Canada’s great outdoors is at its most picturesque when autumn colours start to bless the tops of trees in forests and parks. Read this article to find out five fantastic places to take in the autumn foliage.
The weather and trees are beautiful when you visit the Rocky Mountains in September and October. Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, including Banff, offer possibilities for hiking, camping and photographing that are limited only by the turn of the seasons.
While the mountains are often heavily touristed in the summers, and busy with snow-lovers or nearly impassable in the winters, autumn offers shoulder season, when you can find cheap hotels, deserted vistas and good deals on domestic transport.
The mountains here are forested with aspen, sub-alpine larch and evergreens, but the tough weather conditions in winter make it difficult for maples to grow here. There’s still plenty of colour to go around even without Canada’s signature tree, however, so don’t forget to pack your camera.
The weeks around Thanksgiving weekend are a good time to visit New Brunswick and seek out red-leafed maple trees near the Bay of Fundy.
In this area, try the Fundy Coastal Drive, or combine purposes on your trip to see Fundy National Park’s other attractions. Featuring waterfalls, three campgrounds, and over 100 kilometres of hiking trails, you’ll be sure to catch some breathtaking images of the change of the seasons. Fog on the coastline and the geological oddity of the region’s high tides are two more things visitors enjoy seeing in the area. And, if the thought of camping outdoors makes you hesitate when planning your trip, know that there are also hotels, motels and lodges in the area.
On Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a popular destination year-round for Canadian travellers, and the final months of the year are no exception. Autumn colours come out en masse in a spectacular variety of hues. Because the climate is influenced by currents bringing warm water north along the coastline, the fall foliage here lasts longer than in most other places in North America, so you’ll be able to enjoy the changing of the seasons for longer.
While in the province, you can also take advantage of hiking and camping in the bear-free forests, following in the fictitious footsteps of Anne of Green Gables.
Indulge in maple syrup and other sugary treats while you take in the subtle colours of the sugar maple trees in Quebec. American beech and provincial yellow birch also add their leaves to the riot of color every autumn here. While most of the province offers some opportunity to see the fall foliage in action, the Laurentian Mountains are a popular destination for this purpose, especially Mount Temblant National Park. And only 140 kilometres away, it’s an easy drive from Montreal.
In Quebec, trees begin to change colour in September, and some of the lower elevations will still have a colourful canopy into late October.
Canada’s most populated province also has its share of colourful trees in the autumn. City parks and streets become russet-hued, and every building owner faces the task of raking piles of fallen leaves. But if you find yourself in Ontario this fall, get out of town and revel in the change of the seasons at Algonquin Provincial Park.
This is a popular year-round destination for Toronto residents, because the park is only 300 kilometres from the city. The nation’s oldest provincial park, it’s big too, at more than 7,000 square kilometres, so there are abundant vantage points from which to view the trees as they change colour.
The park is home to many species of tree, and not all of them change colours at the same time. If you’re in the area at the end of September, you’ll catch the maple trees in their orange-red glory. A few weeks later, and you’ll see the red oaks, tamaracks and aspens adding their own particular notes into this symphony of beautiful leaves.
About the Author: Julie Carmona is a busy full-time mum who loves the outdoors. Mountain biking is her family’s latest hobby, and she’s looking forward to taking the kids on several such trips this year to enjoy the autumn foliage.