Where to See the Best Fall Foliage in Canada
As mornings become crisp, pumpkin spice is the flavour du jour, and summer creeps its way into fall, forests across Canada come alive with lush tones of crimson, gold, sepia and amber. Vibrant colours lend even more magic to some of the most recognizable and beautiful vistas in the world. From the majestic larches in the Canadian Rockies to lively maples and birches in Quebec, take it all in to make the most of the autumn season. Though this spectacular time is fleeting – lasting only a few weeks in some places – a trip to see the fall foliage in Canada is well worth it.
Image: Hikers in Larch Valley, Banff National Park. Courtesy of Paul Zizka, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
Larch Season in the Canadian Rockies
In true blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fashion, the larch season in the Rockies only lasts from mid-September until early October. Dry soil and cool temperatures in the mountains make for a perfect home for larch trees (or Larix) to grow. They’re deciduous conifers, meaning that though they look like most other pine trees, they’re not evergreens. They turn gold in autumn, and shed their needles to have bare branches all winter. As their golden hues cover the mountainside for a brief moment in time, it’s an incredible sight to behold.
Banff National Park has plenty of places to view larches, such as Larch Valley in Lake Louise. The short hike from the Lake Louise lakefront to Lake Agnes turns golden during autumn. The Lake Agnes Tea House is open until Thanksgiving!
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, a guided hike in the Canmore/ Banff region is the way to go. Consider a hike to Rummel Lake near Canmore. The epic scenery provides the perfect opportunity to brush up on your photography skills to capture the magic.
Image: Algonquin Provincial Park, courtesy of Destination Ontario
Maples and More in Ontario
To see the full spectrum of fall colour, head to Ontario. Famous for its colours, from light gold to deep crimson, Algonquin Provincial Park is the place to see autumn in all its glory. With almost 25 species of trees changing colour each year, this is an iconic setting to get in the mood for fall. Go for a hike or canoe, and cap off your day with a cozy latté by a fire in a neighbouring town. If you’re after a city experience, Ottawa is close by. Walking along the Rideau Canal in autumn is a quintessential Canadian experience.
Vibrant Colour in Quebec
If you’re looking for picturesque views, look no further than Parc national du Mont-Tremblant in Quebec. From mid-September until the end of October, the forest comes alive with fiery reds and brilliant oranges. To make things even easier, Bonjour Quebec has a fall foliage map. Track the changes and choose the right time to visit. If you have more time on your hands, check out the surrounding area – Quebec has many beautiful forests to explore!
A Road Trip to Remember in Nova Scotia
One of the most iconic drives in Canada is made that much more impressive in Autumn. That’s because the Cabot Trail turns all shades of golden. Take in the winding road and coastal views, and be sure to take your time! Though it’s a 298km drive, break it up into a few days so you can stop at the viewpoints. Add in a hike or a visit to a local town, and enjoy the journey.
Rugged Coastal Beauty in Newfoundland
A hiker’s paradise, Gros Morne National Park is best experienced in fall. Plan for an epic hike, where you can spot local wildlife, see the leaves as they change, and experience serenity and calm. Though you probably won’t be the only one in the park, it might just feel that way. Take the opportunity to get away from crowds, and experience nature’s quiet bliss.
Prairie Forest Fall Foliage in Manitoba
If you’re not from the Prairies, you might find their inclusion on this list surprising. However if you are from the Prairies, you’ll know the beautiful parks and untapped nature are their best kept secret. Want an in? Head to Riding Mountain National Park to experience the best of autumn. Hike, bike, visit a herd of bison, and take in the peace and quiet. For an easy, relaxed camping experience, stay in an oTENTik and cozy up by the wood stove well into cooler weather.
Looking to see the fall foliage yourself? Check out the Adventures below!