Six national parks for breathtaking fall colour displays
Fall colours are percolating and it will soon be the best time for getting outdoors and enjoying the spectacle. To that end, here are six national parks worth a trip to make the most of the season in a unique natural environment.
New Brunswick’s iconic seaside park is the perfect perch from which to take in the fall colours, not to mention the world’s highest tides. Parks Canada has placed red chairs throughout the park at the ideal vantage points from which to bask in the glory of this unique Canadian space. There is plenty of hiking through the native Acadian forests, as well as other activities and plenty of accommodations for visitors including oTENTiks, yurts, rustic cabins and more.
The might Bruce near Tobermory on the shores of Georgian Bay is stunning when the fall colours burst onto the scene along the Niagara Escarpment and the Bruce Trail. The radiance set against the limestone cliffs and turquoise blue waters is something to behold. Although always a happening park, the Bruce does quiet down to some degree during the fall.
Perched lovingly in the stunning St. Lawrence River near the small town of Gananoque, Ont. The 1000 Islands National Park is one of the most unique and breathtaking areas in the country. Here, paddlers, boaters, sightseers, and birders flock, ahem, year-round to take it all in. But when fall rolls around, the beauty is on another level. The park itself is one of the smaller in the country and comprises 20 smaller islands, of some 1,800 islands in the area, and three mainland sites where there is hiking. It’s all part of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve and many of the islands are only accessible by boat.
Although the colours are different, seeing the larch trees come alive in the fall is something special and there is no better place to bask in the golden glory than Canada’s first national park: Banff. There are myriad of trails to observe the trees near Banff and Lake Louise including faves such as Healy Pass, and gorgeous Bourgeau Lake.
This Quebec park is one of the most stunning the province and is located along the Saguenay River glacial valley. It is a great place for sea kayaking, the spectacular 1,150-ft. cliffs offer incredible scenery and the fall colours in the dense forests are incredible. Also, this park isn’t well-explored, so it is a great one to visit at any time, especially in the fall, for some solitude. There is also a via ferrata circuit for those looking to add a little adrenaline rush to the mix.
One of the true jewels of the Laurentian Mountains, and located near the town of Shawinigan, La Mauricie park is a stunning 536 square kilometres of boreal forest with 150 lakes and ponds. It is a fantastic destination for paddling, hiking and wildlife viewing. And when fall arrives, the colours are incredible, and all of these many delights are made even better. The park offers canoe camping with a circuit of some 200 sites throughout the system as well as plenty of hiking and some beautiful spots for swimming at the foot of waterfalls.