These are some of the best parks in Northern Ontario to visit in the fall

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If you’re seeking a stunning fall experience in Northern Ontario, these provincial parks are worth a visit!

As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, nature enthusiasts and adventure-seekers alike know that it’s time to experience the untamed beauty of fall, especially at provincial parks in Northern Ontario.

These Northern gems offer visitors an abundance of activities to enjoy coupled with epic views and they are waiting to be discovered. If you’re seeking a stunning fall experience in Northern Ontario, make sure to visit these provincial parks while you still can. With serene trails, picturesque landscapes, and a hint of adventure, you’re sure to fall in love with these hidden gems of the North.

Keep in mind that many Ontario Parks close for the season in early October, but these gems currently remain open. Prior to visiting any provincial parks, make sure to check if they’re still operating for the season

Algonquin Provincial Park

At the heart of Algonquin Park lies its expansive interior, a captivating realm characterized by rolling maple-clad hills, rugged rocky ridges, and a myriad of serene lakes. Spanning over 7,635 square kilometres, this pristine wilderness beckons with lush forests, enchanting bogs, shimmering lakes, and meandering rivers. This pristine natural haven unveils a medley of experiences for every nature enthusiast. Embark on a journey along an extensive network of hiking and biking trails, where you can lose yourself in the tranquility of the woods. Delight in superb fishing opportunities that await in the pristine lakes, capture stunning wildlife encounters with your camera, and revel in the mesmerizing sight of the province’s most vibrant fall colours.

Open: Day-use areas are open year-round. Campgrounds vary, but some are open until the end of October.

Location: Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario 60

French River Provincial Park

The beauty of the Canadian Shield is something that everyone should experience, and in the fall is no exception. The French River, Canada’s first designated Heritage River, flows over 100 kilometres from Lake Nipissing to the French River Delta along the rocky shores of Georgian Bay, just south of Killarney. With sections of rapids and white water, the river promises thrilling paddling and backcountry camping experiences. Starting from the Visitor Centre, the four-kilometre Recollect Fall Trail leads to Recollect Falls, offering stunning scenery.

Open: Back-country camping open until the end of October.

Location: French River Provincial Park, 20526 Highway 69, Alban

Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park

Kakabeka Falls, Ontario’s second-highest waterfall at a towering 40 meters, offers year-round accessibility for visitors to admire its grandeur. The falls and the surrounding gorge provide excellent viewing opportunities from the boardwalk encircling the falls’ summit. In the depths beneath, the Kaministiquia River has carved its path through ancient rock formations, revealing remarkable 1.6 million-year-old fossils. This site also holds historical significance as part of the Voyageurs’ route. At the base of the falls, the endangered Lake Sturgeon find their sanctuary for spawning, adding a unique ecological dimension to the area. Nature enthusiasts can explore walking and hiking trails during the summer months, while winter brings groomed cross-country ski trails for a different kind of outdoor adventure.

Open: Day-use available until the end of December.

Location: Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, 4853 Hwy 11/17 Kakabeka Falls

Killarney Provincial Park

Heading even farther north than the French River, you’ll discover Killarney Provincial Park, a place that has served as inspiration for the Group of Seven artists in their pursuit of encapsulating the essence of the Canadian wilderness. Within the park, you’ll find a single campground and numerous backcountry sites, as well as a selection of awe-inspiring hikes that offer abundant opportunities for relishing the vibrant hues of autumn. Killarney is renowned for its breathtaking autumn foliage, particularly when observed from the challenging and rewarding 4-hour hike known as the Crack. What’s more, this park remains accessible throughout the year, ensuring that you can savour the fall colours for as long as they grace the landscape!

Open: Camping and day-use areas are open until the end of December.

Location: Killarney Provincial Park, 960 ON-637, Killarney

Lake Superior Provincial Park

Discover the enchanting allure of Lake Superior Provincial Park in the fall. Spanning 1,550 square kilometres, it stands as one of Ontario’s largest provincial parks, gracing the northeastern shores of Lake Superior between Sault Ste. Marie and Wawa in the Algoma District. With its picturesque campsites, captivating trails, and diverse local wildlife, this park offers an immersive natural experience against the stunning backdrop of the world’s largest freshwater lake.

Open: Day-use, hiking, and camping open until the end of October.

Location: Lake Superior Provincial Park, Algoma, Unorganized, North Part

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Located roughly 80 kilometres from Thunder Bay, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park beckons with its mesmerizing vistas that unveil the grandeur of Lake Superior and its picturesque surroundings. The park offers a multitude of experiences for nature enthusiasts, making it a true gem in Northwestern Ontario. For those in search of panoramic views, the Top of the Giant Trail and Thunder Bay Lookout provide awe-inspiring vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. Venture along the park’s extensive network of hiking trails, spanning over 100 kilometres, and be prepared to be captivated by the geological wonders and array of wildlife that may grace your path.

Open: Day-use open until the end of December. 

Location: Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, R R 1, Pass Lake

Quetico Provincial Park

Quetico Provincial Park is located in Northwest Ontario, near the town of Atikokan, the Canoeing Capital of Canada. Celebrated for its exceptional canoeing and fishing opportunities, Quetico encompasses an expansive 4,760 square kilometres and shares its southern boundary with Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which is an integral part of the grand Superior National Forest. Quetico stands as an iconic wilderness wonderland, renowned for its rugged, awe-inspiring beauty. Here, you’ll encounter towering rock cliffs, majestic waterfalls, pristine virgin pine and spruce forests, meandering rivers, and picturesque lakes, all contributing to the park’s natural splendour.

Open: Camping, hiking, and day-use areas are open until the end of December.

Location: Quetico Provincial Park, ON-11, Atikokan

Rushing River Provincial Park

Embrace the beauty of autumn at Rushing River Provincial Park, where nature’s spectacle unfolds against the backdrop of cascading waters sculpted by ancient glaciers, creating a mesmerizing series of rapids. Located about 20 minutes southeast of Kenora off Highway 71, Rushing River Provincial Park offers a network of hiking trails to take in the vibrant fall foliage. Located just a 2.5-hour drive from Winnipeg, it serves as the gateway to Eagle-Dogtooth Provincial Park’s five enticing canoe routes, beckoning adventurers to explore the wilderness. Even in the winter, the park remains a haven, with 18 kilometres of meticulously groomed cross-country ski trails, ensuring that every season holds its own unique charm for visitors.

Open: Day-use open until end of December. 

Location: Rushing River Provincial Park, P.O. Box 5080, Kenora 

Click here for tips to plan your next visit, and don’t forget, the Ontario Parks fall colour report is your guide to finding the best fall foliage throughout the province.

What northern provincial parks are your favourite to visit in the fall? Let us know at [email protected].

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