There is a sense of nostalgia that settles in when autumn arrives, and this year this feeling is even more poignant. The vibrant reds and golden hues of the landscape warm the heart and soothe the soul. The crisp air has you nuzzling closer to loved ones and breathing deeply. Baby blue skies fade into clear starry nights that call for a flannel blanket and a crackling campfire. This is a time for big wool sweaters, cozy scarves and cute booties. Not to mention the rich and spicy flavours of the season: pumpkin, apple, cinnamon and squash.
As summer slowly slips away, fall swoops in with the most magnificent colours taking us on one more glorious and fiery whirlwind before winter arrives. The season is fleeting, so we have to make the most of it while we can. Here are my favourite, and totally unique, experiences to embrace autumn and all its glory.
1. Ride to the top of Calabogie Peaks
Hop on the chairlift and glide up 780 feet to the top of Dickson Mountain for a breathtaking view of the beautiful Ottawa Valley. At the top, explore the Skywalk interpretive hiking loop or wander down any of the ski trails. Don’t forget your camera, you will want to capture this Insta-worthy shot. Rides run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. select weekends in October.
2. Soar through the sky in #MyHaliburtonHighlands
What better way to see the majestic fall colours than from the sky? It’s a surprisingly calming and surreal experience. Instead of letting your fear of heights get in the way, let SkiMazing strap you into a parasail and take you for the ride of your life over Kashagawigamog Lake.
3. Feed Your Spirit on the Griffiths Uplands Trail
The vantage point from the top of this trail will be worth the effort. Book a tour with Algonquin-Metis thunderbird (a traditional bird shaman) Tim Yearington from Bird Mountain Journeys and learn about traditional medicine ways, teachings and stories with a fall hike to the top of the mountain.
4. Feel the need for speed at Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride
Don’t blink, or you might just miss the colours on the way down! Feel the rush of the season by rippin’ down one of Sir Sam’s mountain biking trails. Not feeling that brave? There are plenty of awesome hiking trails for those who like to play at a slower pace.
Book a tour of the Haliburton Forest’s wolf centre and you can learn more about this fascinating animal. This activity pairs well with a hike or bike ride through the forests’ trails that will take you deep into an autumn wonderland.
6. Sip and Savour the Season at Potter Settlement Winery
Local, delicious wine and rolling hills of colour. Need I say more?
7. Take the ultimate Fall ride through The Highlands
There is something so exhilarating and freeing about riding the open roads, feeling the wind against your body and taking in the fall colours without any barriers between you and nature.
Insider Tip: Loop counter clockwise on this route to avoid traffic, driving through Algonquin Park from east to west.
8. Saddle up with South Algonquin Trails
Wander through Algonquin Park’s mosaic of colours on horseback. Rumour has it, park employees call this Southern tip of Algonquin park the ‘rogue section’ as it is the only part of the park where you can ride horses, snowmobiles and ATVs on the trails.