Ontario provides a charming setting for a relaxing getaway as the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to turn. Ontario is nestled in east-central Canada for those unfamiliar with our beautiful province. It is home to breathtaking lakes, lush forests, extensive national parks, and the renowned Niagara Falls. With these 15 places to visit in fall in Ontario, it’s the perfect excuse to push for that final road trip!
Our bias aside, Ontario is beautiful year-round. Still, the fall season offers awe-inspiring scenic views as the foliage turns from bright greens to vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds. From relaxing near a lake to tackling an exhilarating hiking trail, there are plenty of places to visit in fall in Ontario with loads of adventure.
Whether you’re heading on a fun family vacation or a romantic getaway in Ontario, a few spots are an absolute must to visit during the fall season. And as luck would have it, you’ll find them in this guide, as we’ve listed our favourite spots to visit during autumn in Ontario.
Fall in Ontario
Before diving into the best attractions, let’s consider what you can expect when spending time in Ontario. Autumn provides crisp winds with classic leafy views from September to November.
One of the most sought-after experiences attracting local and international travellers is viewing the beautiful Ontario fall colours. The best time to view the striking foliage is mid-September and late October.
As the leaves begin to fall to the ground, some regions experience rainy weather. And the snow may come as early as October in northern areas like the city of North Bay. So, we’d recommend packing your favourite rain jacket to prepare for the Ontario weather.
Place with the Top Fall Activities in Ontario
Whether you’re looking for eastern Ontario points of interest or top attractions in the southern region, plenty of places offer an enjoyable experience. Here is a list of a few must-visit attractions for your next fall adventure.
Thousand Islands | Thousand Islands National Park
Located about 40 minutes from Kingston and one hour from Napanee and Bath, the Thousand Islands is an extensive group of over 1800 islands in the St. Lawrence River. It is home to captivating natural beauty, rich history, and more than 49 kilometres of walking trails.
The islands provide plenty of fun things to do in eastern Ontario, such as boat trips, fishing, scenic walks, and helicopter tours. You’ll come across charming lighthouses and historic castles on the islands. For the best panoramic viewing opportunities of the picturesque fall foliage, head to the Thousand Island Tower.
The tower features three observation decks and an elevator that runs continuously. It provides a view of over 80 kilometres of the region. It is undoubtedly a top spot to get those Instagram-worthy fall pictures.
If you’re travelling with kids, there are numerous attractions in proximity to keep your little ones entertained. Check out the Arthur Child Heritage Museum, 1000 Island Boat Museum, and Jones Creek.
**Be sure to bring your passport as some of the boat tours will take you over to the USA’s side of the border**
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County is a great place to go if you want to see some beautiful autumn leaves. Here you’ll find two great Provincial Parks: Sandbanks Provincial Park and Presqu’ile National Park. Both provide beautiful hikes through the woods and stunning views of the lake. Sandbanks is the more popular option due to their unique rolling sand dunes.
Prince Edward County is also known for its beautiful wineries. During the cool autumn months, visitors can visit several of these wineries and taste wines from the region. Many serve light snacks or charcuterie boards with local cheeses and meats to accompany their wines.
When considering Ontario road trips, Kawartha Lakes is one of the best destinations to visit. It is home to rich local culture, vibrant arts, lush scenery, historic sites, and countless activities such as scenic drives and fall fairs.
One of our favourites is the Bobcaygeon Fall Fair which honours local agricultural businesses. The fair comprises several fun rides, competitions, live music, and yummy treats from local vendors.
Another epic experience in the area is touring the Arts and Heritage Trail. Here you’ll discover the captivating heritage and artistic talent of the region. It comprises various attractions and local stores, such as galleries, craft shops, artisan studios, and historical sites.
You can explore the entire trail in a day or pick a few fascinating destinations. Some of our favourites include the Kawartha Settlers’ Village, Olde Gaol Museum and Austin Sawmill. It’s an exceptional adventure for history buffs and those looking to explore local legends and hidden gems.
