Best Places to See Fall Colours in Cottage Country

The smell of fall is in the air, and you’re just in time to catch one of the most beautiful natural phenomena that Cottage Country has to offer—fall colours! From tree-lined rivers and lakes to scenic overlooks, there are plenty of ways to witness colourful fall leaves this season.

See how you can add a bit of colour to your stay by visiting these top locations to see the fall colours across many different areas across Ontario like Haliburton, Muskoka, Parry Sound, Eastern Ontario and the Bruce Peninsula.

Best Time to See the Fall Colours of Cottage Country

Lush woodlands cover much of the landscape in Ontario, but none are more beautiful than those in Cottage Country. As the seasons change, these woodlands showcase their colourful beauty during the fall season. It is the perfect time to visit Cottage Country, where you’ll be surrounded by all of these colours.

The outdoors is one of the best ways to experience the unfiltered fall scenery, so there’s a narrow window to give you the best views. The best time to see the fall leaves is the end of September to the end of October. It’s when the trees exhibit the most vibrant colours before shedding for the winter and before the cold weather keeps you indoors.

Looking for a cottage rental as you’re exploring the fall colours across Ontario? Browse our website to see hundreds of great cottage rentals across all of Cottage Country.

Top Places to see the Fall Colours in Cottage Country

Scenic Overlook at Lions Lookout

Experience the serene hike through the fall foliage along the Lions Lookout Trail. Leaves rustle as you navigate your way along the trail until reaching the stunning vistas of the Lions Lookout.

Located in Huntsville, Ontario, Lions Lookout is one of the best places to not only immerse yourself in the colourful fall setting but also get one of the best views in Cottage Country. Start your journey at the Canada Summit Center and follow the path running alongside Camp Kitchen Road. The half-mile loop trail takes you to an elevation of 111 feet for views of the tree-lined coast of Fairy Lake radiating with vibrant fall hues.

Treetop Trekking in Huntsville

It’s time for one last outdoor adventure before winter blows into town. Treetop Trekking Huntsville gives you a final rush of adrenaline while exploring a new vantage point of the colourful fall leaves—from the canopy.

Breathe in the fresh scents of autumn before gliding through the tree canopies at top speeds. If you’re brave enough for the ride, keep your eyes open to enjoy the blur of reds, yellows, and browns rushing past you before coming to a jolting halt.

But don’t delay your excitement for too long because the park’s season goes until mid-October before closing until the next year.

Hiking At Hardy Lake Provincial Park

Lace up those hiking boots because on-foot is the only way to experience the fall colours in Hardy Lake Provincial Park.

Trek the 8-kilometre shoreline around Hardy Lake for waterfront views of the fall leaves. Or venture deep into the surrounding woodlands of white maple pines and hemlock trees, where the peaceful soundtrack of nature provides the perfect background music to admire the colours around you.

With so much to explore in just one of Ontario’s 340 Provincial Parks and neighbouring towns with great shopping and dining, you may want to stay for a weekend, or even a full week!

Camping in Georgian Bay Islands National Park

Honey Harbour is the gateway to Georgian Bay Islands National Park. This park consists of more than 60 tiny islands floating in the Georgian Bay—the largest freshwater archipelago in the world! Many of these island gems are covered with woodlands that evolve into a bouquet of colours during the fall season.

There are several ways to explore this autumn wonderland this season, but you’ll soon find that one day is far from enough to take in all the sights. Rent boats to cruise the bay for views from the water or hike the cliffside trails shaded by the colourful leaves. But perhaps the best views come during sunrise. If you’re looking to stay the weekend and want that perfect Ontario cottage rental, let us know and we’ll be happy to send over recommendations.

Portage Flyer Train Ride at Muskoka Heritage Place

All aboard! Don’t miss the boarding call for the Portage Flyer Train before it departs the Rotary Village Station. This autumn-themed train ride will take you through the dense forests where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the colourful fall leaves passing by your train car windows.

Muskoka Heritage Place transports you back in time to experience life from the 19th century, with costumed actors reimagining Huntsville during the era. The train ride is the premier event with its 1-kilometre trek along the fall foliage-lined Muskoka River in a vintage locomotive.

Steamship Cruise on the Muskoka River

The Muskoka River is one of the main waterways in Cottage Country that flows for eight kilometres until dumping out into the Georgian Bay. Keep your cameras ready during your Muskoka River cruise to capture sights of the fall colours from any direction you look.

Steam rises from Lake Muskoka, one of the most popular river cruises. This 104-foot steamship fits up to 300 people, so it’s excellent for group sightseeing tours, special events, or a sunset cruise. You’ll see cottages hidden behind the fall leaves—appropriately named Millionaire’s Row, and other sights during this three-hour boat ride.

Views Atop the Huckleberry Rock Lookout

Although the uniquely exposed granite rocks at Huckleberry Rock Lookout are rumoured to be more than a billion years old (some of the oldest in the world), it’s only grown prominence as a popular autumn hike in the past century. You’ll literally be walking on history as you make your way to one of the best viewpoints to see the fall colours at the Huckleberry Rock Lookout.

The Huckleberry Rock Lookout Trail starts in the colourful forest and runs on a 1.8-mile loop trail, ideal for hikers of any skill level. Time your hike around golden hour to reach the lookout just in time for the sunset over Lake Muskoka.

Hiking in Arrowhead Provincial Park

Point your GPS to Arrowhead Provincial Park this autumn. It’s a year-round park that transforms with the seasons, and the fall is when it’s at its most stunning. So, whether you’re visiting for its popular outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, boating, or wildlife spotting, there will be plenty of fall colours to witness.

Hike to the cascading Stubbs Falls or wind your way along the “Big Bend,” where the park’s abundant maple trees exhibit pure tones of reds, greens, orange, and yellows.

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons to visit Cottage Country as vibrant fall colours radiate throughout the Providence. It’s time to get outdoors and enjoy the best that fall has to offer before the winter comes. So, whether you’re hiking, venturing on a scenic ride through nature, or sitting back to take in the sights, you’re sure to enjoy the fall.

At CottageLINK Rental Management, we have a large assortment of Ontario cottage rentals across many different areas and have been providing families and groups with stunning and affordable cottage rentals for 20 years.

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Visit one of CottageLINK Rental Management’s over 160 cottages throughout Ontario to see the best of the season’s colours!