Every fall as warm reds, fiery oranges, and golden yellows take over the trees and forests across Ontario, there’s one spot that takes this dramatic display to a whole new level.
As the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, the grounds of Lanark County are covered in sugar maples and these trees certainly know how to put on a show. Check below for our list of six ways to take in the beautiful sights and brilliant colours of the season.
1. Strolling Through a Sugarbush
A sugarbush has got to be one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the fall covers – to wander amidst a large concentration of towering maples and trails coated with crisp leaves. Wheelers Maple in McDonalds Corners is open year-round, closing only on Christmas day, meaning you can wander their trails all season long to be immersed in the ever-changing colours of autumn. Pack your hiking shoes and your appetite to refuel with a maple-themed meal at their Pancake House after your walk.
2. Sipping Suds at a Brewery
Though many consider beer a summer drink, if you think about the colours this delicious beverage takes on – the golden notes, amber hues, and deep browns – it really better resonates with the autumn spectrum. Not only have we included Cartwright Springs Brewery on our list so you can enjoy the fall colours in the glass, but this sustainable spot has a sugar bush on site, meaning the outside is just as colourful. Call or text to plan a tour with owner, Andre, to get a closer look at the property and learn more about the beer making process.
Bonus: Cabinscape’s Joni Cabin is located on the brewery’s property, so you can extend your visit to spend an evening tucked inside a cozy cabin, surrounded by the sights and sounds of fall.
3. Visiting a Conservation Area
The Mill of Kintail in Mississippi Mills offers 152 acres of beautiful conservation land to explore, paying homage to the history of the region while showcasing its’ natural beauty. Located onsite is the restored studio and home of Robert Tait MacKenzie: sculptor, physician and designer, as well as historic buildings and cabins. In the fall, the land becomes overtaken by the colours of the season with bright leaves covering the trees, magnificent hues reflecting off of the Indian River as it cuts across the land, rustic colours contrasting against the old stone buildings speckled throughout.
4. Hiking For a View
The hike to the top of Blueberry Mountain and back at cliffLAND is about 5km and is totally worth it. Even at a leisurely pace, you can reach the top in about 45 minutes, and if the hike up didn’t take your breath away, the view certainly will. As the highest point in Lanark County, the sight of the rolling Lanark Highlands decked out in all their fall splendour is astounding.
Insider tip: Download and complete a waiver form at home to save a bit of time and hit the trail as soon as you arrive.
5. From Your Bike Seat
Pedal your way around the cycling routes of Lanark County to take in the gorgeous fall scenery as you wind your way past forests, wetlands, meadows, lakes and rivers; and through towns, hamlets, and villages. Don’t have a bike? Heritage Bikes in Perth is a community cycling hub offering bike rentals (they even have e-bikes!) and happy to share their local knowledge. Grab a map while you’re there and ask the staff for a recommended ride to suit your style.
6. On a Studio Tour
Cruise your way along the backroads to take in spectacular fall colours and marvel at the talent of local artists during a fall studio tour. Take advantage of the long weekend October 12-14 to check out not one, but two studio tours! Be amazed by the artistic diversity that abounds while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of Almonte and Clayton during Crown and Pumpkin Tour, and the heritage charm of Perth and area during the Perth Autumn Studio Tour.