where to go to enjoy the season of colors?

In Canada, nature is adorned with dazzling colors. Our favorites to take advantage of a chromatic palette unique in the world.

No, Indian summer is not for September in Canada. Moreover, let’s remember, this meteorological phenomenon is quite distinct from the so-called “color” season, to qualify the chromatic explosion of the forests. This is a period of warm weather that only occurs after a first fall frost. To speak of an Indian summer, you therefore need a period of frost followed by a period of exceptionally high temperatures that are much higher than normal. It sometimes occurs in October, November. Or just doesn’t happen.

So considering traveling to Canada in late summer and fall is another equally grand promise. The trees adorned with fiery colors are at the intangible rendezvous of the seasons. The color season in eastern Canada, where we are taking you, takes place roughly between mid-September and mid-October. It generally only lasts three weeks depending on the region. The hardwoods put on their autumn finery, most adopting elegant yellowish hues while the leaves of the maple turn purple. Here are our five activities to do.

Hiking in the national parks of the Charlevoix region, in Quebec

Parc national des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie is ideal for hiking. Maridav

They are beautiful all year round. But in the fall, they take on the sublime airs of impressionist paintings. Hiking is in the spotlight in the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park (Quebec) notably on the spectacular Acropole des Draveurs trail. Allow 4 to 6 hours to cover its 11.2 kilometres, without stops. As popular as it is steep, it is considered one of the most difficult in the province. Others will prefer to descend the Malbaie River by canoe or kayak.

With its landscapes which, at times, recall the taiga, the Grands-Jardins national park offers superb orange and red views through the milky white-grey of the lichen. The popular Mont-du-Lac-des-Cygnes trail offers an easy walk to the summit (980 m above sea level) which offers an exceptional view with, on the menu, the Gouffre valley, the Charlevoix crater, the peaks of the park and the St. Lawrence River.

Daily access for each park: $9.25 per person. Count from $18.25 to $20.75/h for the rental of nautical equipment. Check the schedules of Parc des Grands-Jardins and Parc des Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie, which change slightly in the fall.

Road trip on the Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail loops around Cape Breton Island. Sanjay Chauhan

This famous scenic route on theCape Breton Island in Nova Scotia is one of the best in North America. In the fall, the Cabot Trail is simply breathtaking. The 300 kilometer loop occasionally skirts the cliff-side coastline and winds through the hills and valleys of the splendid Cape Breton Highlands National Park. A memorable road trip that we punctuate with stops at lookouts to enjoy the breathtaking views. For the more athletic, superb hiking trails criss-cross the area.

In general, the most colorful period is concentrated between the beginning and the middle of October. Information: www.cbisland.com

Stroll through the scarlet bogs of Miscou Island, New Brunswick

The lighthouse and the unique colors of Île Miscou. Tourism New Brunswick

Certainly there are some Appalachian mountains in the northwest of the province where the offer of hiking trails abounds to admire the colors and the sunsets from the summits. But New Brunswick and its peaceful terrain will satisfy those who are repelled by the elevations. For a most original spectacle, rather than the forests it is the peat bogs of themiscou island on the Acadian coast which are all indicated. From the end of September – beginning of October, they take on a superb scarlet red coat. The contrasting landscape with the blue of the sea, the beautiful beaches and the golden marsh grass is simply unique. The Peat Bog Trail footbridge offers a beautiful walk among the flowers of huckleberry, kalmia and other typical plants.

More info: tourismnewbrunswick.ca

Picking and fall harvests, in Quebec

A courgerie, very popular in Quebec. Gaelle Leroyer

Beyond hiking, it is the flagship activity in the fall in Quebec! People gather in the orchards to pick apples or simply have a picnic. Enthusiasm also, in the Belle Province, for the honey houses, courgeries and vineyards which have been popular since the long episode of the Covid. Practiced almost everywhere in Quebec, harvesting is mainly concentrated in the regions of the Lower Laurentiansparticularly in Oka, in Monteregie or in the Eastern Townships.

This site lists the orchards of Quebec by region.

Vast sports playground, the Laurentians

Kayaking in the Laurentians, in one of the rivers of Mont-Tremblant National Park. Maridav

The Laurentians are full of places to practice more or less sporting activities in colorful landscapes. Starting with the popular Mont Tremblant National Parka paradise for hikers, which also offers interesting Via Ferrata on a rock face overlooking the devil’s river. Trails also abound for practicing two-wheelers in all their forms in flamboyant hardwood trails, especially those of theOka Abbey which offers a variety of trails for all levels.

Via Ferrata at Mont-Tremblant National Park: $62.50. Mountain biking in the heart of the Abbaye d’Oka.


Our advices

  • Be careful, the season is very short! There are two or three weekends, no more, to enjoy the colorful shows.
  • Remember to bring enough warm clothes and suitable shoes.

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