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Fall Foliage in Canada - An Overview of Canada Fall Foliage
The intensity and pervasiveness of autumn colors are usually the best in the eastern parts of Canada. Although the western provinces have something to offer, if the sole purpose of your visit is to see fall foliage, Ontario, Quebec or the Maritime provinces are probably your best bet.
Planning a fall foliage vacation? Check out our list of the 10 Best Spots for Canada Fall Foliage.Continue to 2 of 10 below.
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Fall Color in Selwyn Mountains, Yukon Territory
If you are adventurous enough to head to Canada's northern territories, you can be rewarded with fine fall foliage. Given the northern climate, leaves will start to turn a bit earlier than the rest of Canada in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. However, deciduous trees are less prevalent in the north of Canada, and thus fall foliage less spectacular than, say, Ontario or Quebec. Birch and aspens provide much of the fall colour.Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Fall Foliage in British Columbia, Cariboo Region Fall ColourBritish Columbia has lovely, but less dramatic fall foliage than its eastern provincial counterparts - namely, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. Particularly stunning in autumn are the alpine larch, which has needles that turn golden and drop in September / October. Aspen provides much of the color in the Rocky Mountains. Cottonwoods - as pictured above - paint many a BC landscape yellow in the fall.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Aspen Woodlands in Fall, near Barrier Lake, Kananaskis Country, Alberta
September and October have much to offer visitors to the Rocky Mountains. The bulk of tourists have disappeared, not to mention those nasty mosquitoes, and the splendid fall colours have arrived. Bright yellows and gold of the sub-alpine larch and trembling aspen brighten up the mountainside and temperatures have cooled to comfortable, if not chilly at night.
In Alberta's Rocky Mountains, leaf peepers should try accessible spots like Johnston’s Canyon and Tunnel Mountain near Banff or hike up to Lake Agnes from Lake Louise. Kananaskis Country is less than an hour's drive from Calgary and has the added bonus of thousands of migrating golden eagles flying overhead.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Fall Colour in Ottawa, Rideau Canal Fall Colour
Canada's capital city has a wide range of trees with leaves that change to brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows in September / October. Peak season for fall foliage tends to be toward the end of September. Check the Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report and look up "Fitzroy," which is the provincial park nearest Ottawa.
Ottawa's Rideau Canal (pictured) provides a lovely walk around the city and way to take in the fall colors.
In addition, 15 minutes outside of Ottawa is Gatineau Park - 200 km of winding trails that provide a great venue for leaf peepers.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario, Fall Colour
Just outside of Muskoka - Ontario's famous cottage country three hours north of Toronto - Killarney is one of the most spectacular provincial parks. Killarney features a series of rocky ridges, mostly consisting of white quartzite, that dominates the landscape and inspired Canadian artists, most famously, those in the Group of Seven.
Like so many other of Ontario's provincial parks, Killarney offers up some of Canada's best fall foliage. Check out the Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report, an excellent resource for travelers wanting to know where colors are reaching their peak across Ontario.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Fall Foliage, Niagara-on-the-Lake / Niagara Parkway
The quiet cousin to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of Ontario's - possibly one of Canada's - loveliest little towns.
The historic Niagara Parkway, or “River Road,” is the route that Winston Churchill called "the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world," and follows the winding curves of the Niagara River, which divides Canada and the U.S. The loveliest stretch in autumn is between the small towns of Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake and reaches its pinnacle of color in early October.
Check out the Ontario Parks Report and look up "Rock Point," which is the provincial park closest to Niagara, to find out when this area is reaching its peak color.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Montreal Fall Colour with Biosphere in the Background
Quebec offers leaf peepers some of Canada's best fall foliage viewing. Maple trees dominate the Quebec landscape, thus maple syrup making in the spring and leaf peeping in fall are two of the most popular seasonal activities. Other autumnal foliage headliners are yellow birch and American beech.
In Montreal, be sure to go visit Mont-Royal for the best view of the city's changing colors. If you're heading out of the city, try the Laurentian Mountains for one of the most beautiful displays of fall foliage in North America. Celebrate the season by visiting resort town Mont-Tremblant for its annual Symphony of Colours festival.
Peak color in and around Montreal and Quebec City tends to be the end of September to mid-October, but visit the Quebec Fall Colour Report for detailed weekly updates for the province.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Fall Foliage in the Eastern Townships, Quebec
The Eastern Townships is a southeastern Quebec gem that many U.S. travelers have come to appreciate along with Montreal cottagers. Aside from stunning fall color, this region of Quebec offers visitors a glimpse back into the 18th and 19th centuries with well-preserved, picturesque towns boasting traditional architecture, such as churches, homes, round barns, covered bridges and more.
The Eastern Townships has several routes by which visitors can explore the autumn foliage, including a heritage trail and wine route.
The region's principal cities are Sherbrooke, Granby, Magog, and Cowansville.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Fall Foliage New Brunswick, The Maritimes
New Brunswick has the greatest variety of trees of any of the Maritime provinces. In the fall, a diverse mix of softwood and hardwood trees provide brilliant color and mix with the dark greens of the coniferous (softwood) trees.
According to the Tourism New Brunswick website, the best places for leaf peeping that are still close to urban areas are the St. John River Valley, Miramichi River Route, and Route 17 (Saint-Léonard to Saint-Quentin to Campbellton to Bathurst). The southern areas of the province are also spectacular when mixed with the blue of ocean water sparkling in the autumn sunshine. Other locations Tourism New Brunswick recommends for autumn color are the Fundy Trail, the two national parks, Fundy and Kouchibouguac, and many Provincial Parks, such as Mactaquac and Sugarloaf.