8 Of The Best Places To See Fall Colours In Canada

Red, orange and gold, oh my!
8 Of The Best Places To See Fall Colours In Canada

Photo, ©Tourism PEI / Sander Meurs

When it comes to taking in the changing autumn leaves across Canada, aim to visit by early October, which is when most parks have their brightest colours on full display. (Many also offer leaf trackers to ensure optimal viewing!) Here, the best places to look at fall colours in Canada.

Best Places To See Fall Colours In Canada

The Laurentian Mountains, Quebec

Featured in Lonely Planet and National Geographic, the Laurentian Mountains are world renowned. Head to Mont-Tremblant National Park in late September to view the spectacular colours. For the really keen, the Quebec government even has a Fall Foliage Map you can use to keep track of the entire province’s leaves.

best fall colours canada: trees turn red and orange by waterPhoto, Sepaq / Jean-Pierre Huard.

Algonquin Park, Ontario

Algonquin Park boasts fall colour options galore. Whether you simply drive through the east side of the park (best in mid-October for yellow-orange leaves) or take a hike through Booth’s Rock Trail, you’ll see a stunning landscape. Go in late September or early October to see red, yellow and orange leaves together, or in mid-to-late October to see the Tamarack trees’ needles turn yellow. Keep tabs on the Ontario Parks fall colour tracker so you don’t accidentally miss the view.

best-fall-colours-canada: Golden Encore of fall colours, tamaracks turned golden at Algonquin national park.Photo, Andrea Coulter for Ontario Parks.

Confederation Trail

The Confederation Trail stretches all the way across Prince Edward Island and boasts a spectacular view of autumn leaves. You can take in the view by foot or on a bike, as the trail is a shared-use space. While you’re in P.E.I., complement the tip-to-tip trail with the annual Fall Flavours Festival, which will also “take you across the Island” for a fabulous food experience.
best-fall-colours-canada: Birds eye view of Confederation Trail in PEI and trees in green, yellow, red, and orangePhoto, ©Tourism PEI / Sander Meurs.

The Butchart Gardens, British Columbia

Victoria's Butchart Gardens are famous for their beautiful flora, and fall is as perfect a time to visit as any. Make the visit between September 15 and November 30 to admire the deep red of the Japanese Garden’s 74 Japanese maples, the Sunken Garden in fall, or take advantage of the quieter season to book a greenhouse tour with a staff gardener.

best-fall-colours-canada: Japanese maples turn a deep red at The Butchart GardensPhoto, The Butchart Gardens.

The Rocky Mountains, Alberta and British Columbia

Hike up the Larch Valley trail in Alberta’s Banff National Park around the last week of September to view the larches at their peak colour. However, beware, as this iconic spot gets so crowded that Parks Canada strongly suggests alternative trails on their site for viewing the golden larches. You could also try the British Columbia side of the mountains and head somewhere like Yoho National Park. Depending on which trail you choose, the more adventurous can make the trek on horseback.

best-fall-colours-canada: Larches in Fall Colors, Opabin Plateau, Yoho National Park, CanadaPhoto, Parks Canada.

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Take a visit to Cape Breton Island and drive along Cabot Trail or hike Franey Trail in Cape Breton Highlands Park. Go in early October for vibrant red leaves, or wait until later in the month, as yellows and oranges add to the mix. 

best-fall-colours-canada: Man hiking at Franey Trail Lookoff at Cape Breton National ParkPhoto, © Parks Canada / Dale Wilson.

Thousand Islands National Park, Ontario

While it’s one of the lesser-known spots for leaf watching, the Thousand Islands National Park in autumn is a hidden gem. Check out the beautiful contrast between fall foliage and the St. Lawrence River, which makes for dreamy photos. Consider taking a hike to Landon Bay lookout, and then enjoy a pint of local craft beer.

best fall colours canada: Visitors kayak at the 1000 Islands past the fall coloursPhoto, Parks Canada.

Niagara Parkway, Ontario

Winston Churchill famously called the Niagara River Parkway the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world,” and with good reason. Go in October, when the leaves reach their pinnacle, and drive the parkway or meander along the Niagara River Parkway Recreational Trail.

8 Of The Best Places To See Fall Colours In CanadaPhoto, Niagara Falls Tourism/Christine Hess.

Published August 2018, updated September 2019.


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