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Autumn in Ontario brings crisp weather, breathtaking scenery and the perfect opportunity to get adventurous. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled getaway or a pumpkin-spiced escape, fall in Ontario offers nearly endless options. Below you’ll find activities located both near and far, and which are appropriate for day-, weekend- and week-long trips. Pick and choose to create the ultimate fall bucket list and make the most of this incredible season. After all, fall is the best season to travel in Ontario.
1. Hike Among the Fall Colours
Get your heart rate up while taking in the picture-perfect fall scenery on one of Ontario’s many hiking trails. From easy to more challenging, there are options for whatever the day calls for.
- Take in panoramic views on the Fire Tower Trail in Temagami
- Get a view of the Lake Superior shoreline on the Boardwalk Trail at Pigeon River Provincial Park
- Customize a private guided hiking tour in Northwestern Ontario with Outdoor Skills and Thrills
- Take a guided hiking tour in Algoma with Blaq Bear or Forest the Canoe
2. Chase Waterfalls
The rushing roar, misty breeze and renewed connection with nature—what’s not to love about waterfalls? Ontario offers some beautiful options to get your TLC vibes on. Visiting a waterfall is even more magical in autumn, framed by colourful leaves and without the throngs of people.
- Take a drive to see Cascade Falls in Orient Bay
- Go on a short hike to view Wolf River Falls in Dorion
- Visit Kakabeka Falls near Thunder Bay
- Take a waterfall tour on the Bruce Trail in the Hamilton/Halton Region with Grand Experiences
3. Go Camping
Pack your hot chocolate and snuggly layers—fall camping in Ontario is a must-do. With backcountry (both hike-in and paddle-in) and car camping options aplenty, there’s an experience for everyone. Campfires are all the more inviting on cool fall nights and—best of all—there are no bugs to contend with! Some camping areas are open year-round and some are seasonal, so be sure to check dates while you’re trip planning.
- Car camp or paddle to a backcountry site at Restoule Provincial Park near North Bay
- Paddle to a backcountry site at French River Provincial Park near Sudbury
- Car camp or hike to a backcountry site at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park near Thunder Bay
4. Take a Mine Tour
Mining is an ingrained part of Ontario’s history, full of wild tales of times past. Gold and amethyst were commonly mined, but there are unique finds for the avid rockhound, too. As fall can bring more inclement weather, it’s the perfect time to head underground.
- Visit the Toburn Gold Mine in Kirkland Lake
- Take a self-guided tour at the Amethyst Mine Panorama in Thunder Bay
5. Go Treetop Trekking & Ziplining
What better way to take in Ontario’s fall colours than by soaring over the treetops? Make sure you have a trusty lanyard for your phone, because you won’t want to miss a second of this gold-star Instagram content!
- Take a half-mile ride on the zipline at Eagle Canyon Adventures in Thunder Bay
- Go ziplining at Logos Land Resort in Cobden
- Take a canopy tour at Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve
6. Visit a Lookout & Take in Panoramic Views
Ontario certainly isn’t short on breathtaking views, especially during the fall when you’ll be awed by the display of autumn colours. You don’t necessarily have to hike far to get a great view either—there are plenty of options that require a short walk.
- Hike the trail to the canyon’s rim at Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park near Thunder Bay
- Hike up to the Eagle's Nest Lookout in Calabogie
- Hike up to a cliff-top view on the Cup and Saucer Trail on Manitoulin Island
- Hike up to a lookout over Old Woman Bay on the Nokomis Trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park
- Hike up to a lookout over Charleston Lake on the Blue Mountain Trail at Charleston Lake Provincial Park
7. Do Some Stargazing
Look up, take a deep breath and let yourself be awed when you experience the night sky free of the city light. As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, you’ll have an even better view of the sky, making autumn one of the best seasons for stargazing. Plus, each season provides a unique view of the constellations and planets.
- View the night sky in Killarney Provincial Park, a designated Dark Sky Preserve
- Go stargazing at Gordon’s Park, a designated Dark Sky Preserve on Manitoulin Island
8. Visit a Wildlife Sanctuary
Take a walk on the wild side at one of Ontario’s animal sanctuaries. The province is home to many majestic animals, including moose, lynx, beavers, deer, black bears, otters and more. Even polar bears! It can often be difficult to see these animals in the wild, making a sanctuary the perfect opportunity to see them in person. With the cooler weather in the fall, these animals will be much more active, too. In addition, many animal sanctuaries are funded by entrance fees, so your adventure is a contribution to their ability to help animals in need.
