collage of park views (waterfront, fall foliage, rocky shoreline)

Road-tripping through fall at Ontario Parks

Hi, I’m Carolyn, and I’m popping in on the Ontario Parks blog to highlight some of my favorite provincial parks that you can visit throughout the fall, which I think is one of the best times to travel in Ontario.

Please read on as we road-trip around Ontario:

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Let’s start by heading up north. One of Ontario’s most beautiful parks has to be Lake Superior Provincial Park. The lake is so huge – the first time I saw it, I thought I had somehow ended up at the ocean!

Lake Superior shoreline

I love that this park is so diverse. You can walk on the beach, hike for days, or explore Indigenous petroglyphs written on the rocks centuries ago.

rocky shoreline with two hikers

Have you been to Lake Superior? What do you most enjoy here?

Batchawana Bay Provincial Park

A sunny afternoon picnic beside Lake Superior? Yes, please!

campsite beside Lake Superior

The drive along Highway 17 near Batchawana Bay (less than an hour south of Lake Superior Provincial Park) is stunning in the fall.

Chutes Provincial Park

Have you ever stumbled on an especially pretty sunset spot?

waterfalls at sunset, with trees in background

One fall day, as I was road-tripping across northern Ontario, I stopped at Chutes Provincial Park. Located between Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, this small park is known for its waterfalls. And I managed to take a short hike to one of the “chutes” just as the sun was starting to go down. It lit up the colourful leaves on the trees behind the falls.

Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park

If you love waterfalls, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park (near Thunder Bay) is your place. It’s the largest waterfall in northern Ontario – people often call it “Niagara of the North.”

huge waterfall

You can follow the easy boardwalk trails on both sides of the Kaministiquia River to check out these rushing cascades.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

The road to the Thunder Bay Lookout on the north side of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park can be a little rough and bumpy, but when you finally get to the parking area, it’s just a short walk to the lookout platform – with views for miles.

cliffside view beside Lake Superior

You look out over Lake Superior, and on a clear day, you can get glimpses of the city of Thunder Bay.

Restoule Provincial Park

I’m always keen to learn about new places to visit, so I was glad to discover Restoule Provincial Park. About 70 km southwest of North Bay, this small park is a great spot for kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding on Restoule Lake, Stormy Lake, or the Restoule River.

woman standing beside tranquil lake

Like much of Northern Ontario, Restoule is a spectacular spot for fall colours.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Ready for some fall colours? I snapped this photo on an October day in Bon Echo Provincial Park.

boathouse and canoes with fall foliage beside lake

This southeastern Ontario gem stays open to campers until October 20.

Silent Lake Provincial Park

A foggy morning on Silent Lake — what could be better?

fall colours beside misty lake

Where are some of your favourite Ontario fall colour destinations?

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Even though most people associate beach days with summer, I like going to the beach in the fall. The weather is usually still warm and even popular parks — like Sandbanks Provincial Park on Lake Ontario — are much less crowded.

woman in chair on beach, screened by trees

Pro tip: pair Sandbanks beach time with wine tasting in Prince Edward County. There are more than three dozens wineries to try nearby, and the fall harvest season is an excellent time to visit.

Planning some Ontario Park adventures this autumn? Tell us where you’re heading!

Chime in on social media with your own #fallcolours adventures, and let us know whether your favourite fall park made my list!

Travel writer Carolyn B. Heller is the author of three Canadian guidebooks, including Moon Toronto and Ontario, an all-new guide highlighting unique activities and experiences across the province. Based in Vancouver, she’s written for the Forbes Travel Guide, Lonely Planet, Roads & Kingdoms, Canadian Traveller, Touring Bird, Edible Vancouver Island, Boston Globe, and Perceptive Travel, among many other publications. Follow her adventures on Instagram @CarolynBHeller.