5 ways to see fall colors in Ontario, Canada
Ontario Parks 2010 fall color report is now LIVE http://www.parkreports.com/fall/
. The report has a map that shows where colors are reaching their peak across the province. The darkest reds indicate the best fall colors. Check in often. The report is updated as conditions change. Rick Stronks, chief naturalist at Algonquin Park says, "Trees need a balance of sun and moisture then clear September days, cool September nights and frost at the right time. In Algonquin Park, the trees are not stressed at this point so, this year's colors look promising."Here are five unique ways to view the fall colors in Ontario Parks:1. Cycle a park trail.
Algonquin Park was one of the earliest parks in Ontario's provincial park system to have designated mountain bike trails. The steep Minnesing Trail packs plenty of rock, roots and obstacles into four loops ranging from four to twenty-three kilometres. Byers Lake is another Algonquin trail that mountain bikers like. Thirteen kilometres round trip, the trail is moderately difficult and can be accessed from the Kingscote Access Point. A short side trip to Gut Rapids, a scenic canyon on the York River, is worth the time. The park's Old Railway Bike Trail follows ten kilometres of abandoned railway bed and is perfect for families. Algonquin Park is one of twelve provincial parks that offer bike and helmet rentals. Over thirty parks have off-road cycling. To search for both, see http://www.parkreports.com/locator/search.php 2. Climb to the highest point of land.
In Ontario, that would be Ishpatina Ridge in Lady Evelyn Smoothwater Provincial Park, 90 kilometres north of Sudbury. It rises 693 metres or 2,274 feet above sea level. It is possible to access the ridge by foot, but the timeliest way is to canoe to Scarecrow Lake and then climb the clearly marked trail to the top. The rock dome rises roughly 300 metres above the surrounding terrain and has a magnificent view. Ishpatina Ridge is one of many lookouts found in Ontario Parks. For a list of others, see "Fall colorr vantage points in Ontario Parks" at http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=1097#more-10973. Take a photo workshop.
Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is hosting a "Giant Landscapes" photography workshop this weekend, September 17-19. The park is one hour east of Thunder Bay. It has the greatest trail network of any Ontario provincial park and stunning Lake Superior views. Park cabins can be booked in the fall or you can camp. http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=11404. Paddle a lake or river.
Silent Lake Provincial Park is one of many Ontario Parks that have canoe, kayak and paddleboat rentals. Tent rentals are also available. No motorboats are allowed on Silent Lake, which makes it a safer bet for less experienced paddlers. The park is near Bancroft, Ontario, half way between Ottawa and Toronto. It has a wonderful beach, well-spaced campsites and yurt accommodation. http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/sile.html
and5. Take an Ontario Parks circle tour.
Circle tours are popular in fall. An Ontario Parks permit lets you to stay in one park and take day trips to others in the same region. Day permits allow the same. Driving distances between provincial parks along Lake Huron and Lake Erie make circle tours in these regions easy to plan. Lake Huron has five parks along 178 kilometres of shoreline. Nine parks are found on Erie's north shore. http://www.parkreports.com/parksblog/?p=1109
Campsite reservation information, individual park details and more at http://ontarioparks.com/