Plan an Autumn Adventure
Top 5 Places to See Breathtaking Fall Colours
Embrace the beautiful scenery of red, yellow, gold and orange as leaves begin to change colour during these next few weeks, signaling the transition from summer to winter. Our conservation areas astound as they showcase the brilliant and incredible hues of trees everywhere. Appreciate the beauty nature brings during this autumn season and visit each one of our top 5 places to see in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
1. Scanlon Creek Conservation Area, Kingfisher Trail
Sparkling hues of red maple trees, and yellow poplar trees invite you to visit the Kingfisher Trail at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area. Listen for birds softly chirping as they prepare their nests for winter. Breathe deeply and take in the entire experience - a natural area that is as strikingly beautiful as it is blissfully peaceful. This scenic view is most easily accessed by parking at the Discovery Play Garden and walking down the hill, past the lookout (the lookout is currently under construction and is a well-known feature of this property). Once at the clearing at the bottom of the hill beside the beach house, follow the Kingfisher trail to the right, which will take you over two bridges to this location. This delightful trail is sure to please photographers, families and nature lovers too!
Step away from the everyday hustle and bustle and enjoy the brilliantly coloured and tree-lined trails of this popular conservation area, a vast forest made up of mixed deciduous and coniferous trees and a pine plantation.
2. Sheppard's Bush Conservation Area
Count your steps on the trails of Sheppard's Bush Conservation Area and immerse yourself in an array of spectacular colours amid a backdrop of natural splendor. Encircled by magnificent sugar maple trees, this property is stunning from any angle.
See the historic log cabin, or the Sheppard Family House, as you gently stroll down the subtle, leaf-covered pathways and embrace the beauty that surrounds you. You can also wander by the Sugar Shack located near the ravine that follows the East Holland River, have a seat and breathe in the fresh air. Walk towards the Tim Jones or Nokiidaa Trails and connect yourself to endless recreational trails bursting with vibrant fall colours.
Enjoy this stunning conservation area by parking at the Mary Street lot and take a walk.
3. Beaver River Wetland Conservation Area
Access at Cannington or Sunderland
Maple trees shine brilliant with their bold red and orange coloured leaves, and the vivid yellow and red leaves of the oak trees nested along the Beaver River are a spectacular site to see. Spend the day walking or biking along this stunningly beautiful stretch of nature and engross yourself in the ambiance of the natural surroundings. This is truly a site to behold, as wetlands, together with colourful mature trees, fascinate visitors from all walks of life.
With 34 kilometres, this trail offers multiple starting points. The most colourful and scenic part is accessed from Cannington (walk or ride south) or Sunderland (park near the arena and walk east to the Co-op at the intersection of River St/Hwy 7. Walk past the Co-op shop and access the trail at the back of the northeast corner of the parking lot and head north). Split up your vibrantly coloured nature experience across multiple visits and join the trail at various locations. The south end of Blackwater as you enter the village offers a wide shoulder to park at and walk or ride to the kiosk and continue north and east.
4. Durham Regional Forest – Main Tract
Walking, hiking and biking enthusiasts flock to this stunning forested location, boldly showcasing deciduous trees whose leaves have already begun changing to vibrant shades of orange, yellow and red. There is no shortage of stunning scenery and natural ambiance that warmly invite you to follow the trails at Durham Regional Forest as you venture deeper into the alluring forest. Rejuvenate in the beautiful splendor of the colourful woods and release all the pressures of day to day life, one moment at a time.
Plan to visit on weekdays for quieter and more leisurely visits, as weeknights and weekends are more active with increased visitor traffic. The exquisite colours are best appreciated from the Western side, off 7th Concession where the main parking lot is located. An impressive property that will satisfy the most discerning nature enthusiast!
5. Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area
Beautifully sprinkled pockets of red, orange, and yellow leaves can be seen as the forest canopy lines the meandering Nokiidaa Trail located at Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area. The Nokiidaa trail is home to many different types of deciduous and coniferous trees and inhabitants. Look at the striking maple trees boasting their red and orange leaves. The scene is spectacular - pan across the peaceful area. You not only hear the quiet flow of the East Holland River, but you can also sit and quietly listen to the wetland inhabitants as they prepare for the changing season.
This property offers multiple links to various hiking trails, one of which is a connection to the Lake to Lake Trail. Bright, multi-coloured trees are visible all along this expansive and well-travelled trail, from Aurora all the way to East Gwillimbury. To visit, travel the east side of Second Concession or if you're looking for a more rustic forest feel, travel the west side of Second Concession, on the south side of the river. The natural vibrance of the trees and striking panoramic views await you.
Bonus: Whitchurch Conservation Area
Shuffle your feet along the freshly fallen leaves of this enchanting conservation area. Leaves glisten warm red, orange and yellow hues and showcase a spectacular display of mother nature at her finest. Behold the multi-coloured spectacle of deciduous forest as the tree's silhouette is perfectly reflected in the water of the pond.
Endeavor further into Whitchurch Conservation Area, past the pond to the inviting boardwalk and enjoy the tranquil environment that lovingly surroundings you. Parking is located off Aurora Rd.