Algonquin Provincial Park
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Algonquin Provincial Park is a fitting destination. Established in 1893, it is one of the oldest provincial parks in Canada. The park encompasses 7,653 square kilometres of breathtaking wilderness.
It is one of the best places to see in Ontario. It offers plenty of fun activities, such as scenic hiking trails, wildlife watching, fishing, and biking. You’ll also find a network of canoe-friendly routes that stretches for around 2,000 kilometres.
The park boasts picturesque fall foliage. And amongst the maple and birch trees, there are several wildlife species. Keep an eye out for animals like moose, beavers, white-tailed moose, and black bears wandering in the forest.
You might want to stay a few extra days with so much to explore. Fortunately, the park features several developed campsites and is an excellent spot for camping in the backcountry. If you’re not a traditional camper, consider glamping in Ontario for a more luxurious experience.
Muskoka Region, aka Cottage Country, has some of the best scenery in Canada during autumn, with acres of trees turning colours and changing foliage.
So many things to do in Muskoka during the fall, including hiking to various lookout points, attending the Bala Cranberry Festival, and visiting the Georgian Bay Islands National Park (which is next on this list)
The biggest town in Muskoka is the Town of Huntsville. It is perfect for your base accommodations for a great long weekend getaway.
For more information on nearby trails, check out our guide:
Bookmark these great Huntsville blog post blog posts for your summer road trips:
Arrowhead Provincial Park
About 10 minutes away from Huntsville is Arrowhead Provincial Park. The park offers visitors an excellent chance to enjoy the autumn colours of Ontario.
The fall colours of Arrowhead are vivid with brilliant red and gold foliage. While in the park, be sure not to miss the Big Bend Viewing Point. You can see a massive curve in the river below from this lookout. After Big Bend, take a short hike to Stubbs Falls. This is the most popular hike in the park, with loads of beautiful autumn leaves.
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
If you’re looking for scenic places to visit near Toronto in fall, the Georgian Bay Islands National Park is an excellent option. It is located in Honey Harbour, just two hours north of Toronto.
The park comprises around 13.5 square kilometres and 63 small islands. It is only accessible by boat and boasts a rich history, ancient forests, and vast wetlands. During fall, the park is open from September 7th to October 11th.
There are numerous activities on these scenic shores, such as kayaking, boating, birding, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, and canoeing. If you’re looking to get your boots dirty, there are also several hiking trails.
Hiking in the fall is an epic experience. You’ll walk through beautiful maple and fine forests with breathtaking lake views. Some of our top picks for an enjoyable hike include the Fairy trail, Huron trail, and the Cambrian trail.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
The Bruce Peninsula National Park is one of the best destinations for fall getaways Ontario has to offer. Nestled on the breathtaking Bruce Peninsula, the park comprises 156 square kilometres of protected land. It is situated on a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve site, the Niagara Escarpment.
The vast lakeshores and woodlands provide abundant activities, such as swimming in glistening waters and exploring the rocky Georgian Bay coastline. There are several scenic hiking trails in the area with varying difficulty levels.
For an epic experience, we recommend hiking up the Bruce Trail and admiring the beautiful changing foliage. Other exhilarating activities at the park include canoeing, cycling, kayaking, bouldering, animal watching, and fishing.
With so many things to do, it’s one of our favourite places to visit in Ontario for the weekend. As the park receives countless visitors each year, it would be best to arrive early to avoid crowds.
In between Georgian Bay Islands National Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park, you’ll find Collingwood & Blue Mountain Resort.
During fall, Manitoulin is one of the most beautiful islands in Canada. It has an abundance of authentic First Nations experiences.
Spend time immersing yourself in the island’s best things, like traditional crafts, art, museums, drumming, hiking, and local cuisine. Hike the most popular trail in Ontario — The Cup & Saucer Trail!
