September 22, 2015 Dave Z
As we meander out of the last months of summer towards autumn, we are greeted by the familiar sights of bonfires, apple picking and the changing of the leaves. Slowing making the transition from lively greens to vibrant yellows, oranges and reds, there is nothing quite as spectacular about fall as this annual metamorphosis.
While there are plenty of fantastic sites in the continental U.S. to absorb the fall splendor, today we’re going to take scenic trip through America’s Hat: Canada. Specifically Ontario, since it has dozens of great forests, many of which are in driving distance for those of you lucky enough to be near the border. Or already live there, I suppose.
If you’re going to start a thing, it makes sense to at the center of the thing. We guess? Whether or not that’s true, we’re starting our leaf-peeping tour in Canada’s capital city. You don’t even have to get out of your car if you don’t want, just drive around the city and enjoy the juxtaposition of fall foliage set against the backdrop of a lovely urban environment.
If you do want to stretch your legs, you you can hike or bike on one of the many park trails scattered around the city, or rent a canoe or kayak and glide around Ottawa on the famous Rideau Canal. Be sure to follow all applicable boating regulations; Ontario police can and will ticket you on the spot for violations. The most important rule is to ensure that you have a proof of competency certification if you are operating a boat under power. A more in-depth list of regulations is available.
No, we aren’t talking about eating a salad while out in the wilderness, though that wouldn’t necessarily be the worst of ideas. Though the dressing was actually named after this particular island archipelago. Bordering the U.S. and Canada in the St. Lawrence River, it the perfect fall getaway. It’s also well over a thousand, with 1,864 individual islands in the chain.
This one is a actually a great hit later in the season, from Mid to late October, when the maple trees are in full transition. Because the islands are in the St. Lawrence river, both Canada and the United states operate National parks that cover large sections of the islands. In fact, Thousand Island National Park is one of Canada’s oldest.
If you’d like to do a weekend trip, feel free to camp overnight, as long as you have a valid permit. Permits are valid for up to 48 hours at any given campsite, and only two tents are permitted per site. All garbage must be packed out, or dropped at designated sites on some of the larger islands. Complete information on obtaining permits is available from Parks Canada.
That’s just the beginning of a spectacular journey though Canada for some fall sightseeing. If you’ve got any favorite destinations (or best times to be there), drop us a line! Happy leef-peeping!
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