Autumn is the most beautiful season, with the leaves exploding in colour like a million static fireworks displays. Not to mention the delicious smell of pumpkin spice and a crispness in the air that only requires a hoody to tame. Unfortunately, it's the avocado of seasons; just as it hits its apex, it immediately flips the switch and ushers in winter weather–and everything it brings.
Naturalists must make the most of the season while they can; for those who love to explore the nation, there are plenty of locations worthy of a spot on any fall must-visit list.
We've compiled five spots you may want to consider.
Banff National Park in Alberta
Banff is gorgeous in the summer, but you are forced to concede some of its serenity to the many families who flock there; specifically, over 4 million visitors pass through the park annually. However, the park is truly at its most awe-inspiring in late September and October, with its vibrant fall foliage, including the remarkable larch trees—the main attraction for tourists. Another bonus for hiking enthusiasts is that the trails are far less congested, making it even more likely you'll have some breathtaking views all to yourself.
Ensure you have lots of space on your camera; Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Lake Agnes and Peyto Lake are incredibly majestic and lined with an abundance of fall colours.
Fundy Coastal Drive, New Brunswick
For those who don't know, the Fundy Coastal Drive goes all the way down the east coast of Canada, along the southern coast of New Brunswick— running 486 km between Sackville and Saint Stephen. It's a maritime adventure that becomes even more impressive in the first two weeks of October as leaves turn breathtaking shades of red and orange.
With so many offshoots and places to explore, it's best to give yourself a few days— even though a straight drive can be done in about seven hours. Highlights to add to your itinerary includes the lighthouse at Cape Enrage, the Hopewell Rocks and, of course, Fundy National Park. Also, if you have time, drop by Alma Lobster Shop (your stomach will thank you).
Prince Edward Island
If you're able to make the trek, there are few fall experiences in Canada like PEI, with the peak of its foliage being one of the longest in all of northeastern North America; with no bears or other major dangerous wildlife, you can park and hike the forests or enjoy a safe exploration through the thick underbrush without worrying about wandering hunters, or like obstacles.
Soak it all in with a stroll along Confederation Trail. You can also get into the Halloween spirit with a visit to the Haunted Mansion or Route 6 Motel paired with a historic downtown ghost walk.
The Laurentian Mountains, Quebec
Autumn in the Laurentian Mountains is arguably one of the best in all of North America. Starting end of September and lasting until the bulk of October in the lower elevations and some of the southern topography, the colours explode on the yellow birch and American beech trees; Mont-Tremblant even hosts an extravagant Symphony of Colors festival worth checking out.
And of course, for those who have a sweet tooth, the sugar maples of Québec are always a big draw; be sure to stock up from the local vendors, as it is, without question, some of the best maple syrup you're libel to come across.
Niagara Parkway, Ontario
The historic 56km drive dubbed by Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, as "The prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world" more than lives up to its name. Following the Niagara River, which borders Canada and the United States, only further adds to the beauty of the picturesque trail.
Looking for the most pleasurable way to explore the region, the easy answer is with a glass of Niagara Wine in hand; luckily, you'll find numerous wineries along the parkway— and even an inn, should you find yourself ready to crash after a long day of living your best life.
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