Photo: Russ Higgins
The changing leaves of autumn are one of the most beautiful times of the year. Road trips to these picture perfect Canadian destinations will make your long weekend magical. So grab a thermos of hot apple cider, your spiffy new fall jacket, and enter one of these fabulous destinations into your car’s GPS for a leaf-peeping road trip to explore the beauty of the fall season.
Mont Tremblant – Quebec
Mont Tremblant might be known as a ski destination, but it’s also a hot spot for viewing the stunning colours of fall. Late September is an ideal time to drive to Quebec and practice your French while taking in the natural beauty of the Laurentians. There are plenty of family activities to choose from such as Ziptrek EcoTours so you can fly high among the trees. Mont Tremblant Village will keep you busy with restaurants, shopping, and endless adventures. You can even stay in a chalet and stare at the beautiful trees from your serene living room.
Algonquin Park – Ontario
Photo Russ Higgins
Autumn and Algonquin Park go hand in hand. Not only is it the first ever provincial park in Ontario but it’s also one of the largest. Known for its beauty during the fall season it is definitely worth the drive. Ideal times to go are from mid-September to mid-October. If you want to try and catch the Sugar Maple and Red Maple they typically change colours the last week of September, followed by the poplars, Tamaracks, and Red Oaks in October. There is even a fall foliage report for the latest information to help you plan your road trip accordingly. Algonquin Park is easily accessible by car and is located in south-central Ontario and Highway 60 is the parks major highway running through the south end.
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The Cabot Trail – Nova Scotia
The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is known as one of the most stunning drives in the world. You will experience exhilarating views as the trail winds around Cape Breton’s northern shore. It’s possible to spend a few days driving around taking in the fall foliage. There are multiple scenic lookouts to choose from where you can catch orange and gold leaves sparkling under the sun. There are plenty of place to stay such as rustic lodges in Igonish, and you can even take a whale watching tour to turn your fall road trip into the adventure of a lifetime.
Acadian Coastal Drive – New Brunswick
A road trip along the Acadian Coast in autumn is the perfect way to explore New Brunswick. There are lots of scenic lookouts to appreciate the fall colours such as Charlo that boasts panoramic views of the Chaleur Bay with the red Acadian forest on one side and on the other side the evergreens of the Appalachian Mountain Range. Or check out the lighthouse at Miscou Island where you can climb to the top for a birds eye view of the colourful forests from the observation deck. There is also Kouchibouguac National Park that is great for families especially during their annual fall festival taking place until October 9th.
Stanley Park – British Columbia
Stanley Park is not only Vancouver’s largest park but also a designated national historic site of Canada that opened way back in 1888. So not only will you get to check out changing leaves, you can explore the rich history of the area. The park is known by locals as the most beloved urban park in town and boasts 400-hectares that includes mountains, water and the magnificent trees showing off their leaves. The park is accessible by car and is located in Vancouver’s west end. If you are a resident of Vancouver and at the park on October 1st or 2nd they are hosting a fall tree sale where you can purchase a tree and help the park at the same time.
Muskoka – Ontario
Photo: Russ Higgins
Autumn is the perfect time for a road trip to Muskoka. Muskoka stretches from Algonquin Park to Georgian Bay with so many open roads that it’s even been called a driver’s paradise. Their website currently showcases “spectacular fall foliage driving tours” that are great for families. There is the “Unforgettable Shorelines” drive that starts in Baysville; “Muskoka’s Rugged Coast” that begins in Port Severn; and “The Gateway to Muskoka and Beyond” that starts in Gravenhurst. Whichever fall foliage tour you choose to embark on, you can pair it with a stay in a rustic cottage, chalet, or resort and turn your road trip into a fall long weekend getaway.
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Drive safely and feel free to share your autumn photos in the comments!