Best time to travel to Nova Scotia

Fall Colors in Nova Scotia

Sink into fall ambiance in the dense woodlands of Nova Scotia

Best time: late September–late October (best in mid-October)

Fall Colors
Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Nova Scotia has various types of trees: maple, oak, birch, beech, and ash. Such a diversity reveals itself in the fall months, when the leaves change their green hues into vibrant crimson, near-fuschia, orange, gold, yellow, red, and copper. The right timing is essential to capture the picture-perfect sceneries painted by nature.

Best time to visit Nova Scotia for fall colors

Leaf-peeping season in Nova Scotia is roughly late September to late October. But the apex of fall colors usually occurs in mid-October, most commonly during the second week. The best bet would be to go to a spot with the greatest tree diversity, nice vantage points, and water basins, offering magical reflections.

Best places for fall colors in Nova Scotia

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the winning spot for seasonal splendor in Nova Scotia and one of the best fall destinations in all of Canada. In particular, Cape Breton is home to a scenic coastal drive called Cabot Trail Road, as well as a number of delightful hikes. If you're only going for the road trip, you will need at least a full day to check out the views. But if you'd like to incorporate some trekking into your adventures, reserve a couple of days to fully enjoy the lookouts throughout the island. As a bonus, you can take a helicopter tour and observe the show of nature from above. Mind that the weather here could get rainy and foggy at this time of the year.

Wentworth Valley

Another place blessed with gorgeous fall colors is Wentworth Valley. For the most spectacular panoramic views of the area, you should get to the top of Wentworth Mountain. Consider planning your trip during the Fall Festival of Colours at Ski Wentworth. The event usually takes place over two weekends in early-to-mid October. The resort offers scenic chairlift rides between 10 am and 3 pm at $15 per individual and $45 for a family of four persons. Besides, the program of the festivities includes guided hikes, BBQ, and other family-friendly fun amidst a bright palette of colors. Stay tuned for the updates on Ski Wentworth's official website, mentioned in the External Resources below.

Halifax area

Sometimes, to find a feast for your eyes, you don't even have to stray far away from the capital city. You can simply walk around Shubie Park in Dartmouth, only 6 miles (10 km) north of Halifax. Another decent place nearby is Bayers Lake, nestled 7 miles (11 km) west of Downtown. The spot is located next to the End of the Birch Cove Trail, so if you have more time, you can also venture on a hike. Likewise, you can always stroll on the Sackville Riverside and enjoy the trees ablaze with color.

Mersey River, Kejimkujik National Park

If you're into a trip on the water, head to Kejimkujik National Park, rent a kayak or canoe at Jakes Landing, and paddle along the Mersey River gorge, studded with vivid maple trees. Additionally, you can combine boating with hiking and discover some lovely hidden treasures, like Mill Falls.

Bear River

Our last suggestion is a small village of Bear River, lying on the eponymous river, which divides the Annapolis and Digby counties and splits the village into two halves. The neat houses, churches, and laid-back community add to a special atmosphere. And brightly colored hardwood trees make for an unforgettable experience.

All in all, the spots listed above are just a few of many charming locations, which you can discover during your fall trip to Nova Scotia. Don't fear going off the beaten track and observe the beauty surrounding you everywhere across the province.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Nova Scotia for viewing fall colors?

Nova Scotia is at its colorful best from late September to late October. During this time of the year, the leaves of oak, maple, birch, beech, and ash trees change from green to vibrant shades of orange, yellow, red, and copper. This transformation peaks in mid-October and offers a breathtakingly beautiful sight that lures tourists to the region. Show more

Where are the best places to view fall colors in Nova Scotia?

Nova Scotia abounds in scenic fall foliage spots. While Cabot Trail, Halifax area, Wentworth Valley, Mersey River at Kejimkujik National Park, and Bear River are popular for their fall colors, you can also discover some hidden gems like Shubie Park and Sackville Riverside. Cabot Trail stands out for its spectacular coastal drive and hiking trails that are perfect for viewing the colorful fall leaves. Show more

What unique species of trees can be found in Nova Scotia?

A stunning palette of colors spreads over the vast landscape of Nova Scotia in autumn due to the many species of trees that thrive in the region. Among the most prominent trees that paint the countryside with shades of crimson, fuschia, orange, gold, yellow, red, and copper are oak, maple, birch, beech, and ash. The colorful hues make for a picturesque spectacle of nature's artistry. Show more

Are helicopter tours available to view the fall foliage in Cape Breton Highlands National Park?

Tourists seeking a unique vantage point to view the stunning fall colors of Cape Breton Highlands National Park can book a helicopter tour. Flying high above offers a once-in-a-lifetime view of the breathtakingly beautiful autumn landscape. Nevertheless, as weather can turn rainy and foggy during the season, visibility can become uncertain aboard a helicopter. Show more

Are there any fall festivals or events to attend in Nova Scotia besides the Fall Festival of Colours?

Nova Scotia has numerous fall festivals and events besides the Fall Festival of Colours. These events include the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, Halifax Pop Explosion, Halifax Oktoberfest, Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Nova Scotia Fall Wine Fest, and Wolfville Magic Winery Bus. Tourists should regularly check local listings and the Nova Scotia website to stay informed about upcoming celebrations. Show more

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Last updated: by Olha Savych