Fall in Love with Unique Outdoor Autumn Adventures

Autumn in Mont-Tremblant | @tourismeLaurentides
Autumn in Mont-Tremblant | @tourismeLaurentides

The tropics may have coconut trees and lovely all-year weather (monsoons aside), but they miss the joys of Canada's four distinct seasons. Summer and winter activities are jam-packed, and spring is always special, but Canada's understated autumns dependently deliver a multi-hued delight; a dazzling canvas of red, orange, green and gold, glowing beneath a bright blue sky. We also call it fall because that is what the leaves of maple, oak, birch, fir, poplar and spruce eventually do. During this magical time, the colours of the countryside explode, crowds thin out, the temperature cools, and self-guided biking or hiking adventures truly come into their own. Here's a round-up of the best Great Canadian Trails to experience Canada's legendary fall foliage: 

Mont Tremblant pedestrian village in the heart of the Laurentians |  <i>©Tourisme Laurentides</i>

Just north of Montreal lies the longest linear park in Canada. A reclaimed rail trail curves around rivers, lakes and the base of mountains, following an old settlers' route through the lush Laurentian countryside. Along the way, you'll also discover charming villages and beautifully restored train stations. Our 5-day cycling itinerary along the Ptit Train du Nord trail is gentle, fun, and particularly beautiful in the fall. Also in Quebec, we have daily September departures on the beautiful 6-day Blueberry Bicycle Route, a 256km circuit around Lac-Saint-Jean. Beyond the spectacular foliage, you can feast on the region's famous culinary delights, although the wild blueberries of spring will have now made their way into jams, preserves, cakes and tarts. 

Throughout September, we have weekly departures on our 6-day Ottawa to Kingston by bike adventure. Enjoy the colours of the rural landscape as you pedal from town to town, soaking in the lush landscape between the two historic urban centres, along with the dense and colourful foliage that traces the Rideau Canal.

Inniskillin Icewine is sold in more than 74 countries worldwide |  <i>Nathalie Gauthier</i>

Visiting the Niagara escarpment in late September and early October is a photographer's dream, offering a visual feast of fall foliage colours. Our 7-day Niagara Wines and Waterfront Trails itinerary takes you along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Still, it's not only the views that will stop you in your tracks: Brake for award-winning wineries (almost 75% of Canada's famous icewine are produced in Ontario) and make the most of the area's farm-to-table movement and renowned fruit harvest. 

Views from Mount Morios, Charlevoix |  <i>Tourisme Charlevoix, BESIDE</i>

Leaving wheels for feet, a definite September hiking highlight is the Traversée de Charlevoix, one of Quebec's most magical hiking trails. It is located in the mountainous hinterland of the Charlevoix region and at the heart of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Our 4-day Charlevoix Explorer Hike takes you through the gorgeous countryside as you camp overnight in equipped backcountry huts.

Parker Ridge Trail in Banff, Alberta |  <i>Ben Morin</i>

By late August, wildflowers on the scenic trails in the Rockies are replaced by the reds and golds of fall. September is, for many, the most spectacular month, as the alpine larches turn the treeline into a blazing line of gold and incandescent aspens that speckle the valley floors. Our weeklong guided mountain hiking itineraries, Scenic Trails of the Rockies and Hut to Hut Wildflower Heaven, delivers a foliage masterpiece against a backdrop of spectacular peaks, glittering lakes, and the region's abundant wildlife. 

The period between summer and winter was originally just called Harvest until around the 14th century. We invite you to harvest the views during a hiking trip along Canada's stunning coastline or on a multi-day cycling adventure along the most scenic sections of the Trans Canada Trail through forests shimmering with the colours of fall.


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