- Take a tour of the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rosseau
- Visit the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane
- View wolves from two observation areas at the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre
9. Explore Geological Wonders
Ontario is home to some truly special geological sites. Escarpments, mountains, canyons, potholes, badlands, caves, bluffs and more can be found all over this diverse and vast province. See exposed quartzite, granite and limestone. Take a tour with a local guide and get an expert’s insight into these unique places, or do your own research and see what adventures you can put together. As a bonus, to experience some of these spots you’ll need to be creative to get there—think hiking, rock climbing or paddling.
- View the quartzite ridges and pink granite mountains in Killarney Provincial Park
- Visit the Cheltenham Badlands at Credit Valley Conservation Area near Caledon
- View potholes at Rockwood Conservation Area near Guelph
- See the flowerpot rock pillars at Flowerpot Island in Fathom Five National Marine Park
- Get a view of the sleeping giant from the Thunder Bay waterfront
10. Go Birding
Ornithologists, rejoice! There are plentiful bird-watching opportunities all over Ontario in the fall. Migration is in full swing and you’ll be treated to spectacular displays of birds such as the yellow warbler and blue-winged teal moving south to their winter homes. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are ideal locations to catch a glimpse of turkey vultures, golden eagles or maybe even a snowy owl.
11. Go Surfing on the Great Lakes
Get ready for a thrilling ride—this adventure is not for the faint of heart. Great Lakes surfing is increasing in popularity, but it requires some planning and flexibility. Surfing in these areas is heavily dependent on storms to create waves or is done with a windsurfing board (picture a surfboard meets a sailboat). During the fall, temperatures drop and you’ll need to have the proper gear to make sure you have a safe and fun experience. If you’re below an intermediate level surfer, take advantage of a local guiding company to provide the right gear and direction.
- Take a surfing lesson on Lake Erie with Surf On The Lakes
- Find all the gear you need at Surf The Greats in Toronto
- Learn where to surf and rent boards on Lake Huron
12. Explore caves
Caves of every shape and size can be found on hundreds of hiking trails in Ontario. If you keep an eye on your surroundings, you just may spot one to explore. In fall, they'll be easier to see as the foliage thins out. Of course, there are also a number of established cave attractions in the province. Often these caves have quite the stories behind their discovery and exploration throughout the years.
- Take a guided tour at Bonnechere Caves in Eganville
- Explore seven caves at Warsaw Caves Conservation Area near Peterborough
- Go on a self-guided tour at Greig's Caves on the Bruce Peninsula
13. Take a Small Town Tour
Ontario is full of picture-perfect small towns that are just waiting to be explored. Often these towns are surrounded by equally picturesque countryside, making even the drive there a pleasant experience, particularly in the fall. When you’ve arrived, discover local breweries, cafes, restaurants and museums. Keep an eye out for unique architecture and historical buildings as you walk the streets—many of these towns have storied pasts that are still evident if you take the time to look around.
- Visit the Museum of Northern History in Kirkland Lake
- Sample beverages at Compass Brewing in Timmins
- Take advantage of Cochrane’s free bike share program to tour the town
- Take a self-guided historical murals walking tour in Kenora
14. Visit a Corn Maze & Pumpkin Farm
Make sure you have a thermos full of something seasonally inspired like hot chocolate or apple cider for this classic outing. The fall vibes of a pumpkin farm and corn maze are irresistible and make for the perfect fall activity in Ontario.
- Go through the corn maze at Mockingbird Hill Farm in Sault Ste. Marie
- Enjoy lots of fall activities at Wagonwheel Ranch near Sudbury
- Attend Pumpkinfest at Gammondale Farm in Thunder Bay
- Participate in the pumkin events at Leisure Farms in Sturgeon Falls
15. Go Canoeing
Grab your paddle and hit the water—there’s no shortage of places to canoe in Ontario. Take your pick from lakes and rivers, day trips and overnight excursions on established canoe routes. Make sure you keep your camera or phone handy because the classic autumn colours will be simply stunning reflected in the water along shore. Outfitters are plentiful in most areas and will help make sure you have a memorable adventure.
