As the cold weather hits, opportunities to view a stunning array of fall colours are popping up around the province.
Ontario Parks is committed to making our parks as accessible as possible for visitors. If you’re planning a trip, we’ve rounded up a list of parks with accessibility features that are perfect for viewing the beauty of fall.
Located on Georgian Bay, Awenda Provincial Park’s trails, lakes, shorelines, fens, bogs, and campgrounds offer a mix of habitat for a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities. In the fall, the park is full of stunning autumn beauty.
Awenda has a wheelchair accessible platform at the waterfront of Kettle’s Lake. Visitors in wheelchairs can follow the platform to the water’s edge for a view of the beautiful lake and lots of colour in fall.
Awenda also has a barrier-free trail called the Beaver Pond Trail. It’s a 1 km loop located in a nature reserve zone. Most of this trail is a boardwalk that takes you through an area altered by past and present beaver activity. The area also offers views of the Nipissing Bluff, as well as excellent opportunities for viewing wildlife, wildflowers, and many species of birds.
Awenda also has an all-terrain wheelchair available for visitors to borrow. This is a free service for visitors through the park office. Park staff can also meet you with the chair where you need it, and pick it up afterwards.
Awenda is 2 hours from Toronto and 3.5 hours from London.
Located two hours west of Ottawa, Bonnechere Provincial Park offers rich Ottawa Valley history, interpretive trails and programs, and one of the best beaches in the valley. The park is beautiful in fall, and it makes a great alternative to the often busy Algonquin Provincial Park.
Bonnechere’s day-use area has great accessibility, thanks to recent investments in new features to make the park more accessible. These include hard-packed trails, wheelchair accessible picnic tables, and barrier-free buildings and washrooms.
There are also beach mats along the beach at Round Lake, meaning visitors in wheelchairs or with mobility challenges, and parents with strollers can access beautiful views of fall at the water’s edge. Wheelchair accessible parking is also available.
Bonnechere is 2 hours from Ottawa, and 3 hours from Kingston.
Bronte Creek Provincial Park offers fantastic interpretive experiences including a children’s playbarn and farm.
Maiden’s Blush Trail is a wheelchair accessible 1 km trail located in the day-use area. This paved trail winds through mature forest, and is suitable for a peaceful ramble among the beautiful fall colours. The trailhead is located near the playbarn, closest to Parking Lot C.
Bronte Creek is 30 minutes from Hamilton, and 1 hour from Toronto.
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park is home to the second highest waterfall in all of Ontario. Visitors can take in the majestic 40 m Kakabeka Falls, as well as the surrounding gorge and the stunning fall colours.
Kakabeka Falls has two wheelchair accessible trails for visitors. The Boardwalk Trail is a 750 m boardwalk surrounding the falls. The trail is wheelchair accessible, and located near accessible parking.
The 1.25 km Mountain Portage Trail is also wheelchair accessible. This scenic trail is part of the historic portage that early travelers used to traverse around Kakabeka Falls. The trail also provides excellent views of the falls, gorge, and river.
Kakabeka Falls is 30 minutes from Thunder Bay.
Mashkinonje Provincial Park boasts a diverse system of wetlands supporting all the major wetland types, including marshes, bogs, swamps, fens and ponds. Fall is a great time to enjoy this park, as even the wetland grasses become golden.
The first 600 m of Mashkinonje’s Loudon Peatland Trail is barrier-free, and leads to a viewing platform at the peatland’s edge. The trail has a crusher-fine surface, and a long boardwalk across the first wetland.
There is also a viewing platform overlooking the wetland with some interpretive panels. The trail includes accessible parking, washrooms, and picnic tables at the trailhead.
Mashkinonje is located 1 hour from North Bay, and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Sudbury.
Ouimet Canyon is a day-use only park with panoramic views of a 150 m wide gorge and sheer cliffs that drop 100 m straight down to the canyon floor. Arctic plants, usually found 1,000 km north, survive in the unique environment at the bottom of the canyon.
The park’s 1 km loop trail leads to two viewing platforms along the canyon’s rim. One route along this trail allows for barrier-free access to the lookouts, so you can experience stunning views like those above.
Ouimet Canyon is 1 hour from Thunder Bay.
Pinery isn’t just home to beautiful beaches. The park also boasts lovely fall colours that peak later than elsewhere in Ontario. You can usually view reds, oranges, and yellows from late October to early November.
Pinery has plenty of options for wheelchair accessible fall colour viewing. Three of the parks trails are wheelchair accessible: Cedar Trail, Heritage Trail, and Riverside Trail. The trails offer examples of the park’s Oak Savanna habitat, and views of the waters of Lake Huron and the Old Ausable Channel.
Pinery is 1 hour from London or Sarnia.
Rondeau Provincial Park is known for beaches and awesome birding. However the park also boasts stunning fall colours, which also peak later in the year.
Rondeau Road makes a great spot to view the fall colours of the park’s old growth Carolinian forest. A 2 km stretch of the paved road in the park is closed to vehicles, and makes a great sturdy path for viewing the surrounding forest. The road has benches along the way, plus a lovely view of the fall colours. Parking is available on either end of the road.
Rondeau is a world-renowned birding destination, so bring your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled!
Rondeau is 3 hours from Toronto and 1.5 hours from London.
Need more details?
We’d be happy to answer any questions and provide more details about the accessibility features of any of our parks.
If you would like more information please:
- call the park directly via the number on their homepage
- send us a direct message to any of the central Ontario Parks social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- send us an email
Ready to plan your fall colour viewing excursion?
Make sure to check our Fall Colour report before heading out!