October is here, and the sights, sounds and smell of fall is in the air. Trees begin to change colour, the morning dew lays thick on the grass, and the air becomes clearer with the fall winds. From the smell of ripening grapes on the vine in Southern Ontario to the beauty of the changing forests in the north, Ontario has many fabulous ways to enjoy fall at its finest. Take your fall adventures to Ontario with these Ontario Fall Destinations.
Visit an Ontario Provincial Park
Many of Ontario’s Provincial Parks are still open for all to enjoy. Mid-October or near Thanksgiving is usually the closing date for Ontario parks. The farther north you go, the earlier the closing date. There are a total of 14 Ontario Parks that provide all-year-round camping.
Algonquin Park is a vast area that provides both back-country camping and tent and trailer camping. Algonquin Park covers over 7500 square kilometres of wilderness in the central north of Ontario. Allowing you to enjoy each step of the fall arrival. Feel the crispness of the fallen leaves under your feet as you walk the trails and the cool breeze of a lake as the sun sets. Visit the Algonquin Logging Museum or take a walk along the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail. There are many things to see and do in this dynamic park.
Check the dates of an Ontario Provincial Park near you for one of your Ontario Fall destinations.
While enjoying the vibrant colours that fall brings to our provincial parks, look up and witness an amazing phenomenon. Migrating birds will be making their pilgrimage south for the winter. Hundreds of species will pass through Ontario and stop for a rest before continuing on their journey. Check out the list of provincial parks where bird migrations are best witnessed.
As Halloween gets closer, many parks will have Halloween-planned activities that are fun for the whole family. Pick a date and register for a fun-filled weekend at Ontario Parks. Not sure how to register? Follow the directions on my Reserve, Camp, and Enjoy Ontario Parks blog.
Celebrate the Fall Harvest
*image by Jill Wellington (Pixabay)
September and October is harvest season in Ontario. With that comes the celebration that harvests bring. Sweet corn, fresh apples and grapes are plentiful at this time of year, and so are the celebrations. Attend a fall fair or go apple picking. Visit a pumpkin patch or enjoy a wine festival. There is plenty to celebrate in the fall in Ontario.
Fruit of Every Colour
With apples ripening on the trees and grapes ripening on the vine, picking your own fruit can be fun for the whole family. You can find apple and grape farms throughout Ontario that allow you to get back to nature and pick your own. Of course, you can get a delicious apple pie or a bright fresh red apple any time of year at The Big Apple in Cobourg. Visiting a pumpkin patch to find that perfect pumpkin is always a fun day out. Looking for something a little different? Cranberries also harvest from late September to late October. Take a drive to Muskoka to the Cranberry Harvest (Sept 23-Oct 22) for a unique harvest experience.
Festivals and Harvest Celebrations
Fall festivals and craft shows go together. Eating an apple pie as you stroll the walkways of stalls perusing interesting crafts people have created. Watching the leaves gently fall on a beautiful sunny fall day is the perfect way to celebrate the harvest. Be sure to check in your area to find a wonderful Fall Harvest Celebration. Ontariofairs.com has an extensive list to choose from.
See the Salmon Run
Salmon are migrating fish that, in the fall, go back to the same place they were born to lay their eggs. Their journey is a perilous one. Swimming against the current, jumping up waterfalls, all to get back to the place where they started.
It is an interesting phenomenon to watch. Hundreds of salmon move through the water on a determined course. The salmon move from Lake Ontario through Port Hope in the Ganaraska River. Some of the best places to see this event are Charles Sauriol Conservation Area, Etienne Brule Park, and the Humber River. Be sure to check out where you can see the fish migration here on Port Hope’s Tourism website.
You can not talk about October in Ontario without mentioning Octoberfest. The largest Bavarian festival in Canada is held in Kitchener-Waterloo. There are a series of events that take place from September 22 – October 14, 2023, to “Be Bavarian” and celebrate with good beer and good friends.
Kitchener also has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Parade for all to enjoy. Enjoy bands, floats, and all the fun things only a parade has to offer.
Put on your dirndl or lederhosen and grab your grey Trilby hat, and get ready to polka.
Get into the Halloween Spirit for Your Ontario Fall Destinations.
With October comes Halloween. In Ontario, you do not have to wait until October 31st to get your ghool on. Get into the Halloween Spirit with many events across Ontario. Go for a ghost walk, take a haunted hayride, and take in the sights and creativity of a lighted pumpkin display. There are spooky happenings everywhere in Ontario in the month of October.
Many towns and cities with history have Ghost Walks. Walk with a guide and hear the tails of ghostly images that have been seen and heard along the tour route. Listen to the stories of how and why they still walk the streets after their demise. It is a fun and spooky way to learn a little history!
Some Ghost Walks you may enjoy
- Niagara-on-the-lake Ghost Walks
- Haunted Walk of Kingston
- Spirits of the Distillery District Ghost Tour – Toronto
Visit a Lighted Pumpkin Display
When a pumpkin becomes art, spectacular happens. Jack-o-lanterns with their grimacing faces dot the porches with their invitation to trick or treat. Hand carving pumpkin sculptures is a rising and beautiful art form. Lighted pumpkin displays are coming to Ontario in full Halloween fashion .
Some Lighted Displays you may enjoy
- Pumpkinferno – Kingston Penitentiary
- Pumpkins After Dark – Ottawa
- Pumpkinferno – Dynamic Earth, Sudbury
Experience a Haunted Attraction
Halloween is all about witches, ghosts, and goblins. All the things that make you jump. Experience the many haunted attractions throughout Ontario. Be ready to be frightened by ghoulish or startled by a wicked looking clown as you walk the hallways and ride a haunted hayride. Get lost in a corn maze and meet the monsters of Halloween in Ontario’s Haunted Attractions.
Some Haunted Attractions you may enjoy
- Halloween Haunt – Canada’s Wonderland
- Legends of Horror – Casa Loma
- Fort Henry’s Fort Fright – Kingston
Ontario is rich with adventure at any time of year. The fall season adds an array of beautiful colors and some unique experiences that will create warm and sometimes scary memories.
Do you have a few favourite Ontario Fall Destinations? Leave them in the comments for all of us to enjoy.
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