Canada is renowned for its stunning fall foliage, where vibrant colors paint the landscape in breathtaking hues. For newcomers to this beautiful country, the autumn season offers a perfect opportunity to explore the natural wonders and immerse yourself in the festivities that celebrate this time of year. In this guide, we will take you on a journey through each province, highlighting the best places to witness the autumn foliage and discover the exciting activities and festivals that await you.
In British Columbia, fall foliage can be found throughout the province, offering picturesque landscapes and vibrant colors. Stanley Park in Vancouver, with its 500,000 trees, provides an urban oasis to witness the changing leaves. Biking along the Seawall bike path offers scenic views of Vancouver and its surrounding fall colors.
You can also indulge in various fall activities and festivals in Vancouver. The Vancouver International Film Festival, running until October 8th, is one of the largest film festivals in North America. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, from October 27th to November 5th, celebrates the grape harvest with wine, food, and cultural events. BC Culture Days, held from September 22nd to October 15th, invites everyone to partake in free interactive events celebrating arts, culture, and heritage.
For a fun-filled fall experience, visit Maan’s Farms’ Annual Fall Festival, where you can enjoy a pumpkin patch, corn maze, barnyard animals, ziplines, pumpkin pie, and apple cider slushies. Open until November, this festival promises entertainment for the whole family. Lastly, book your visit to the Whistler Writers Festival, taking place from October 12th to 16th, where you can meet renowned authors, attend workshops, readings, speaker panels, and music events.
Alberta boasts many picturesque places that transform with the arrival of fall. Banff, particularly Larch Valley, is a beautiful area known for its vibrant fall foliage. Jasper and Lake Louise offer sky trams and gondolas to observe the changing colors from above. For a thrilling experience, head to the Canyon ski resort and enjoy the Canyon Coaster, a luge track ride through forest trails offering scenic views of the fall foliage.
Elk Island National Park is another must-visit destination where you can drive or hike to witness the aspen parkland foliage turning from green to hues of orange and red. Alberta also hosts various fall activities and festivals. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival, from October 13th to 29th, celebrates the stars and the universe in one of the world’s largest accessible dark sky preserves. The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, held in Calgary and Edmonton throughout October and November, is one of Alberta’s largest food and beverage events.
If you’re a fan of rodeo events, don’t miss the Canadian Finals Rodeo in November, featuring bareback riding and steer wrestling. Oktoberfest is also celebrated across multiple events in Alberta. Additionally, mark your calendar for the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ in Edmonton on October 29th, which commemorates the 20-year anniversary of hosting the first-ever NHL regular-season outdoor game.
Head to Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, a vast area renowned for its colorful fall foliage. Wekusko Falls offers visitors a chance to enjoy the beauty of waterfalls and rapids amidst the stunning autumn scenery. Oak Hammock Marsh and FortWhyte Alive are perfect locations to witness fall colors and migratory bird viewings at sunset when hundreds of geese land.
Manitoba also hosts various fall festivals and activities. Culture Days, running from September 22nd to October 15th, presents a range of free events celebrating arts and culture across the province. Boonstra Farm offers a 10-acre corn maze, petting zoo, hayrides, and Halloween events for the whole family to enjoy.
The Fundy Coastal Drive in New Brunswick stretches over 460 kilometers and offers breathtaking fall foliage views. Fundy National Park, with its colorful trees and one of the world’s highest tides, is a must-visit destination during this season. Miscou Island, connected to the mainland by a bridge, features peat bogs that turn a vibrant red in autumn, offering a unique foliage experience.
New Brunswick also hosts several fall festivals and activities. The Indulge Food and Wine Festival, happening from October 12th to 15th, allows you to savor creations by top chefs and food producers in the province. La Grande Grouille, from October 5th to 8th, illuminates the New Brunswick Botanical Garden with thousands of pumpkins. Explore the picturesque Kingsbrae Garden, a multi-award-winning horticultural masterpiece.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a paradise for fall foliage enthusiasts. Hiking through fjords, mountain ranges, and coastal trails amidst the vibrant colors is an unforgettable experience. Nearby, Corner Brook offers peak fall foliage from late September to early October.
Immerse yourself in the unique festival tradition of Mummers Festival in Newfoundland and Labrador. This free two-week series of events and workshops culminates in the Mummers Parade. The picturesque coastal village of Trinity, adorned with historic architecture, becomes even more enchanting during the fall season with its backdrop of colorful trees. Don’t miss the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, taking place from October 17th to 21st, which is one of the longest-running women’s film festivals globally.
