Best Fall Colours in Ontario
Stretching from the vast wilderness of Algonquin Park in the east to the windswept shores of Georgian Bay in the west, Muskoka is crisscrossed with open roads. Watch the endless lakes and trees slip by as you go sightseeing, or stop at a waterfall for a picnic or photo op. Better still, pack your bags and stay for a while at one of our incredible accommodators. For information on the percentage of colour change and leaf fall, read our Ontario Fall Colour Report.
|Driving Route||Distance||Fall Colours||GPS Link|
|Lake Muskoka Circle Tour||95KM||Prominently yellow and oranges. Peak 1st week of October||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
|Lake Rosseau Circle Tour||70KM||Prominently oranges. Peak last week of Sept/1st week of October||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
|Big Chute & Georgian Bay Tour||50KM||Prominently yellow and oranges. Peak 2nd week of October||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
|Chain of Lakes Tour||110KM||Prominently oranges and reds. Peak last week of Sept||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
|Lake of Bays Circle Tour||80KM||Prominently oranges and reds. Peak last week of Sept.||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
|The Grand Tour||245KM||Different prominent colour based on timing.||Click here for a Map with Points of Interest|
- Lake Muskoka Circle Tour
Approx. 95 km / 55 miles
About 1 ½ – 3 hours depending on the number of stops
.This circle tour of Lake Muskoka starts and ends in Gravenhurst, with stops in the charming towns of Bala, Port Carling and Bracebridge along the way. Here are some of the stops you won’t want to miss:
- Take in the fall colours from the Gravenhurst Wharf. Explore the Muskoka Wharf Boardwalk or hop on the Peninsula Trail (2km).
- If you’re looking to extend your time in Gravenhurst, check out the Residence Inn at the Wharf or Taboo Muskoka or Muskoka Bay Resort great options if you’re looking for some golf too! Love beer? Stay overnight at Muskoka Beer Spa in Torrance.
- Continue your adventure through Bala, the Cranberry capital of Ontario! Explore Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery check out the bog or the picturesque trails.
- Your adventure continues through Downtown Bracebridge, a perfect stop for a fall stroll. Head over to the falls, and watch the rushing water. Make a night of it with a stay at Inn at the Falls.
Lake Rosseau Circle Tour
Start & End at Port Carling
Approx. 70 km / 45 miles
About 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours depending on the number of stops
This circle tour of Lake Rosseau starts and ends in Port Carling. Stops in the village of Windermere and Rosseau will uncover hidden gems! Looking to adventure on foot? Check out the ‘View the Lakes Chair Tour’ with Muskoka chairs hidden on 9 trails or lookouts across the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
The driving route highlights include:
- Huckleberry Rock is one of the best fall lookouts. It can be very busy, so we recommend arriving early. The trail is 2.5km with a moderate difficulty.
- Looking to stay in Port Carling? Enjoy the iconic Sherwood Inn, or a value option of Crestwood Inn.
- Head north and stop into JW Marriott The Rosseau for an overnight stay or a tasty meal. From their stunning verandah take in the stunning colours over Lake Rosseau.
- 15 minutes further north explore Rosseau, home to the Rosseau General Store from 1874, or enjoy a meal at Crossroads Restaurant. If you get one of those beautiful fall days, head down to Rosseau Beach.
- As you wrap around the lake, explore the historic village of Windermere. Book a stay at Windermere House with views over Lake Rosseau and take a walk through the quaint town.
3. Big Chute & Georgian Bay Tour
Start & End @ Port Severn
Approx. 50 km / 30 miles
About 1 – 2 hours depending on the number of stops
On this tour of Georgian Bay Township, you will see everything from the beautiful fall colours to the renowned wind-swept pines that make Georgian Bay famous.
Tour highlights include the Big Chute Marine Railway, Port Severn which is home to the last lock on the Trent Severn waterway. Stop and admire the 30,000 islands in Honey Harbour.
4. Chain of Lakes Tour
Featuring Vernon, Mary, Fairy and Peninsula Lakes
Start & End @ Huntsville
Approx. 110 km / 65 miles
About 2 – 4 hours depending on number of stops
Click here for a Map with Points of Interest
This 100 km tour starts and ends in Huntsville, looping around popular lakes; Vernon, Mary, Fairy and Peninsula. The Chain of Lakes Tour is closer to Algonquin Park making the leaves peak here a little earlier than other regions, but the hilly backdrop is stunning for leaf peeping.
Stay in Huntsville and extend your tour! Click here for the full list of hotels, resorts, lodges and inns in Huntsville. Stay at a full-service resort or lodge like Cedar Grove Lodge, Deerhurst Resort or Hidden Valley Resort. Looking for a jumping-off point? Huntsville has a great collection of value options like Best Western and Skyland Motel.
Explore The Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery while in the region. Celebrating the legacy of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, this outdoor gallery is a unique tour featuring over 90 mural replicas from Canada’s most famous artists. Start in downtown Huntsville, admiring the 35 murals all within walking distance before hopping in your vehicle with stops in Lake of Bays and Algonquin Park.
Make a stop in Port Sydney and check out the rapids at Mary Lake Falls.
In Huntsville, you don’t want to miss Lion’s Lookout with breathtaking fall views. Don’t miss Hwy 2 on your way out of Huntsville for the real colour POP!
If you’re looking to extend your route, take Hwy 60 through Dwight to the western gates of Algonquin Park!
5. Lake of Bays Circle Tour
Start & End @ Baysville
Approx. 80 km / 50 miles
About 1 ½ – 3 hours depending on the number of stops
Starting and ending in the charming town of Baysville, this circle tour of Lake of Bays is highlighted by great views, and quaint shops and eateries in Baysville, Dorset and Dwight. Extend your stay at a true Muskoka experience like Port Cunnington Lodge, Lumina Resort or Bondi Resort.
One of the best spot to take in the fall colours is on this route at the Dorset Fire Tower. It is a busy stop, so we recommend getting there early!
Rest stops you can take along the way include Lake of Bays Brewing Company in Baysville. Or stretch your legs with the 2.5km historic walking trail around Baysville.
The Lake of Bays Circle Tour is right at the getaway to Algonquin Park, a great spot to spend a couple days before venturing into the park!
6. The Grand Tour
Start & End @ Bracebridge
Approx. 245 km / 150 miles
About 4 – 6 hours depending on the number of stops
See it all! If you’re in the mood for a long haul, Muskoka’s Heart tour is one to look at! With 245 kilometres of ground to cover, this tour should take roughly 4 – 6 hours. We recommend breaking it up with some overnight stays across Muskoka. Try a cottage rental like Jayne’s Cottages, Muskoka Custom Cottage Rentals or Tend Concierge. Buckle up and settle in for a long trip packed with stops, scenery and a some serious bonding time!