Autumn in Ontario, Canada brings trees adorned with the most beautiful multi-colored leaves. One of the best ways to enjoy Ontario’s fall colors is to get in the car and explore. Here are a dozen of the best trails to follow.
THE BEST DRIVE ROUTES FOR ENJOYING ONTARIO’S AUTUMN COLORS
PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY
A relaxed autumn drive through your neighborhood is always a treat. A scenic drive includes Rednersville Road from Rossmore to Carrying Place, Highway No. 33 to Wellington and Bloomfield, then Highway No. 62 back to Rossmore.
You can also continue east from Bloomfield to Lake on the Mountain and Glenora Ferry. Then drive along the lake to Bath or Kingston.
In the fall my wife and I enjoy a drive through the Oak Hills near Stirling. For an enjoyable loop ride, I recommend including Frankford and Batawa. Another option is to ride a loop that includes Springbrook, Marmora, and Madoc.
Another journey through our forest takes you along the northern shore of Lake Ontario to Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Brighton, Colborne, Grafton and Cobourg.
ACTINOLITE AND NAPANEE RING
Take Route 37 from Belleville to Tweed and Actinolite, Route 7 northeast to Kaladar, then Route 41 south to Napanee before completing the loop.
Just before you get to Napanee, you may decide to stop at Hell Hole on Centerville Road where you will find a well-marked nature trail on private property. This will take you to a hole in the ground where a ladder will take you to Hell (a cool, dark, underground cavern).
PROVINCIAL PARK OF THE BON ECHO
At Actinolite, continue north on Route 41 to Bon Echo Provincial Park. Here you will find the towering Mazinaw Rock and many original icons. There are also beautiful canoe routes in this area.
KINGSTON AND THE THOUSAND ISLANDS
Take the Old Perth Road to Westport and then take a scenic tour that takes you to Chaffey’s Locks, Charleston Lake and Gananoque. You might even decide to add a Thousand Islands in fall colors cruise to this road trip.
ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK
One of my all-time favorite fall rides is running through the park (at #60). On a fall trip there, I had to stop at Moose twice. You can also extend your stay by camping, cycling or hiking in this beautiful area.
Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center for another great view. You can make it a scenic drive by driving to the south side of the park via Haliburton and back to Bancroft.
Explore this area of lakes and forests at Panorama Lookout on South Lake Road (Minn.). Then enjoy a tour that includes visits to Peterborough, Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon, and the village of Haliburton itself.
With hardwood forests and numerous lakes, this area attracts many fall visitors, so expect crowds. You can take the 400 and 11 to Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Huntsville (where Lion’s Lookout offers great views of the area).
THE MORNING ROAD OF ONTARIO
The Old Rosseau-Nipissing Colonization Road was one of several road networks planned by the county government to promote settlement of the area. This is intended to help major timber companies better enter and provide an integrated workforce for this thriving business.
Although this trip is longer and more challenging, I found it very beautiful and historically interesting. This rugged road began in Rosseau (SW of Huntsville) in 1864 and paralleled today’s Route 11.
Northwest of our country’s capital you will find this area of wilderness, waterways and forests. Take a guided tour of Calabogie, Renfrew, Wilno (the oldest Polish settlement in Canada), Barry’s Bay and Foymount (where you get great panoramic views of the area).
Start this tour in North Bay and head north to Temagami, Cobalt and New Liskeard. For a longer tour, head northwest toward Timmins, then south toward Sudbury, and east again toward North Bay. Between North Bay and Temagami, there is a fascinating train ride to the fall of Ontario.
No list of places to see fall colors in Ontario would be complete without this popular wilderness trip on the Algoma Central Railway. The train ride from Sault Ste Marie includes a stop at the bottom of the canyon where you can hike or have a picnic.