Best time to travel to Niagara Falls

Fall Colors in Niagara Falls 2024

Discover dozens of treasured spots hidden along the Niagara Parkway, both on Canadian and American banks

Best time: mid- to late October

Fall Colors in Niagara Falls
Fall Colors in Niagara Falls
Fall Colors in Niagara Falls
Fall Colors in Niagara Falls
Fall Colors in Niagara Falls
Niagara Whirlpool

The magnificent beauty of Niagara Falls becomes even more spectacular during the peak of the fall foliage display. The best way to soak in the ambiance is to hop into a car and drive along the Niagara River, either on Canada's side or the NY side. The entire route from Fort Erie through Niagara-on-the-Lake is dotted with scenic lookouts on the blue river wrapped up with red, orange, and yellow canopies. You can stop by several state parks and treat yourself to a scenic hike.

Peak Fall Color Season in Niagara Falls

Because of the unique microclimate, the areas close to Lake Erie come alive with fall colors a bit later than other surrounding regions. The reason is mainly warm waters flowing out of the lake. Thus, the fall foliage peak in Niagara Falls usually comes between mid- and late October. Checking the up-to-date reports before making the trip is always a good idea.

Places to See Fall Colors in Niagara Falls

All stunning fall color spots in Niagara Falls are mainly situated along the scenic drive next to the river. Consider exploring Dufferin Islands right in the city, or venturing into the Niagara State Park, with its vistas from Goat Island. Skylon Tower and Niagara SkyWheel provide gorgeous landscapes of the city's skyline and fall leaves.

Fall Foliage in Dufferin Islands

If you start your vivid journey from Lake Erie along the Niagara Parkway, the first stop to make would be the secluded Dufferin Islands. Take your time to explore 10 acres (4 ha) of these picture-perfect islands connected with neat bridges and walkways. The islands are situated right in the heart of the city, providing a much-needed refuge during hectic days. While at the park, you can enjoy a multitude of maple trees, turning bright orange and coppery red as the fall approaches. The grounds offer several picnic spots, where you can enjoy your lunch in the middle of leaf-peeping. Admission to the Dufferin Islands is free, but parking costs $8 per hour.

Skylon Tower

Then, you can also check out the vistas from the 775-foot (236-m) Skylon Tower, located about 3 miles (5 km) from Dufferin Islands. The tower offers a spectacular view of the Niagara Falls River and the cities of Toronto and Buffalo, which are bursting with all shades of orange, yellow, and red during fall. Ticket to the observation deck costs CAD$14 or CAD$12 when discounted. If you'd like to enjoy the views longer, you can book a table at the Revolving Dining Room or the Summit Suite Buffet at the Skylon Tower. The tower operates from 8 am until midnight, Monday through Sunday.

Niagara SkyWheel

If you're into more panoramic views from above, head to Niagara SkyWheel and take a ride on Canada's largest observation wheel at 175-foot (53-m). The ride costs CAD$15 for adults and CAD$12 for children 12 years of age and under. Entry to the wheel is included in the Clifton Hill Attraction Pass, which costs CAD$39.95 for adults and CAD$26.95 for children. The wheel operates from 9:30 am until 1 am Monday through Thursday and from 9:30 am until 2 am Friday through Sunday.

Fall Leaves in Niagara Falls State Park

Just nearby across the Rainbow Bridge, you will find one more lovely place to indulge in fall splendor: Niagara Falls State Park. The park offers several light and advanced hiking routes, such as the Great Gorge Scenic Overlook Hike, which takes one hour, or the Whirlpool Rapids Adventure Hike, which takes three hours. During both trips, you'll encounter eastern cottonwood, white birches, red oaks, and sycamores, all of which flaunt their fall foliage amidst the awe-inspiring scenery of the park. Besides hiking, you can hop on your bike and explore the park through the biking trails. The grounds are open year-round, and admission is free.

Goat Island

Located within Niagara Falls State Park, Goat Island is another great spot both for leaf-peeping and sightseeing. The island grants spectacular views of Horseshoe Falls and stunning vistas across the American and Bridal Veil Falls. Apart from that, the waterfalls will be nestled against a gorgeous backdrop of Niagara Falls State Park fall foliage.

Whirlpool Aero Car

Continue to drive along Niagara Scenic Parkway to Whirlpool State Park, loved by everyone for the iconic rides on Whirlpool Aero Car. The attraction takes you on a magnificent trip above the vibrant blue waters of Niagara Whirlpool, offering spectacular views of the Canadian shore. The car operates. Tickets cost CAD$19 for adults and CAD$12.50 for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. Children two years old and under can enter for free. During fall, the car generally operates from 10 am until 5-6 pm.

Devil's Hole State Park

Devil's Hole State Park is well worth taking a break to enjoy the fall colors without haste. The park looks over the lower Niagara River Gorge and the Whirlpool rapids. Known for its difficult terrain, the area is a prime spot for a unique view of the gorge and fall trees reflecting in the water. Cyclists, hikers, and fishing enthusiasts will have plenty to do at the grounds due to well-developed trails and infrastructure. The park is open year-round, with the facilities operating from mid-April until late October. Admission is free.

Niagara Glen

Lastly, you can cross the river back to the Canadian side and return to Niagara Glen, praised as one of the most breathtaking points in Niagara Falls. This natural area offers a gorgeous view of the Niagara River and Niagara Whirlpool, both of which are enveloped by stunning fall foliage. You can enjoy hiking, bouldering, and exploring the Natural Center, which offers beverages and souvenirs. Niagara Glen is open from 6 am until midnight year-round. When you've had enough of local beauty, drive through Niagara-on-the-Lake to complete your fascinating road trip.

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