The cooler weather of fall is an invitation to get moving, to explore the wild spaces and savour every drop of fall’s brilliance.
Finding the best spots to see the colours is a challenge that most of us are happy to accept, as we squeeze in one last hike, bike ride and meander. At the end of the day, we wrap ourselves in a warm blanket to watch the sun set, and cuddle up in an accommodation made for savouring every last minute of autumn.
If the change of seasons makes you yearn to get moving, read on.
Fall Camping Adventure - Hastings County
If you have ever dreamed of taking a multi-day backcountry paddling or hiking (or both) fall camping trip, Land’escapes is for you. These folks are making backcountry adventures accessible, even if you are strong on enthusiasm, but short on gear and know-how. They rent all the equipment you will need for your trip and will also give you a tutorial on backcountry skills before you head out.
Book a four-day hike and paddle experience on Blue Seas Lake and Dixon Creek in Hastings County and waken on a private campsite on the shores of a pristine turquoise lake surrounded by the brilliant colours of fall.
Your whole adventure with Land’escapes will involve more than enough outdoor time, but if you want to amplify your experience, take advantage of canoe access to paddle down Dixon Creek to Dark Lake, as suggested on their itinerary.
Explore Epic Shorelines - Lennox & Addington
Experience the beauty of Lennox & Addington in fall at Myers Cave Resort, a fully renovated resort on the shores of Marble Lake near Cloyne, a roughly two-hour drive from Toronto and Ottawa. Choose between a cottage stay or stay right in one of the main lodge’s seven rooms. Each of the cottages has its own deck for you to watch the sunset over the lake over the private beach, and see the colourful foliage reflected in the lake.
There is a reason why they created Bon Echo Provincial Park in Lennox & Addington – the area is known for its stunningly beautiful bodies of water and terrain. Bring your own or rent a canoe or kayak from the park and paddle one of the area’s most beautiful bodies of water, Mazinaw Lake. Other good options are Deerock Lake or Skootamatta Lake.
Cycle Through Fall - North Frontenac
Cycling season doesn’t end when the leaves begin to fall. Book a stay at Rockhill Bed and Breakfast in Sharbot Lake and you’re in the prime cycling territory of North Frontenac.
At the end of a day outdoors, take in the views of the lake from the patio while you savour a hot meal, and later relax in front of a roaring bonfire. While in Sharbot Lake, walk to Cardinal Café + Shop and pick up one of their homemade donuts, or order take-out from Belong Sharbot Lake to try Chef Brad Long’s local food creations.
The K&P Trail is an old railbed that runs through Sharbot Lake, only a five-minute walk from Rockhill Bed and Breakfast. Cycle here and you won’t be disappointed with the fall views and the ruggedly beautiful Canadian Shield terrain. Frontenac Trail Tours can help you figure out where to cycle and how best to get moving in the area.
Fall in Love with Glamping - Haliburton Highlands
Haliburton Highlands in fall is a sight to see – this is when the endless forests burst into a colourful display that reminds us of how awesome nature really is. Book a stay in one of Camp Adelaide’s glamping accommodations, and the forest will be front and centre. Choose from a glamping tent, geodesic dome, holiday house or fun bubble dome, where you are guaranteed a great view no matter where you look.
*Heaters are installed in all accommodations except for the glamping tents, and there are onsite showers and washroom facilities.
To get a different perspective on fall’s brilliance in Haliburton Highlands, visit Sir Sam’s Ski/RIDE and climb the 60-foot Eagle View Tower & Observation Deck for a 450-foot view of Eagle Lake and Moose Lake, and the surrounding countryside. The tower is open weekends in August and through the fall colour season.
Go Into the Forest - Lanark County
Stay deep in the forest in Lanark County at one of Cabinscape’s off-grid, minimalist micro-cabins, each with a unique location deep in the wilderness. For a remote adventure, the Rhya Cabin is situated on Rideau Conservation Land overlooking the protected Mills Lake and with numerous hiking trails just feet away. When making your booking, add a cider and charcuterie kit to your stay.
*Note four-wheel-drive is required to access this location or you can walk in (distance 900 metres).
If you have yet to hike one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County, Blueberry Mountain, we highly recommend it this fall. The hike is not super long (only about 40 minutes one way) but ends at a phenomenal lookout over the vast forests of Lanark County.
Climb for Autumn Views - Ottawa Valley
After pushing yourself on the hilly terrain of the Ottawa Valley by day, get cozy in front of the outdoor bonfire at the trendy minimalist inn, Somewhere Inn Calabogie. Here, you can savour a glass of wine at the end of the day while chatting with friends and neighbours and watch the stars circle overhead. When hunger hits, head to Oh-el-la Café for lighter fare or On the Rocks for a fine dining experience overlooking beautiful Calabogie Lake crowded with blazing trees along its shoreline.
You won’t run out of outdoors to explore in Calabogie – head to Calabogie Peaks Resort and ride the chairlift to the top of the mountain for a breathtaking view of the countryside in all its fall brilliance. To view the fall colours from the water, rent a kayak or stand-up-paddleboard from Mad River Paddle Co. and paddle beautiful Calabogie Lake.
Cabins, Camping and Trails at Deacon Escarpment
Just getting to these cabins at Deacon Escarpment will be an adventure until itself! Tuck into one of Deacon Escarpment’s cozy cabins or pods, and enjoy the serenity of the wild after a day exploring outdoors. These cabins are hike-in (or shuttle if you prefer) so you know remoteness is key here. Fall asleep to the haunting sound of the loons echoing across the lake and waken to a phenomenal view of the escarpment in autumn.
Hike Deacon Escarpment’s 30-kilometres of trails that take you along the Deacon Escarpment and dive deeper into the forest in fall.