Best Places to See Fall Colours in Canada

Fall colours in Canada are among the most beautiful in the world. Before we know it, the trees will be bursting with flaming shades of red and orange. If you’re as excited about autumn as us, why not make a weekend trip out of fall colour watching? Escape into the Canadian wilderness this autumn for a glimpse of nature’s most brilliant show! Here are some of the best places to go.

Gatineau Park – Quebec 

“Pink Lake” by Ankakaya is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Just less than a 15 min drive from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill you will find one of the most biodiverse parks in Canada, Gatineau Park. Known for its views of the Ottawa River, this park offers some of the best lookout points to spot fall colours in Quebec. Starting October, the park’s trees burst in all shades of orange, yellow and red when nature lovers enjoy hiking and walking its trails while taking in the fall colours. 

One of the  Best Hikes in Canada can be found inside this park, the Pink Lake trail. In the fall, this calm hike is a show to the eye as you can see the turquoise water of the lake against the magnificent autumn foliage. 

Experiencing the Gatineau Park fall colours has never been easier, for those who prefer leaving their cars behind,  Parkbus offers a shuttle service to Pink Lake, Phillippe Lake and other popular lookout points along the park departing right from downtown Ottawa.

Montreal – Quebec

“View from lookout, Mount Royal” by Rick’s Pics is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you are looking to do some leaf-peeping while still enjoying the vibrant life of the city, Montreal is a great destination to do just that. Montreal fall foliage can be spotted all over the city, but two of the most accessible points to enjoy it are Mount Royal Park and Parc Jean Drapeau.

Mount Royal is an urban mountain and park that during autumn adds a special warmth to the city. Go all the way to the top to see it yourself and get the stunning views of the city and countryside merged together by the crispy orange trees.

On the east side of the city, Parc Jean Drapeau  is an island park popular for families and outdoor-enthusiast any time of the year. During the fall, however, the park turns into a romantic dream with views of downtown Montreal, the Saint-Lawrence River and the beautifully turned leaves. Visit Parc Jean Drapeau during the fall for more than just the view. The island has great cycling paths, trails and picnic spots perfect for those looking to enjoy the fall colours in Quebec.

Algonquin Provincial Park – Ontario 

Overlooking a lake surrounded by brilliant fall foliage – Algonquin Provincial Park Ontario Canada

Approximately 25 species of trees change colours in Algonquin Provincial Park! This produces an enormous variety of shades and colours, ranging from golden to deep purple. This park is a great option for those looking to enjoy some fall colours near Toronto as Algonquin is only a 3-hour drive from the city. If driving is not an option, Parkbus also offers shuttles to several points in Algonquin Park from downtown Toronto.

Wondering the best time for fall colours in Algonquin Park? The answer will vary depending on the type of tree you are interested in seeing. Traditionally mid- September to mid- October is considered a good time for fall colours in Ontario, but we recommend searching for Algonquin’s foliage status in the fall colour report Ontario beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Capilano suspension bridge park – British Columbia

Looking for fall colours in Vancouver bc? Go to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in October for a leaf-peeping delight. This natural paradise is only 20 minutes away from Downtown Vancouver and it offers tons of outdoor activities to enjoy the autumn. From ziplining to treetop adventures, there are endless opportunities for fall foliage views.

Its’ most famous attraction, the Capilano suspension bridge is like nothing else in the park! Be ready for out-of-this-world views. This 450 feet long bridge is situated 230 feet above Capilano River giving you the perfect bird’s eye perspective of the turned forest above. Cross the bridge and experience everything else the park has to offer anytime you are in Vancouver. Capilano Bridge Park is open 364 days a year and offers a free shuttle bus from several points of the city.

Cape Breton - Nova Scotia 

The best time to visit nova scotia for fall colours is in October. And the best place to see it is at Cape Breton Island, particularly when you hike along the Cabot Trail. You’ll see the most vibrant colours appear on the treetops.

