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fall colours

Take a Hike!

Today is the last day of summer, but the smell of pumpkin spice has been creeping into the Canadian Rockies for at least a week as the temperatures have been steadily dropping. As sad as we are to bid another summer farewell, we are equally excited to usher in a colourful fall filled with new adventures and hiking. If you are visiting the Canadian Rockies for the first time, you are in for a treat: it’s larch season! Because we want you to make the most of your visit, we’ve turned to expert hiker, Marie-Eve Bilodeau (the Mini Mule), to give us some of the best larch hikes in the Canadian Rockies.

If you are in the Lake Louise area, Marie-Eve recommends Larch Valley, the Tea House at Lake Louise, and Saddleback-Fairview Mountain. Should your visit have you in and around Banff, try exploring Taylor Lake or Healy Pass. Finally, if you are on your way to the Rockies from Calgary, consider stopping at Chester Lake/Chester Creek for a mid-drive hike.

We recommend that you visit Marie-Eve’s website for information on the hikes (and to get some ideas for other fantastic hikes in the Rockies).

Some the of scenery on the way to Chester Lake.
Photo Credit: Marie-Eve Bilodeau

For trail conditions, closures, and warnings, visit:

Kananaskis Trail Reports

Banff National Park Trail Report

Jasper National Park Trail Report

Yoho National Park Trail Report

Kootney National Park Trail Report

-Happy hiking!

Four Best Places to See the Fall Colours in and around Ottawa

When summer turns to autumn, few places on earth see as spectacular a transformation as Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. Here are just a few of our favourite spots to see the changing fall foliage in all its red, green, yellow, and orange glory.

Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park. Photo © National Capital Commission

GATINEAU PARK
Slip on your hiking shoes, pack a picnic lunch, and get ready for one stunning nature walk. Hundreds of kilometres of footpaths wind their way through 361 square kilometres of unspoiled land, making Gatineau Park the ideal way to spend a day outdoors. For those who prefer to travel on two wheels, much of the park is also bike-friendly. Several points offer awe-inspiring views — stop and catch your breath at Étienne-Brûlé Lookout, Eardley Escarpment, or the Mackenzie King Estate. Be sure to grab a map from the park’s visitor centre in Old Chelsea before you go. After something a little more organized? The National Capital Commission also offers free educational programs with Fall Rhapsody. 613-239-5000; 819-827-2020, www.gatineaupark.ca

 

Changing leaves along the Rideau Canal. Photo © Ottawa Tourism

RIDEAU CANAL
Though it may be best known for being the world’s largest skating rink in winter, this Ottawa landmark serves a purpose year-round. In autumn, the trees that line the Rideau Canal turn vibrant colours, providing a beautiful backdrop for anyone walking, jogging, or biking along the historic waterway. For an active afternoon, nature lovers can rent a bike and spend the day cycling beside the canal. If you’d prefer to be right on the water, consider a boat cruise, or paddle yourself around on a kayak. 613-239-5000, www.canadascapital.gc.ca

 

The Dominion Arboretum.

THE DOMINION ARBORETUM
Where better to observe beautiful greenery than at a site that’s devoted to it? Over 2,400 varieties of trees and shrubs (some of which date back as far as 1889) on 26 hectares of land can be found at the Arboretum. Two lookout points — one on the southeast side and another at the northeast end — offer gorgeous views of the Rideau Canal and Dows Lake, respectively. Located right in the middle of the city (on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm), it’s the perfect place to see fantastic fall leaves without leaving town. Experimental Farm Dr., www.friendsofthefarm.ca

 

Autumn at Mont Tremblant. Photo © Louis Prud’homme

MONT TREMBLANT
It’s a bit of a drive from Ottawa (about two to two and a half hours), but the stunning views at this popular Quebec resort are well worth the travel time. Through the fall, the snow-free ski hills and surrounding forests make a dramatic transformation. Take a gondola ride to the top of the summit to experience one of the most breathtaking sights in the region. While you’re at the resort, check out the bevy of fall activities on offer. If you’re looking to stay the night, Tremblant offers plenty of accommodations right in the pedestrian village. Mont Tremblant, Quebec, 866-356-2233, www.tremblant.ca

 

10 Ontario Hot Spots for Fall Colours

Photo courtesy of Ontario Tourism

By Merle Rosenstein

Fall evokes images of warm woolen sweaters, steaming hot chocolate and fresh apple crumble. In Ontario the end of summer is heralded by an eruption of colour—oranges, reds and yellows painted across treetops—and the gabble and squawk of birds as they migrate south. Autumn is a time of agricultural bounty in the province, displayed in farmers’ markets and at roadside stands: MacIntosh, Royal Gala and other tempting apple varieties are ripe for picking.  The drama of the season and the cool weather makes this a perfect time for a vigorous hike in the country. In the cities and towns, calendars are bursting with events from film and literary festivals to ghost walks and fall country fairs

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