While Canada is nicknamed the Great White North thanks to the ever-present blanket of snow that covers much of the country in winter, Canada comes ablaze in autumn with the colours of falling leaves. The season’s beauty spans from coast to coast, so we’ve selected the most spectacular Canadian spots to enjoy fall foliage.
Yoho National Park
If you’re hunting for fall colours in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park, you’re golden — literally. Here, gold is the shade du jour, as the park is populated with the alpine larch, a tree whose needles turn yellow before they fall off. For the best views, stick near Lake O’Hara, whose shimmering turquoise waters compete for attention.
While we all know — and love — the quintessential Canadian maple leaf that makes up part of our national identity (and also adorns our flag, our penny and our backpacks), Victoria’s Butchart Gardens is home to another maple leaf worthy of attention. At this time of year, the Japanese maple tree makes a vibrant appearance on the scene. There’s a sizable collection of them in Butchart’s Japanese garden, making the bright pops of red, gold and orange quite the sight.
Pinery Provincial Park
Ontario’s Pinery Provincial Park on Lake Huron showcases a wide range of autumn’s hues. With maples, sumacs and sassafras leaves in the midst of changing colours, the most spectacular displays are best viewed from the Riverside Trail and Savanna Trail — or opt for Nipissing Trail if you want a soaring park view. And keep an eye open for wildlife to match the surrounding fall foliage: Golden eagles, common redpoll birds and white-tailed deer are a few creatures found in the park this time of year.
Rock Point Provincial Park
Located on the north shore of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Grand River, Rock Point Provincial Park is a top spot for November foliage — and with half the colour wheel on full display, it’s no wonder. From bright gold needles on the tamarack trees to the deep hues of brown and auburn oak leaves, Mother Nature is at her best here.
Bronte Creek Provincial Park
Fun fact: The leaf colours you see in November typically come from trees that are slightly hardier, like tamaracks and oaks. Both are plentiful in the southern half of Ontario and Bronte Creek Provincial Park is a perfect place to view them at their finest. With five hiking trails scattered throughout the park, there’s lots of ground to cover … but we’re told by those in the know that the best section will be the ravine area, so head there first to catch some of the finest fall foliage.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
In the Maritimes, Prince Edward Island is an ideal spot for scoping the boldest and brightest leaves, as its foliage display period is among the longest in the country. Follow the 470 km Confederation Trail that runs across the island and you’ll be guaranteed to find fantastic viewing spots at every turn. A tip: Parts of the trail are currently under repair, so check online for the latest conditions before you hit the road.