Algonquin Provincial Park is famous for its fall colours and gets lots of visitors at this time of year. So we asked the park staff for five tips for fall-colour viewing. Here’s what they tell us:
1. Visit less-used access points like the Kingscote Access Point (Access Point 15) along the southern “Panhandle” of the park. Park permits are available there. Trails include the 13 kilometre Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail (rated moderate). A 150-metre side trail takes you to Gut Rapids, a narrow, scenic canyon on the York River. A short paddle will take you to peaceful campsites.
2. Consider hiking a longer trail like the Track and Tower (7.5km), or Mizzy Lake (15km). Descriptions of each are found on the Friends of Algonquin Park website
3. Hike a portion of an Algonquin backpacking trail such as Western Uplands. Normally you’ll encounter fewer hikers on it than the Lookout or Beaver Pond trails at this time of year.
4. Peak hours in Algonquin Provincial Park are generally 10am-4pm and on weekends. As the sun sets earlier in fall, plan to arrive earlier in the day or visit mid-week when the park is less busy.
5. If walking is difficult, take a drive down Arowhon Road, at 16km. The 1.5 km Spruce Bog trail is also wheelchair-accessible (located at 42.5km on Highway 60).
*BONUS TIP* Everyone should see an Algonquin autumn once in their life, but if you’re looking for a new park to explore the fall colours, these 6 parks are our best-kept secret.