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7 Best Fall Hikes in Ontario

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7 Best Fall Hikes in Ontario

Fire Tower Trail, Restoule Provincial Park • Credit: Ontario Parks

Discover the Best Fall Hiking Trails in Algonquin and Beyond

See incredible fall colours in these Ontario Parks.



Ontario encourages everyone to travel safe during this time and follow public health guidelines. It is important to practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing a non-medical face covering where required or where physical distancing is a challenge. Learn more Coronavirus-related health and safety measures at Ontario.ca/coronavirus.

Best Time for Fall Colours in Ontario 

Between mid-September to mid-October, Ontario’s landscape transforms into a brilliant tapestry with multiple shades of bright reds, vibrant oranges and golden yellows. It’s the best time for fall hikes in Ontario.

Where are the Best Fall Colours in Ontario?

View of landscape with colourful foliage and a distant lake.

The Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report tracks the changing colors in Ontario Parks across the province. It is updated weekly and provides a map to help you easy find where the colours are the best.

It a great tool to help you plan your fall vacation or weekend getaway. Camp, RV or stay in roofed accommodation in a Park or a nearby town.     

We all know that Algonquin’s Highway 60 corridor is a mecca for leaf peepers looking for the best fall colours so be prepared for plenty of company.

If you want to beat the crowds, check out some of the other Ontario Parks that offer excellent fall colours and exceptional hiking trails.

7 BEST FALL HIKES IN ONTARIO PARKS

ALGONQUIN PROVINCIAL PARK

Hike to the top. The best Algonquin trails for fall colours take you to lookouts with magnificent views that will take your breath away. Catch the maples at their peak, usually in late September or early October.

Centennial Ridges - 10 km, 3-4 hours, difficult.
This very demanding loop trail offers spectacular views along two high ridges of some of the Park’s most outstanding scenery. You must be in good condition with good footwear to hike this trail but it’s worth the effort.

Hardwood Lookout – 1 km, 30 minutes, moderate
This short trail winds it way up through a typical Algonquin hardwood forest to a lookout overlooking Smoke Lake.

Lookout Trail – 2.1 km loop, 1 hour, moderate
After hiking this fairly steep and rugged trail, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the Algonquin landscape.

Fire Tower Trail - 7 km loop trail, 2 to 2.5 hours, moderate with several steep rocky climbs.

Woman standing on top of a cliff overlooking lake and colourful Fall landscape.
Escape the crowds.                 Photo: Ontario Parks 

The Fire Tower Trail ascends through mixed forest cover and provides the opportunity to experience several stages of natural history including forest fire and severe wind events. The reward for your hard work is a spectacular view from atop the 100 meter tall Stormy Lake Bluffs and a close inspection of a historic fire tower.

Coastal Trail - 65 km linear trail, 5 to 7 days, very demanding. Access points make it possible for day hikes.

Group of hikers sitting on a high rock lookout overlooking Lake Superior at sunset.
The rewards are worth the effort.                  Photo: Ontario Parks

The most challenging and demanding trail in the park, the Coastal Trail takes you along the high cliffs and rocky beaches of Lake Superior. The trail extends from Agawa Bay to Chalfant Cove. 

Beaver Meadow Trail - 7 km, 2 hours, moderate.

Arrowhead’s longest trail passes Porcupine Bluffs, the remnant shoreline of a huge ancient lake. The bluffs are easily visible in the fall. The trail circles a large beaver pond with large rafts of cattails where you might see otter, moose, Great Blue Heron, Tree Swallows and, of course, beavers. 

Blue Mountain Trail - 5.7 to 9.8 km, not a loop, difficult.

Hike to the top of Blue Mountain where you will get scenic vistas from the highest point in Leeds County. On a clear day you can see the Adirondack Mountains in New York State. Hikers will walk through mature, mixed forests, wetlands, rock ridges and see one of the most natural parts of the park.

Rainbow Run – 11 km, Approximately 3 to 4 hours, easy to moderate.

This trail is a loop that encompasses the entire trail system around Earl Rowe. This shared-use trail allows for walking or biking to the pool, park store, Resource Centre or your favourite fishing spot. A portion of this trail includes a moderate incline to a lookout platform (biking is not recommended on this portion of the trail).

River Gorge Trail - 3.5 km, 2 hours, loop, easy.

This trail offers magnificent views of the Trent River gorge from the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge, before continuing downstream past the old Ferris Quarry and onto the legendary “sheep wash”, now a picnic area. The trail continues south, following the river’s edge for more fantastic views of the Trent River. 

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