- Take a guided canoe trip or a rent a canoe from Forest The Canoe in Algoma
- Rent a canoe and all your gear from Smoothwater Outfitters in Temagami
- Rent a canoe from Superior Outfitters in Rossport
16. Go to a Haunted Anything
Forget autumn colours and the fall harvest. Spooky season is officially upon us. Ontario has a storied past and the list of intriguing haunted attractions is lengthy. Take your pick from family-friendly and truly terrifying—and all kinds of thrilling in between.
- Take a haunted hike with the North Bay Museum
- Go on a haunted walking tour in Downtown Sudbury
- Attend a haunted fort night at Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay
17. Go Apple Picking
Get your apron out and favourite fall recipes ready. After you go apple picking, you’ll be inspired to make all the coziest cinnamon, clove and nutmeg recipes your friends and family can handle! Ontario is known for its incredible orchards—find one nearby or make the journey to particularly picturesque parts of the province.
- Check out Valley Orchard in Chelmsford
- Go apple picking at Vail’s Orchards in Meaford
- Visit Mountain Stream Orchard in Thunder Bay
18. Witness a Salmon Run
Salmon runs might not be top of mind when you think of fall activities, but this wild sight is worth putting on your fall to-do list. Salmon live in cool, deep waters but lay their eggs in rivers and streams. To get to these spots, they swim en masse upstream, jumping and putting on quite a show as they make their way to the very place they were born to lay their own eggs. There are many places to see the salmon run in the fall in Ontario. Your best bet will be rapid sets on rivers that are tributaries of the Great Lakes.
- Try the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie
- Visit the Kaministiquia River in Thunder Bay
- Travel to Chippewa Falls in Algoma District
- Check the Spanish River in Massey
19. Pick, Eat, Enjoy all Things Cranberries
This activity is a bit off the beaten path, but is a super fun way to spend an afternoon in the fall. Cranberries grow in the wild and are also farmed at a handful of locations in Ontario. If you’re out for a walk in low-lying, marshy areas, keep your eye out for highbush and lowbush cranberries. Otherwise, visit a farm, attend a festival or keep an eye out for freshly picked berries at markets!
- Take a tour at Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery
- Visit the Iroquois Cranberry Growers
- Attend the Cranberry Festival in Bala
- Find Upper Canada Cranberries’ stands at farmers’ markets
20. Attend a Light-Up Pumpkin Display and Pumpkinferno
If you’re looking for a unique fall activity, you’re in the right place. Jack-o-lantern displays have become all the rage. Take a walk or drive through a delightfully spooky and artfully designed display of jack-lanterns. Sometimes including musical score! While there, enjoy food, contests and other Halloween-appropriate programming as well.
- Visit Dynamic Earth in Sudbury
- Attend Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village
- Check out Pumpkins After Dark in Milton
21. Take in the Fall Colours
Sixty-six percent of Ontario is forested—so it makes sense that fall in the province is all about the colourful foliage! Take a drive practically anywhere to view vibrant and breathtaking autumn scenery. Just be sure to time your visit with peak leaf-change using the Fall Colour Report. As a general rule, though, the best viewing period is between late September and mid October.
- Take a drive along the Grand Algoma Driving Tour around Algoma
- Make the road trip along the Historic Opeongo Line from Algonquin Park to Renfrew
22. Stay at a Resort
Pack all your coziest fall clothes and escape for a weekend among the fall colours at one of Ontario’s stunning resorts. Whether you’re looking for something with a rustic lodge vibe, or a more modern feel, there’s something for you!
- Stay at the Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa in Timmins
- Kick back at Killarney Mountain Lodge in Killarney
- Book a cabin at the Brennan Harbour Resort in Spanish
23. Cross a Suspension Bridge
There is something wondrous about the feeling of being gently suspended over a picturesque autumn landscape. We know the old saying goes, “don’t look down”—but in this case, we highly recommend it! Ontario is dotted with these unique structures and they make for the perfect fall activity as you walk over top and through the colourful woods.
