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Sample Tours: Central Canada

Ontario's Fall Foliage

Rent an RV from CanaDream during the Fall in Ontario and find out first hand why Ontario is "Yours to Discover". The sheer brilliance of the foliage, the sunny days and cool evenings, colors that will take your breath away – these are just some of the reasons to take a vacation in a CanaDream motorhome this Fall. Eastern Canada is awash with color from mid September through mid October - when planning your CanaDream vacation for anytime during this period you're sure to find Ontario's fall foliage at its best somewhere on your journey.

Take as little or as long as you like on our Fall Foliage Tour - you can tailor it to suit - we've given you suggestions as to where you might find the spectacular colors - the rest is up to you!

Duration: 14-16 days
Total Distance: 1700 km/1062 mi


  
Ontario Province Fall Foliage Tour Map view larger map
Itinerary
Fall Colour, Ontario - Stock photo
Day 1 - Toronto to Shelburne - 80 km/50 mi
Call CanaDream’s office in Toronto shortly after 8.00am this morning to schedule your pickup time for today. If you are staying in an Airport hotel we will pick you up at your designated pickup time. Allow 1-2 hours at CanaDream to process your paperwork and learn about the operation of your CanaDream camper. When you’ve finished at CanaDream head out on Highway 12 towards Brampton, stopping en route to stock up on groceries and fill up with gas.  full details

Plan to travel only a short distance today – perhaps stopping overnight at Primrose Park Campground in Shelburne. (approx 1-1.15 from Toronto). Close to Shelburne is the small village of Violet Hill and Mrs Mitchell’s, a fine dining and unique shopping destination – consider stopping here for dinner before or after checking in at your campground.

 

Big Tub Lighthouse, Tobermory - Stock photo
Day 2 - Shelburne to Tobermory - 200 km/125 mi
The drive is about 3 hours today as you make your way through spectacular fall colours to the South Bruce Penninsula and an overnight stay in Tobermory, at the tip of the Bruce Penninsula. There are a number of campgrounds in the area – our CanaDream Club partner campground is Summer House Park Resort, an easy 20 minute drive from Tobermory on the shores of Miller Lake.  A discount is offered to CanaDream guests - some blackout dates apply.


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Tobermory has so much to offer a visitor that it’s worth considering staying two or more nights in the area. Hike the majestic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment along the world famous Bruce Trail or the inland trails of Bruce Peninsula National Park! A feast for the eyes - and camera lenses of the naturalist - Tobermory has the largest concentration of orchids in North America as well as many unique, one-of-a-kind wildflowers!

Scuba-dive the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay and explore the many shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park! Enjoy a cruise on one of the glass bottom tour boats which leave docks in Little Tub Harbour several times each day! Enjoy a special adventure - canoe, kayak or sail around the many islands of Fathom Five or charter a boat for a day of fishing! Partake of the clean, fresh air of the Northern Bruce Peninsula while enjoying an invigorating round of golf at the Cornerstone Golf Club. The possibilities are endless! 

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:
 
Summer House Park Resort  
 
The Grotto in Bruce Peninsula National Park - Stock photo
Day 3 - Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula
Spend another day here admiring the fall colours and the spectacular scenery in the amazing part of Ontario.  Our "must do" recommendation - return to Fathom Five National Marine Park and take a cruise to Flower Pot Island.full details
For more ideas about things to do, we suggest you visit the Visitor Information Centre in Tobermory or check with your campground hosts.  In the evening, sit and watch a magnificent sunset over Lake Huron.  Spend another night at Summer House Park Resort.
Bridal Veil Falls, Ontario - Stock photo
Day 4 - Tobermory to Manitoulin Island - 50 km/30 mi (by ferry)
Today catch the CHI-CHEEMAUN ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth. This ferry has limited space for vehicles over 2.6 metres high, and does not accept reservations during the Fall, so we suggest you arrive early at the Tobermory Terminal – 8 Eliza Street, Tobermory, to secure space for your vehicle.full details

Fall sailing times are at 8.50am and 1.30 pm but, as sailing times can change without notice, please telephone Owen Sound Transportation on 1-800-265-3163 to confirm. The ferry journey from Tobermory to South Baymouth takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

Manitoulin Island, sometimes known at the Island of the Spirits, is at the northern edge of Lake Huron and is the largest freshwater island in the world at 180 kilometers long and 50 km wide. Spectacular sunsets, scenic landscapes and tranquility await visitors to Manitoulin Island. The island contains more than 100 lakes, making it a premier recreational destination for water sport enthusiasts. Rich culture and heritage of the native Ojibwa can be experienced through festivals and pow wows, live theatre and other cultural exhibits. There are a number of campsites on the island and we recommend you phone ahead to secure a camping spot.

Old Barn Buildings, Manitoulin Island - Photo: CanaDream
Day 5 - Manitoulin Island

Spend the day exploring this unique island.  The furthest west you can travel by numbered road on the Island is to Meldrum Bay and the Young Lake Bird Sanctuary. 

