The sheer brilliance of Ontario’s fall foliage, sunny days, cool evenings and colors that will take your breath away, will have you in awe on this two week roadtrip. 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 this tour, using our suggestions as a guide.
1700km / 1056mi
Start / End
Toronto / Toronto
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Route - 1700 km / 1056 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Toronto to Shelburne 80 km / 50 mi Approx. 1 hour
02 Shelburne to Tobermory 200 km / 124 mi Approx. 2 hours 25 minutes
03 Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula
04 Tobermory to Manitoulin Island (Ferry) 50 km / 31 mi Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
05 Manitoulin Island
06 Manitoulin Island to Sault Ste. Marie 343 km / 213 mi Approx. 4 hours 6 minutes
07 Sault Ste. Marie
08 Sault Ste. Marie to North Bay 450 km / 280 mi Approx. 5 hours
09 North Bay to Huntsville to Algonquin Provincial Park 169 km / 105 mi Approx. 2 hours
10 Algonquin Provincial Park
11 Algonquin to Peterborough 200 km / 124 mi Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes
12 Peterborough to Toronto 136 km / 85 mi Approx. 1 hour 31 minutes

Trip Details

Plan to travel only a short distance today – perhaps stopping overnight at Primrose Park Campground in Shelburne. 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.

The drive is about three 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 – check out our CanaDream app for partner discounts.

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. Or, scuba-dive the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay and explore the many shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park. There’s also boating, gofling and canoeing available – whatever adventure you desire awaits you.

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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.

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.

Today catch the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth. Arrive early to secure space for your vehicle.

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.

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. 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.

It’s a six-hour drive ahead of you today as you travel through a landscape of ever changing colours en route to Sault Ste Marie.

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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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.

It’s a leisurely drive south today as you travel through picturesque small towns awash with sall color to Huntsville. 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.

While there are full-service campgrounds outside of the provincial park, we recommend you stay at one of the unserviced campgrounds inside the Park, operated by Ontario Parks. Some have lakes and beaches within walking distance of your campsite. Advance reservations are recommended as Fall is a popular time in the Park.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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. In Peterborough, there's a city-owned campground in Beavermead Park which you might like to check out for your overnight stay.

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