Nova Scotia offers numerous locations to witness the beauty of fall foliage. The Cabot Trail provides a scenic drive along one of the world’s most beautiful roadways, offering breathtaking views of the vibrant colors. Cape Breton Highlands National Park is another must-visit destination showcasing colorful autumn displays. Take a trip to Nova Scotia’s wine region near Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley, where you can enjoy the fall colors while sampling local wines from late September until late October.
For stunning vistas of fall foliage, drive to the Blomidon Look-Off atop North Mountain in Canning. Nova Scotia also hosts the Celtic Colours International Festival, a nine-day celebration of Celtic culture starting on October 6th, held on Cape Breton Island. While in the Annapolis Valley, explore various apple orchards for apple picking, such as Noggins Corner Farm and Willowbank Farm.
Algonquin Park, a few hours away from Toronto and Ottawa, showcases a kaleidoscope of fall colors with its 24 native species of trees from mid-September to mid-October. High Park in Toronto and Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa are ideal spots to witness the vibrant fall foliage within city limits. For thrilling views, experience the Niagara SkyWheel or zipline, which offer panoramic views of waterfalls and colorful foliage.
Enjoy the fright of a lifetime at North America’s longest-running and scariest haunted house located near Niagara Falls. Ontario abounds with activities and festivals during the fall season. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest celebrates German heritage, food, music, and more until October 14th. Prince Edward County Pumpkinfest, happening on October 14th and 15th, features a giant pumpkin weigh-off that has been a tradition for 26 years.
Immerse yourself in the award-winning Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village, boasting over 7,000 handcrafted glowing pumpkins. Ontario also offers countless farms for various fall activities and events, including Hanes Corn Maze, Downey’s Farm, and Pingle’s Farm. Visit Mādahòkì Farm on the traditional and unceded territories of the Algonquin Nation to engage with local Indigenous cultures and traditions.
Cinéfest Sudbury, a renowned film festival celebrating its 35th year, showcases some of the best international genre cinema and runs from September through October. Finally, raise a glass at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, which celebrates the region’s rich winemaking history through various events and tastings.
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island offers a picturesque setting to witness fall foliage on the Confederation Trail, spanning 435 kilometers for walking or biking enthusiasts. Prince Edward Islands National Park, with its sandy beaches, red cliffs, and wind-sculpted dunes, provides an enchanting backdrop for enjoying the fall colors.
Fall festivals and activities in Prince Edward Island include the PEI Fall Flavours Food and Drink Festival, a two-week celebration of Canada’s Food Island during the fall harvest season. Running from October 1st to 15th, this festival invites you to savor the island’s culinary delights. The Charlottetown Scarecrow Festival, taking place from October 1st to 31st, offers a range of festive events, haunted tours, and stilt walkers amidst hundreds of scarecrows adorning the city.
Experience stunning fall foliage views by visiting Mont-Tremblant and taking a gondola ride to the highest peak of the Laurentians. Explore the Sentier des Cimes Treetop Walk, a new wooden boardwalk and geometric tower spiraling over 130 feet in the air. Montreal’s Botanical Garden showcases colorful autumn displays and is one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens.
Montreal hosts a variety of multicultural festivals during the fall season. The Gardens of Light, held at the Botanical Gardens, is an annual fall spectacle that attracts visitors from around the world. The Ramen Ramen Festival, celebrating the beloved Japanese dish, takes place from October 9th to 22nd. Quebec also offers apple-picking opportunities at various orchards, such as Labonté de la Pomme in Oka.
Saskatchewan’s provincial parks and conservation areas provide captivating fall foliage experiences. Wanuskewin Heritage Park allows you to observe the changing colors while exploring Indigenous culture and heritage. Other parks worth visiting include Narrow Hills Provincial Park, Prince Albert National Park, Meadow Lake Provincial Park, and Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
Culture Days festival invites everyone to participate in cultural events across Saskatchewan. The Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival, running from November 17th to 25th, showcases the best of international genre cinema. Camping in Saskatchewan’s parks during the fall season offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Don’t forget to visit pumpkin patches and corn mazes, such as the Berry Barn, the Happy Hollow Corn Maze, and the Youth Farm Corn Maze. Black Fox Farm & Distillery offers tastings and a pumpkin UPick experience.
Canada’s fall foliage and festivities offer newcomers a captivating introduction to the country’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and exciting celebrations. From British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, each province presents unique opportunities to witness vibrant fall colors and engage in a wide range of activities and festivals. Embrace the autumn season in Canada and create unforgettable memories amidst the stunning landscapes and joyful atmosphere.