their lift lock systems, or spend the fall days unwinding along Stony or one of the many other lakes in the area. Immerse in the fall foliage as you explore the 8.5 miles of trails through the caves housing the largest collection of Aboriginal rock carvings (known as the "Kinomagewapkong," the teaching rocks) at Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
Photo courtesy of Flickr, Robert Taylor
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4. Algonquin Provincial Park
Established in 1893, Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Amassing 2,955 square miles of protected and preserved wilderness, Algonquin Provincial Park has become a wilderness explorer's haven with over 2,400 lakes and 745 miles of streams and rivers. The park is located just north of the Kawartha region dividing Northern and Southern Ontario. While Algonquin Provincial Park is a popular destination for hikers and campers in the summer, autumn is arguably the most beautiful time to visit as the leaves become more golden and crisp with each passing day. Visit their
Fall Colour Report to learn more about the status of the leaves, and use their guide to the best locations as not all trees will change color at the same time.
Photo courtesy of Ontario Parks Photos
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5. Thunder Bay
Located in Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay sits along the shores of Lake Superior and is known for being the gateway into the great outdoors in Canada. For leaf peepers, Thunder Bay is a great destination to see Canada's boreal forests shift from lush greens to warmer reds, oranges and yellows throughout the fall. Head to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park to the Top of the Giant Trail and Thunder Bay Lookout for breathtaking vistas of Lake Superior and the surrounding area. Be sure to also visit Canada's longest suspension bridge at Eagle Canyon, hunt for precious gemstones only found in this area of the province at Amethyst Mine Panorama and see the "Niagara of the North" at Kakabeka Falls.
Thunder Bay Tourism