- Go for a hike to the White River Suspension Bridge in Pukaskwa National Park
- Pull of the highway to walk across the William E. Small Bridge in French River Provincial Park
- Walk over the suspension footbridge at Eagle Canyon Adventures in Dorian
24. Go Fatbiking
Fatbiking is gaining popularity for good reason; it’s a great way to get active and explore new areas in any season. Fall is an ideal time to get out on the trails on a fatbike. You’ll love the scenic colours and new landscapes that Ontario’s fatbiking trails bring you. In the fall, you can fatbike on any mountain bike or general use trail.
- Go for a ride in Hiawatha Highlands in Sault Ste. Marie
- Give fatbiking a go at Shuniah Mines in Thunder Bay
25. Go Cycling
Trails and road routes abound in this cycling wonderland and you’ll never run out of spots to add to your bucket list of cycling adventures. If you don’t own a bike, no worries. Rental and guiding companies are available that can kit you out for whatever your trip calls for.
- Take a mountain bike, gravel, urban, bikepacking or bikeglamping tour in Sault Ste. Marie with Red Pine Tours in Sault Ste. Marie
- Ride the Voyageur Cycling Route from Sudbury to Ottawa
- Take a five-day cycling tour with Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates
26. Go Horseback Riding
Go horseback riding among the fall colours that splash Ontario’s landscape with a riot of reds, oranges and yellows during the fall for a picture-perfect adventure. Local trail riding companies will provide everything you need to enjoy this unique experience and tailor it to what works best for your party.
- Go for a ride at Honora Bay Riding Stable on Manitoulin Island
- Hit the trails at Whispered Dreams Ranch in Thunder Bay
27. Visit a Secluded Beach
Whether you fancy a chilly fall dip or simply seek stunning sunset views over the water, Ontario hosts an abundance of secluded and off the beaten track beaches, yours to enjoy this season.
- Visit Old Woman Bay in Lake Superior Provincial Park
- Spend the day at Providence Bay Beach on Manitoulin Island
28. Attend a Fall Fair
Attend a charming fall fair or two—or more! Fairs are in such abundance in Ontario this time of year that you could conceivably attend one every weekend until the end of the season. These fairs boast a variety of local activities and vendors, rides, competitions and more. It’s the perfect way to spend a crisp autumn afternoon or evening.
29. Go to a Farmers’ Market
Stroll around sipping warm apple cider and taking in the fall scenery while you collect locally made products and produce. Visiting a quaint and classic farmers’ market—or a dozen—is the perfect way to spend an autumn afternoon and get to know communities around the province.
- Visit the Eganville Farmers’ Market
- Take a walk around the North Bay Farmers’ Market
- Spend some time at the Urban Park Market in Timmins
30. Make the Most of the Last Cottage Weekend
Wrap up your cottage season in style with a weekend that includes all the fall cottage life staples. Have a campfire, bundle up with a warm mug of tea on a misty morning on the dock, go for hikes and spend evenings eating comfort food.
- Book a cabin at White Lake Lodge
- Stay at a cabin at Laurentian Lodge
- Rent a cottage at Lake Obabika Lodge
- Relax at the Cedar Grove Resort
31. Ride a Mountain Coaster
Looking for a family-friendly fall activity? Head to Blue Mountain Resort and zip through the trees on the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster—a self-driven coaster that you control the speed of, ranging from 1-42 km/h. Make sure you have your phone handy as this is a perfect photo op, especially with little ones!
32. Go Glamping
Head for nature in style at one of Ontario’s glamping gems. Having access to the finer things while being surrounded by nature means you’ll truly be able to relax and enjoy the fall landscape.
33. Go Trail Running
Lace up and hit the trails on a gorgeous fall run on one of Ontario’s picturesque trails. With choices that are off the beaten path (or, trail) or nearer to towns and cities, your trail running options are nearly endless.
jump feet first into fall in ontario
Fall truly is the best time to explore Ontario. Almost every summer activity can still be done, without the heat, bugs and crowds. And it also allows for many festive activities, that just wouldn't be the same without the colourful leaves and crisp air. This is a pretty extensive list of fall activities in the province—make sure you get out and enjoy at least one this season!