When it comes to taking in the changing autumn leaves across Canada, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Plan ahead for late September or early October, which is when most parks have their brightest fall colours. Also, consider your preferred mode of “leaf peeping” before you make a cross-country trip. Are you taking a scenic drive, hiking, or riding on horseback? Once you’ve decided, look through our gallery for the best leaf-viewing spots in Canada.

The Laurentian Mountains


1. The Laurentian Mountains

Featured in Lonely Planet and National Geographic, the Laurentian Mountains are world renowned. Head to Mont-Tremblant National Park in late September to view the spectacular colours. For the really keen, the Quebec government even has a Fall Foliage Map you can use to keep track of the entire province’s leaves.

2. Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park boasts fall colour options galore. Whether you simply drive through the east side of the park (best in mid-October for yellow-orange leaves) or take a hike through Booth’s Rock Trail, you’ll see a stunning landscape. Go in late September or early October to see red, yellow and orange leaves together, or in mid-to-late October to see the Tamarack trees’ needles turn yellow. Keep tabs on the Ontario Parks fall colour tracker so you don’t accidentally miss the view.

3. Confederation Trail

The Confederation Trail stretches all the way across Prince Edward Island and boasts a spectacular view of autumn leaves. You can take in the view by foot or on a bike, as the trail is a shared-use space. While you’re in P.E.I., complement the tip-to-tip trail with the annual Fall Flavours Festival, which will also “take you across the Island” for a fabulous food experience.

4. The Butchart Gardens

British Columbia’s Butchart Gardens in Victoria are famous for their beautiful fauna, and fall is as perfect a time to visit as any. Make the visit between September 15 and November 30 to admire the deep red of the Japanese Garden’s 74 Japanese maples, the Sunken Garden in fall, or take advantage of the quieter season to book a greenhouse tour with a staff gardener.

5. The Rocky Mountains

Hike up the Larch Valley trail in Alberta’s Banff National Park around the last week of September to view the larches at their peak colour. However, beware, as this iconic spot gets so crowded that Parks Canada strongly suggests alternative trails on their site for viewing the golden larches. You could also try the British Columbia side of the mountains and head somewhere like Yoho National Park. Depending on which trail you choose, the more adventurous can make the trek on horseback.

6. Cape Breton Island

Take a visit to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and drive along Cabot Trail or hike Franey Trail in Cape Breton Highlands Park. Go in early October for vibrant red leaves, or wait until later in the month, as yellows and oranges add to the mix. If you happen to visit on Thanksgiving weekend, be sure to hit up the Celtic Colours International Festival for the perfect musical backdrop to your nature viewing.

7. Thousand Islands National Park

While it’s one of the lesser-known spots for leaf watching, the Thousand Islands National Park in autumn is a hidden gem. Check out the beautiful contrast between fall foliage and the St. Lawrence River, which makes for dreamy photos. Take a hike to Landon Bay lookout, or hit up one of the many local fall events — go craft beer and wine tasting or go for a blast from the past at the Upper Canada Village 1860s Fall Fair weekend.

8. Niagara Parkway Ontario

Winston Churchill famously called the Niagara River Parkway the “prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world,” and with good reason. Go in October, when the leaves reach their pinnacle, and drive the parkway or meander along the Niagara River Parkway Recreational Trail.

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