 

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Some suggestions include the Great Spirit Circle Trail, a network of First Nations cultural attractions offering diverse activities such as cultural experiences, touring and pow wows. 

Meldrum Bay is largely untouched by development but its population swells during the summer months with holiday makers keen to explore this laid back piece of paradise.

Take a drive out to the Mississagi Lighthouse and Park - there's a campground here if you decide to stay a while - and enjoy the shoreline and the views over Lake Huron to Michigan.  Enjoy a panoramic view of Gore Bay from high above the town at the East Bluff Lookout (Harold Noble Memorial Park).  Vist the Bridal Veil Falls near Kagawong and watch the fish as they try to swim upstream.  Hike the Cup and Saucer - the highest point on Manitoulin Island.  Remember to carry water and wear appropriate shoes as the trail is steep in places.

Manotowang, Manitoulin Island - Photo: CanaDream
Day 6 - Manitoulin Island to Sault Ste Marie - 260 km/225 mi
It’s a 6 hour drive ahead of you today as you travel through a landscape of ever changing colours en route to Sault Ste Marie.full details

Highway 6 will take you north towards Espanola.  Stop in the historic town of Manitowaning, established in 1836.  This small village is home to fewer than 900 people.  In the Summer months, the main attraction is the Assiginack Museum, a collection of old buildings, well laid out and with lots of history.  In the Fall months, it's still worth a stop here to wander around the park to view the buildings from the outside, along with the Norisle Steamship berthed permanently in the harbour.

At Sheguiandah, take the short diversion off the highway and find Batman's Sawmill.  The Fall colours surrounding this wooden mill, trimmed in red, make for a beautiful photo.  The old water wheel is still intact.

At the north-eastern end of the Island you'll find Little Current.  With some interesting shops, an historic hotel and a beautiful shoreline, it's worth a stop here before you cross the Little Current Swing Bridge onto Goat Island and then to Espanola.  The road to Espanola is dotted with small lakes and bodies of water and, if the water is still, the fall colours cast beautiful reflections.

Soon you're back on the Trans Canada Highway and passing through small towns like Spanish, Blind River and Bruce Mines.  Sault Ste Marie is a border city with approx 80,000 residents.  The Soo Locks are an interesting place to visit although, nowadays, the ships entering Lake Superior on this route, do so on the Michigan side of the lake.

Our recommended campgrounds here are  KOA Sault Ste. Marie and Glenview Cottages and Campground. These campgrounds offer CanaDream guests a 10% discount on their stay. Check in for your next two nights' stay in "the Soo" and spend a relaxing evening in this interesting city.

CanaDream Club partners on today's itinerary are:

Glenview Cottages and Campground
KOA Sault Ste. Marie
 

 

 

Agawa Canyon Tour Train - Photo: CanaDream
Day 7 - Sault Ste Marie – Tour Suggestion Algoma Valley/Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Advance reservations are essential, however the fall colours in the Agawa Canyon are not to be missed. Take a rest from driving today and sit back in the comfort of CN Rail’s Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The train leaves daily during the Fall from the CN Rail station in Sault Ste Marie at 8.00am, returning to Sault Ste Marie at 5.30pm.full details

This one day wilderness excursion will take you 114 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie, over towering trestles, alongside pristine northern lakes and rivers, and through the awesome granite rock formations and mixed forests of the Canadian Shield.  

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the train coasts 500 feet down to the floor of the Agawa Canyon, where you will have almost two hours to experience the pristine beauty up close. You can enjoy scenic walks on gravelled trails, four waterfalls or an invigorating climb up over 300 stairs to the breathtaking Lookout platform, perched 250 feet above the tracks. Though peak colour varies with each season, the last two weeks of September and the first week in October can offer the most spectacular colour in the Algoma Valley.

Waterfall north of Sault-Ste-Marie, Ontario - Photo: CanaDream
Day 8 - Sault Ste Marie to North Bay - 450 km/281 mi
Retrace your steps today back as far as McKerrow. Then continue east on Highway 17 to Sudbury. Here you might like to take time out to visit Science North, Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction. An architectural wonder, its two giant stainless steel snowflakes are linked by an underground tunnel carved out of two-billion-year-old rock.full details
While in Sudbury, stop by the tourist information center for suggestions as to what to see on the next part of your journey to North Bay.If you’d prefer not to travel so far today, perhaps find a campsite to stay at just out of Sudbury and continue from there to Algonquin Provincial Park on Day Nine.Driving time from Sudbury to Algonquin National Park is approximately 3 hours.
Muskoka River near Bracebridge - Stock photo
Day 9 - North Bay to Huntsville to Algonquin Provincial Park - 130 km/82 mi
It’s a leisurely drive south today as you travel through picturesque small towns awash with Fall color to Huntsville, a thriving community of approximately 18,000 residents. Take a break here – perhaps visit the Muskoka Heritage Place and Pioneer Village and do some shopping before continuing on Highway 60 to the small towns of Dwight and Oxtongue Lake which are nestled against the southern border of Algonquin Provincial Park.full details

If you’re looking for a family campground with full hookups near the west gate of the park we suggest you try the Algonquin Trails Camping Resort. Situated on 115 acres in the heart of Ontario's most popular wilderness area, minutes from Algonquin Provincial Park & Huntsville, Ontario, Algonquin Trails offers true wilderness beauty on large campsites, along with spectacular attractions at or near the resort. This resort offers a discount to CanaDream Guests with some blackout dates. 

