The fall season is, without a doubt, one of the prettiest time to explore the Canadian outdoors. The weather is cooler, the bugs are gone, the skies are often still blue, and the colours of the trees change to magnificent reds, oranges, and yellows.
While many city parks and neighbourhood streets have colourful leaves, the best way to experience the fall colours is to get outdoors and go for a hike. Those in Ontario are lucky to have some incredible national parks and hiking areas close to major cities, making it easy to go out and enjoy the beautiful fall season. Here are some of the best fall hiking spots in Ontario.
Lake Superior Provincial Park
Located in Northern Ontario, Lake Superior is a beautiful place to visit year-round but especially beautiful with the fall colours. There are 11 different hiking trails here to choose from to enjoy the scenery. But if you’re an avid hiker, there is a pretty incredible multi-day trail called the Coastal Trail. It extends from Agawa Bay to Chalfant Cove and stretches 65km along cliffs and the beaches of the lake. It’s a very demanding trail and takes 5-7 days to hike, so it’s not for the faint of heart. However, if you are a die-hard hiker, this might just be right up your alley.
Killarney Provincial Park
Killarney Provincial Park is close to Sudbury and has 10 different hiking trails spread out through 485km2 of peaceful quartzite hills, pink granite cliffs, lakes, and forests. The hikes here range in difficulty and length; the shortest is Granite Ridge Trail and takes about an hour while the longest, La Cloche Silhouette Trail, is a strenuous 80km loop that takes up to 10 days. One of the most popular trails here for incredible views is the Crack. It’s a tricky 6km climb that is best left to pro hikers, but the panoramic views at the top of the ridge are spectacular.
Algonquin Provincial Park
As the most popular provincial park in Ontario, there’s no doubt that Algonquin Provincial Park has some of the best hikes to enjoy the fall colours. Since this park is so huge, there are numerous trails with options for hikers of all different levels. Some trails are less than 1km while others are multi-day treks. There are also easy, flat paths stretching over boardwalks while others require you to climb over boulders and walk across ridges. On top of the beautiful foliage, Algonquin Park is also known as a great place to see Canadian wildlife. During the fall season, beavers are especially common in the park’s many lakes.
Bon Echo Provincial Park
Another great pick to see the fall colours is Bon Echo Provincial Park, which is about 200km from Ottawa. As with the other parks on this list, Bon Echo has numerous trails ranging in length and difficulty. But for the best views, park-goers suggest choosing routes that take you past Mazinaw Lake and Mazinaw Rock. In addition to the beautiful forests and lakes, this park is also unique in that it is home to the Mazinaw Pictographs, which is the largest collection of Aboriginal pictographs in North America.
Earl Rowe Provincial Park
Less than 100km from Toronto, Earl Rowe Provincial Park makes for a great day trip to get outdoors and hike during the fall season There are a number of trails in the area ranging from 1.5km to 11km. What makes this park a standout option is the fact that it also has a relatively flat paved trail around Fletcher’s Mill Pond making it ideal for those who struggle with accessibility. Earl Rowe Provincial Park has options for everyone.
Niagara Glen Nature Reserves
While the Niagara Glen Nature Reserve may be significantly smaller than some of the provincial parks on this list, it’s no less spectacular of a hiking destination - especially during the fall season. There are 4km of rugged paths to be explored, passing by impressive geological formations, a variety of trees and plant life, the Niagara River and the Niagara Whirlpool.
Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog
Eat Sleep Breathe Travelwhere she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.