Whitefish Island is a beautiful place to visit during autumn. First Nations people have inhabited it since before European contact. Today, it belongs to the Batchewana band, with outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking etc. Suppose you’re looking to enjoy the glorious autumn colours. Consider taking the spectacular Agawa Canyon Railway Tour and exploring the Canadian Shield with its rugged beauty, pristine forests and beautiful river valleys.
The Agawa Canyon offers a spectacular experience in northern Ontario in the Algoma District. This shallow canyon was created around 1.2 billion years ago from faulting by the Canadian Shield and enlarged by the erosive action of the Agawa River.
With glowing vistas and cascading waterfalls, the Agawa Canyon is one of the world’s most popular destinations. The canyon is open throughout the year, but fall is possibly the best time to visit. Some common animals include otters, beavers, wood ducks, and chipmunks.
Although the canyon is not accessible by car, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring views aboard the Agawa Canyon Train Tour on the Algoma Central Railway. The train provides a comfy 228-mile ride with wildlife sightings and magnificent panoramas of forests and waterfalls.
The world-renowned Niagara Falls. It is one of Canada’s top attractions that attracts countless travellers annually. It comprises three waterfalls: Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Veil Falls.
The waterfalls straddle the border between Canada and the United States. In Ontario, you’ll find Horseshoe Falls. It is the largest of the three waterfalls and has a tremendous hydraulic power source.
You can experience this magnificent natural wonder by walking behind, cruising, gliding past, or simply gazing at it. Viewing the fall colours in this idyllic setting is an out-of-this-world sightseeing experience.
We recommend heading on a Niagara Hornblower Cruise and experiencing the stunning vistas from the base of the Falls. You can also view the thundering water from above at the Table Rock watching spot. Other fun activities include the Niagara Skywheel, yoga, ziplining, jet boat tours, and helicopter rides.
Long Point Provincial Park
Long Point Provincial Park is fantastic for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. It is important to note that its varied natural landscape is recognized as one of UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserves.
Fall offers many outdoor activities, including kayaking, biking, and Long Point Eco Adventures. If you’re looking for something different, there are plenty of options along the South Coast Wine Country of Norfolk County. We recommend the Ride The Bine Tour. Ride the Bine offers local beer, wine, ciders, and distilleries tours in Ontario and aims to bring consumers closer to where their foods come from.
Suppose you’re looking for a place where you can experience unaltered landscapes and complete peace. In that case, the Ouimette Canyon is perfect for you!
Fall is one of the best times of year for hiking because there are so many beautiful sights to see. You’ll be able to enjoy spectacular scenery, including stunning vistas of a 150-metres wide gorge and sheer cliffs that drop straight into the canyon floor.
The canyon offers an exciting landscape for a fun afternoon, including hiking and wildlife viewing. Be sure to keep your eyes open for unusual plant life at the base of the canyon; some plants usually are only found in the Arctic but thrive here.
Kakabeke Falls Provincial Park | Kakabeka Falls
Located in the Kakabeke Falls Provincial Park, the falls on the Kaministiquia River are the second highest in Ontario at 40 metres in length.
The boardwalks installed at the top of each waterfall provide breathtaking views of the surrounding area, especially during the fall season.
In addition to offering tent and RV camping at three campground locations, Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park offers numerous hiking trails for different skill levels, bird watching, bike riding, and nature education.
A Footnote on Places To Visit in Ontario in Fall
Ontario is a haven of natural beauty with an abundance of attractions. From hiking amongst maple trees to exploring the region’s historical treasures, there are adventures for all.
Whether you’re seeking thrilling activities or a relaxing lakeside experience, the vibrant foliage and crisp air provide the perfect setting for a rejuvenating getaway. As the Ontario beach days come to an end, fall promises stunning backdrops where you can enjoy those pumpkin-spiced treats.
Now that we’ve covered where to go in Ontario, which one are you heading to before winter hits? Share your favourite fall destination in the comments below.