Signs of fall will soon be upon us as leaves gradually morph from verdant greens to vibrant shades of reds, oranges and yellows and we become aware that summer is fast fading.
Autumn however provides us with some of the best travel experiences as you rent an RV and enjoy more outdoor moments before winter finally sets in.
Province by province, we’d like to share this year’s top fall colour destinations in Canada for an RV vacation.
Fall starts peeping here in late September and, while you’ll catch a spectrum of colour almost anywhere in Nova Scotia, Cape Breton is the place to be. This is one of the world’s most spectacular drives at any time of the year but in autumn can only be described as gob-smacking. Campgrounds here can be popular this time of year so be sure to book ahead.
Prince Edward Island
The vibrant apricot-orange of sugar maples mixed with fiery reds of maples and cherry trees, intertwined with the brilliant yellows of birch, beech and popular, create a stunning landscape across Prince Edward Island from mid-September to late October. PEI’s relatively moderate climate, created by warm waters in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait, help create one of the longest fall foliage periods in northeastern North America. An ideal time to enjoy camping in the great outdoors!
Fall party mode begins with a riot of colour across New Brunswick as the fiery hues in your crayon box go wild across the treetops. The change begins in the Appalachian Mountain Region in mid-September cascading gradually down to the Acadian Coast and Bay of Fundy, peaking there around Thanksgiving Weekend. Our pick is to combine the fall peeping with hiking and camping in the Bay of Fundy.
Choices are endless in Quebec as the whole province is awash with colour beginning in mid September. From the northern maritime regions south to the US border, it’s visible in all directions but in the tourism regions of the Laurentians, Lanaudiere and Mauricie it’s inescapable. Colours combine with old-world charm in small towns and villages along your route and massive national parks offer pristine lakes and hikes for all fitness levels. Campgrounds in the national park, along with private campgrounds, offer an array of options for overnight stays. Check out our CanaDream Club pages for information on available discounts and activities.
The Ontario provincial parks offer some of the best camping and fall experiences in September and October. From Killarney Park on Georgian Bay to Point Pelee in the South, there’s no shortage of places to view the fall colours. Our pick, however, would be the Muskoka region and throughout Algonquin Provincial Park. Here you’ll find the scenery resembling an artist’s palette, with colour exploding across the spectrum. Team that with canoeing, kayaking, hiking and scenic camping sites, and you’ll have all the right ingredients for a memorable RV vacation.
Leaf season in Manitoba is short – usually beginning after the first hard frost and generally lasting only a week or two. Prairie autumn leads more towards the golds, yellows and browns of birch, beech and poplar with these creating picture-perfect reflections in the numerous lakes and ponds dotting the landscape. Riding Mountain National Park and Spruce Woods Provincial Park are great places to camp amongst the colour. Hike the Gorge Creek Trail, one of the province’s most scenic hikes – don’t forget your camera!
As the aspens, white spruce and birch flaunt their autumn coats, there’s no better place to head for than Prince Albert National Park. Sitting smack-dab in the middle of Saskatchewan, this park is a transition zone between aspen parkland and boreal forest, offering a plethora of activity options for both young and young-at-heart. Enjoy a tailored camping experience at one of five vehicle-accessible campgrounds in the Park.
A visual kaleidoscope of colour greets visitors to the Canadian Rockies as summer begins its decent into fall beginning late August. The year-round destinations of Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff offer unparalleled photographic opportunities, the surrounding lakes extending the visual explosion as the larch, aspen, cottonwood and willow create picture-perfect reflections in their tranquil waters. Locals however will tell you that the best place to visit come fall is Kananaskis Country. Mountains and lakes complete the colourful picture while opportunities for viewing moose, bear and other wildlife increase as temperatures fall. Many campgrounds in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park remain open until mid October.
Some of BC’s best fall colours are in the greater Vancouver region itself. Don’t miss Stanley Park, the Van Dusen Gardens, the Campbell Valley Regional Park in Langley or Queen Elizabeth Park. Outside of Vancouver however, you’ll find both drop-dead gorgeous fall foliage and solitude in BC’s Cariboo Region.
The colour is fleeting so make those plans to get out and explore now – rent an RV if you don’t have your own and discover the beauty of a Canadian fall. Read our blog about planning for your fall RV vacation.