Visit during the second week of October and you’re sure to witness a fantastic display not only from the hike but also from the island’s autumn festival, Celtic Colours. Fall colours in Nova Scotia Canada are celebrated in full at this festival that honours Cape Breton’s traditional culture through heritage craft events, outdoor events, live concerts, farmers’ market and much more.

Visiting Cape Breton while staying in Halifax is one of the most popular activities for tourists, however, Cape Breton offers a wide variety of accommodation to enjoy the fall right within nature.

Fundy Coastal Drive – New Brunswick

October marks the best time to see fall colours in eastern Canada. If you’re thinking about taking a Thanksgiving weekend trip to catch the season’s colours, New Brunswick is one of the best places to see fall foliage.

To enjoy the maritime views, we recommend you take the Fundy Coastal Drive, which is a scenic drive that stretches along the southern shore of New Brunswick. This road moves along breathtaking landscapes overlooking the Bay of Fundy. During the month of October, the fall foliage is at its peak and a portion of the North Atlantic Right Whales population remains in the Bay of Fundy waters. This makes it one of the most unique experiences in Canada for wildlife lovers. Leaf and whale watching along the Fundy shores is also a very underrated activity that mostly locals know about, so you’ll have this unusual nature’s combo all to yourself. Sit back and discover the beauty of this scenic drive!

Larch Valley – Alberta

Banff National Park is a summertime wonderland, but its secret magical season is autumn. Most hikers visiting Banff are quickly hypnotized by the blue waters of Moraine Lake and make this point their final destination. However, only locals and experts know about the beauty that hides just passed Moraine Lake, the Larch Valley.

Next time you visit Banff in the fall head to the valley for a chance to escape the crowds and see some of the best fall foliage in western Canada. Larch Valley is home to thousands of larch trees and during the autumn, their leaves turn to an unbelievable golden yellow. This hike starts at Moraine Lake and climbs up to the larch forest. Depending on how much time you spend taking in the view of all the Banff fall colours, it can take up to four hours to go up and down.

Mont Tremblant – Quebec

Fall colours in Quebec are among the richest in eastern Canada and Mont Tremblant offers a truly spectacular view of the season! Whether it’s hiking, on a cable car, biking or on a zip line there’s no shortage of spots to see the spread of fall foliage along the Laurentians. The best time to see fall colours in Quebec is from mid-September to late-October when the trees are in full colour. Plus, the weather is still warm enough to experience outdoor activities in the area, like canoeing in Tremblant’s Laker or treetop trekking the sepia forest.

Muskoka – Ontario 

Red maples are the stars of the fall foliage show in Muskoka, Ontario. Go for a hike, ride your bike or simply gaze at the brilliant colours from your cottage rental’s front porch. There are many ways to enjoy autumn in Muskoka!

Dare to take the leaf-peeping experience to new heights – 500 feet above the treetops, to be exact. Muskoka is famous for helicopter tours to see the beauty of the area.

Niagara-on-the-Lake – Ontario 

Drive the highway along the Niagara River and you will enjoy beautiful views of the water and the trees. A stop at one of the lookout points is beautiful at any season, but fall offers an especially wonderful view of Ontario’s small-town region! While you enjoy the fall colours, make sure to visit one of the many wineries in the area. Fall is harvest time for all wineries in Niagara and there’s no better time to visit than fall. The vineyards are spilling and most grapes are finally ripe. This means winemakers are active and there are many opportunities to learn about the entire process of winemaking.

Like in most parts of Canada, September and October represent the best time to see fall foliage in Ontario. In Niagara on the Lake, however, it also means a town full of local events that attract tourists and locals alike.

No matter where you go, you are sure to see impressive fall colours throughout Canada! Whether you want to rent a cottage in Muskoka or explore western Canada and rent a cabin in Banff, make your fall trip exceptional when you stay in a vacation rental close to all the fall foliage you can. You’ll love watching the changing of the leaves as you curl up with a cup of hot cider on the porch of your vacation rental!