Best time to travel to Ontario

Fall Colors in Ontario

Treat yourself to some of the most spectacular natural displays in the world!

Best time: mid-September–late October

Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Fall Colors
Huntsville, Ontario

Ontario is celebrated as one of the prime destinations for fall colors. You've got to see its national parks come alive with red, orange, and yellow hues at least once in your lifetime. Take a road trip to Toronto or Niagara Falls, hop aboard a scenic train ride in the wild, or plan yourself an active weekend packed with hiking beneath the magnificent canopies.

When to see fall colors in Ontario

The seasonal colors burst throughout the province from mid-September to late October. Still, it's always about the weather when we dwell on nature-based phenomena. Hence, the best way to catch the peak fall foliage in Ontario is to check up-to-date reports by local parks.

Where to see fall colors in Ontario

Niagara Parkway

One of the top choices for leaf-peepers is a scenic Niagara Parkway, meandering along the Niagara River from Lake Erie through Niagara-on-the-Lake. Every single mile along the route boasts unparalleled fall colors. But make sure to take a break and explore the secluded Dufferin Islands and breathtaking Niagara Glen. Besides, many like to climb Skylon Tower and ride on Niagara SkyWheel to capture kaleidoscopic views of the canopies from above. Just note that due to the warmer microclimate around Lake Erie, the season here starts a bit later than in other areas in the province, usually mid- to late October.

Toronto area

Toronto doesn't fall behind Niagara Falls. You can take in fall splendor while hiking around Rouge National Urban Park. It offers multiple trails of gradable difficulty, namely the Vista Trail, famous for its viewing platform, the Mast Trail, and the Orchard Trail. The park boasts fascinating landscapes, including the Carolinian forest, vast marshes, and a sandy beach on Lake Ontario. Besides, you will find stunning biodiversity, some of Canada's oldest indigenous sites, and the city's only campground.

Alternatively, if you're into a road trip, you can also visit several great places within an hour's drive from Toronto. Consider such popular choices as Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon, Rattlesnake Point in Milton, or Dundas Peak in Dundas.

Muskoka Lakes

The best fall foliage still unveils as you proceed deeper to the north. Muskoka District Municipality claims to be Canada's premier cottage destination with countless towering maple trees. Needless to say how gorgeous this area becomes during the fall color season. Absorb the ambiance while driving local highways and check out the highlights, such as Georgian Bay Island National Park, Lion's Lookout in Huntsville, and Huckleberry Rock in Lake Muskoka.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Another great option to go leaf-peeping in Ontario is Algonquin Provincial Park, set northeast of Muskoka Lakes. So if you're getting to Algonquin Park from Muskoka, take Hwy 60 east from Hwy 11 at Huntsville. Algonquin boasts true maple trees galore, which makes the area a scarlet wonderland in the fall season. One of the best hikes in the provincial park is a 6-mile (10-km) Centennial Ridges Trail. Note that the route is rated as intermediate and meanders through rocky terrain, so you'll need proper boots for this trek. Additionally, the park has several shorter and lighter trails, offering equally mesmerizing fall foliage vistas.

Agawa Canyon Park

Lastly, the remotest and most fascinating fall foliage destination is located in northwest Ontario, within the Agawa Canyon Park. The canyon, created 1.2 million years ago by Canada's last ice age, is home to harsh rocks, beautiful lakes of the Canadian Shield, multiple trails, waterfalls, and picnicking areas. Take a scenic train ride to discover these jaw-dropping landscapes, wrapped with fall colors. The 227-mile (366-km) round-trip starts from Sault St. Marie and costs $122 CAD. For more information and tickets, please go to Agawa Canyon Tour Train's official website listed in External Resources below.

Even though we've listed only our top five locations, the options are ample, and picture-perfect sceneries appear all over Ontario during the fall. No matter what area you finally choose for your bright getaway, we recommend booking your stay in advance. The map below showcases available options near the sites listed in this article.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit Ontario for fall colors?

Fall foliage season in Ontario peaks from mid-September to late October, making it the ideal time to visit. The weather in this season is mild, and the days are dry, which makes it perfect for outdoor activities. Latest reports from local parks are recommended as the exact timing depends on the weather which varies frequently. Show more

What are the best places to see fall colors in Ontario?

Niagara Parkway is one of the best places to see fall colors in Ontario. Other places include Agawa Canyon Park where one can witness the most remote and fascinating fall foliage destination, Toronto area that has vibrant maple trees and scenic hiking trails, Muskoka Lakes that offer spectacular natural displays. Algonquin Provincial Park showcases Canada's natural beauty in the fall season and is a significant attraction among tourists. Show more

What is the cost of the scenic train ride in Agawa Canyon Park?

The cost of the round-trip scenic train ride in Agawa Canyon Park is $122 CAD, which is quite reasonable considering the unique experience it offers to nature lovers. The train ride showcases beautiful lakes of the Canadian Shield, waterfalls, harsh rocks, and picnicking areas wrapped with fall colors. Adventure enthusiasts from across the world are drawn to this remotest and fascinating fall foliage destination located in northwest Ontario. Show more

Are there any cheaper options available to explore fall foliage in Ontario?

Hiking in Ontario can be an affordable way to explore fall foliage while being immersed in nature. Visitors can hike on the trails in Algonquin Provincial Park, which offers incredible vistas of fall foliage. Scenic drives along local highways or visiting nearby places like Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon, Rattlesnake Point in Milton, or Dundas Peak in Dundas, just an hour's drive from Toronto can also be an excellent budget-friendly option. Show more

What are the recommended hiking trails in Algonquin Provincial Park to capture fall colors?

Algonquin Provincial Park is famous for its hiking trails that provide excellent opportunities for people to capture fall colors. The Centennial Ridges Trail, rated as intermediate, offers incredible vistas of fall foliage. Other shorter and lighter trails suitable for a leisurely stroll can also be enjoyed. Every trail in the park provides unique and breathtaking views showcasing the natural beauty of Canada in the fall season. Show more

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Last updated: by Olha Savych