7 tips for leafpeepers

7 leaf-peeping tips for fall fanatics

You’ve checked our Fall Colour Report, and you’re ready for an autumn adventure.

Here are our top seven tips for finding your fall colour fix:

1. Go before all the green is gone

The red maples look spectacular, but they also lose their leaves earlier. Planning a mid- to late-September trip is a great idea, because the splashes of green just add more depth to the autumn display.

Lake of the Woods Trail

2. Go north first

Northern forest turn earlier, so if you have the time, head to the northern edge of the hardwood forests (Lake Superior Provincial Park‘s lovely this time of year!). The boreal forest has its own charms – while it doesn’t have the reds of the maples, it does have the gold and peach hues of the birch and poplar.

Head further south as the colours change. Killbear’s colours turn in early October and stick around because of the warming influence of Georgian Bay, while the Pinery may still have lots of green at Thanksgiving.

3. Go mid-week

Weekends can get crowded with fellow leaf-peepers (especially in hot-spots like Algonquin). Visit your favourite trails during weekdays, especially earlier in the day.

fall at Algonquin

4. Go somewhere other than Algonquin

Everyone knows Algonquin’s gorgeous in the autumn, but if you’re looking to ditch the crowds, these 6 fall beauties are some of our best-kept secrets.

We also recommend:

5. Do a circle tour

Loop around Algonquin and take in the great colours of the Mattawa Valley and Upper Ottawa Valley, and through the Madawaska Highlands. Going before the October long weekend? Spend the night at Lake St. Peter, Bonnechere, Samuel de Champlain or Arrowhead.

A Georgian Bay — Lake Huron Route is another great trip in the fall. Or what about a Lake Superior half-circle? The route from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay is essentially a Group of Seven-themed driving trip. Just follow the Trans-Canada Highway, stopping at Pancake Bay, Lake Superior, Obatanga, White Lake, Neys, Rainbow Falls and Sleeping Giant.

fall campsite

Find our other recommended driving tours — including Lake Superior and Algonquin Highlands Routes —  here.

6. Look down

A bit of gold here, swaths of white there, and even a touch of purple in places. The “second flowering of summer” — featuring asters and goldenrods — lasts well into the autumn.

purple aster

7. Smile for your selfie!

While you’re there, snap a few pictures. Fall’s a great time to try out a new camera, or compose the perfect shot.

Share fall photos on our Facebook Page, Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #FallColours, and tag @OntarioParks. We’d love to see what fall looks like where you are!