If you prefer to stay in Algonquin Provincial Park, there are a number of unserviced campgrounds here operated by Ontario Parks.  Advance reservations are recommended as Fall is a popular time in the Park.

Algonquin Park in Fall - Photo: CanaDream
Day 10 - Algonquin Provincial Park
While summer may be the most usual time for a visit to Algonquin, autumn is probably the best time. The fall colours alone make a trip worthwhile, especially if you catch the maples at their peak in late September and early October.  The spectacle of hundreds of square miles of red and golden orange forest, blue lakes, and evergreen shores is one that no one should miss.full details

Then, a couple of weeks later, the aspens, the Tamaracks, and the Red Oaks hit their best and put on another interesting show before giving way to a more subdued November. There is much more to autumn in Algonquin, however, than the colours. Cool nights and sunny days with no biting insects, make it an ideal time to camp and hike. The woods are still, the horizon stands out sharply across lakes of glass and, for much of the time, you'll have large parts of the Park to yourself. Fall evenings are the best time to try howling for wolves. During the day, you'll have a good chance of seeing a big bull moose, its antlers now full-grown and polished, ready for the rut, or mating season, in late September and early October.

Spend another night in this amazing place before continuing your journey tomorrow to Peterborough.

Peterborough Locks - Stock photo
Day 11 - Algonquin to Peterboroough - 200 km/125 mi (dependent upon route)
You have a choice of routes today as you head south towards Peterborough. If you’re on Highway 60 we suggest you travel east towards Barry’s Bay then turn right at Highway 62 continuing south on Highway 62 to Maynooth and Bancroft to Peterborough. Alternatively, from Highway 60 you can head south at Dwight on Highway 35 and travel through Dorset, Minden and Coboconk.full details

From Coboconk there are a number of highways you can take but we suggest you take Highway 8 east to Bobcaygeon then Highway 36 through Nogies Creek before heading south to Peterborough on Highway 23.

Peterborough was first known as Scott’s Plains back in 1820 when the first settler Adam Scott, built a gristmill. His daughter was the first non-native child to be born in the area. Today Peterborough is a thriving city of around 70000 people, boasting many historic buildings and a walk around the downtown area will provide photographic opportunities for those interested in the architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries.  

Visit the Peterborough Lift Lock (Lock 21), one of only two hydraulic lift locks on the Trent-Severn waterway and the largest lift lock in the world. 

There's a city-owned campground in Beavermead Park which you might like to check out for your overnight stay. This campground is open until Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Toronto Skyline - Stock photo
Day 12 - Peterborough to Toronto - 136 km/85 mi
Today's a 'free' day to do as you choose.  It's only 1.5 hours back to our Toronto location so there's plenty of time to explore the area.full details

Perhaps a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum is a possibility before you leave Peterborough?  The museum's mission is to preserve and share the culture and history of the canoe and is highly rated.

Fall is also the season for pumpkins - fields full of them!  If you'd like to check one out, head over to Downey's Farm Market, just north of Brampton where you can get lost in a corn maze, wander through the pumpkin patch, shop for gifts and grab a bite in the cafe.  Weekends at the farm are also fun with plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained.

From Brampton, it's an easy drive to a number of campgrounds in the area, putting you in an ideal spot for public transport into the city of Toronto and a short drive to our Toronto location.

Historic Building in Toronto - Stock photo
Day 13 - In Toronto
Spend the day exploring Canada’s largest city. One third of Canada’s population is located within a 160km radius of Toronto city and your campsite will be able to provide you with suggestions as to what you should see and do whilst here.  full details
Parking in downtown Toronto is both difficult and expensive.  We suggest you leave your motorhome at the campground today and take public transport into the city.  Some suggestions from us for things to do today are Casa Loma and CN Tower.  If you'd like an aerial view of the city, the Helicopter Company has a number of tours to choose from.
Toronto Map - Stock photo
Day 14 - Toronto
Allow enough time this morning to vacate your campsite and arrive back at our Toronto depot in time to drop off your vehicle between 8.00am and 10.00am. If you are leaving Ontario by air, we will provide you with transportation to the airport.full details
We are happy to provide transportation to airport hotels, should you wish to spend more time in the Toronto area. Please ask our friendly customer service agents for assistance with this.
Niagara Falls - Stock photo
Tour Extension - Niagara Falls - 130 km/82 mi each way
If you have a little more time, we suggest you extend your vacation for a couple of days traveling from Toronto to Niagara Falls on Day 14 and spending a couple of days in the Niagara Falls area.full details
Drop your motorhome back in Toronto on your chosen return day.



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