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Ontario fall colours create some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada and heading on Ontario road trips is one of the best ways to see them. There is nothing better than driving on the open road, immersed in red, orange, and yellow.
If you can take the opportunity to get outside and explore Ontario fall colours this season, make sure you plan in advance to get the best experience possible. We have put together a list of 4 Ontario road trip locations to see the best Ontario fall colours. We also have 5 important tips you must read before you leave on your Ontario road trip to ensure you make the most of Ontario in the fall.
MUST-READ BEFORE YOU GO ON YOUR ONTARIO ROAD TRIPS:
Pick your ride
We took the All-New 2022 Subaru WRX in Ignition Red (to match the leaves of course!) on the ultimate road trip to see Ontario fall colours. The WRX is the perfect fall road trip ride for so many reasons.
- We didn’t have to stress about bad weather or driving on dirt roads because the WRX has Subaru Symmetrical Full-Time All-Wheel Drive. It has such great handling, we could really feel the AWD on the roads with tight turns! In fact, the WRX is the only car in its class with AWD.
- The backseats fold down and offer direct access to the trunk. This gave us room for all our weekend gear. We even took it for a spin to the market and the WRX fit all of our pumpkins, pies, and fall flowers in the trunk.
- We loved the large infotainment system. There’s available built-in GPS navigation that kept us on track to all of our destinations. We also loved connecting to our phones with Apple CarPlay so we could safely chat with loved ones over the speaker phone, listen to podcasts, and play music to help pass the time on the long drives. Even better, we were able to text safety using Siri Voice to Text feature and Apple CarPlay was able to read out text messages.
- Overall, we felt very safe driving the WRX Sport-tech with Eyesight Driver Assist Technology. It’s Subaru’s industry-leading safety suite. It had all of the safety features we are looking for. While driving at night, the high beams activate automatically when it detects no other cars are nearby. This really came in handy when we did the last leg of our Ontario road trip at night on backroads. We also got a ton of use out of other safety features like the lane centering assist, adaptive cruise control, rear/side vehicle detection, and blind spot detection.
If you want more information about the All-New 2022 Subaru WRX click here.
Review the fall colours report
Don’t forget to review the fall colours report, which tells you what areas in Ontario are in their peak and the ones that aren’t. The report is very detailed down to what colours are showing from green to red and everything in between.
Look for hikes and restaurants to visit on your road trip
Don’t just plan what roads to drive on, consider making a day or weekend of it. Make a restaurant reservation, book a hotel room, find a hiking trail, or visit local shops along your Ontario road trip. The Ontario fall colours are amazing but the road trip will be that much better with some good food, and somewhere to stretch your legs from time to time.
Before you go make sure to bring:
- A downloaded map of your directions incase you end up somewhere without service
- Reusable water, snacks, and travel mug to reduce waste at your pit stops
- A list of spots to visit along your route
- A camera to take some photos of the stunning Ontario fall colours
- Your iPhone connector if you want to hook up Apple CarPlay
- Any of your overnight gear if you’re planning an overnight trip
Be mindful of private roads and practice safety first.
- It’s important to remember that a lot of these roads are also the direct access point to many homes. Be mindful of where you drive and pull over to ensure you’re not trespassing on anyone’s property or parking where you shouldn’t be. If you pull over, make sure to do so safely and use your four-way flashers.
- These areas have lots of wildlife so be extra cautious when driving for your safety and the safety of the animals.
- Lastly, plan to have a designated driver who keeps everyone getting to their destination safely.
4 ROAD TRIP DESTINATIONS TO SEE ONTARIO FALL COLOURS:
1. ORANGEVILLE TO MONO
Take a drive from Orangeville to Mono. Take the scenic route on Third Line EHS. You will drive along this beautiful backroad with rolling hills and views of the escarpment. End at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park where you can stop for a hike and view the fall colours by foot. Make a day or night of your road trip by visiting these local attractions:
- Spend the night at Hockley Valley Resort
- Get lunch at Greystones Cafe or a smoothie at Euphoria
- Grab a coffee at Bear Cub Coffee & Espresso Bar
- Experience casual fine dining at Greystones restaurant
- Dine at Black Birch Restaurant, surrounded by nature
- Visit Adamo Estate Winery
- Go for a hike at Glen Cross Side Trail, Three Sisters Lookout Point, or the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve
- Take a yoga class at Hockley Yoga
2. ERIN TO BALLINAFAD TO TERRA COTTA TO CHELTENHAM
This road trip has a ton of beautiful backroads, farmland, and the odd dirt road. We had no issues driving the WRX on these dirt roads thanks to the Subaru’s Symmetrical Full-Time AWD. Start this Ontario road trip in Erin. Take the long route down to Ballinafad by driving through Brisbane. Once in Ballinafad you will experience the beautiful 32 Side Road. Take 32 Side Road all the way to Terra Cotta. There is a nice, short dirt road at the end of 32 Side Road called “Ballinafad Road”. This will take you to Olde Base Line Road. This will lead you to the final destination of Cheltenham. Once in Cheltenham you can take Mississauga Road or continue along Olde Baseline Road (turns into Highway 12) until you reach the Cheltenham Badlands.
Things to do on this road trip:
- Visit the Cheltenham Badlands (reservations required)
- Visit the Terra Cotta Conservation area
- Bike the Caledon Trailway (rated of the best bike paths in Ontario)
- Visit Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
- Hike the Bruce Trail
- Visit Stonewall Lavender Farm (open seasonally)
- Grab coffee at The Tin Roof Cafe in Erin
- Dine at the Busholme restaurant in Erin
3. FORKS OF THE CREDIT
Forks of the Credit is a road and a Provincial Park. The drive itself is short (roughly 10 minutes end to end). This route makes for a perfect add-on to the above road trips (Erin and Mono) or it makes for a simple drive to do when you don’t have a lot of time. You can extend your drive in this region by driving along McLaren Road. If you take it all the way south you will see a beautiful river and find the entrance to the Bruce Trail. You can take McLaren up to a golf course or end your drive back in Belfountain where you can grab some coffee at Higher Ground Cafe.
Things to do on this road trip:
- Spend the night at Alabaster Acres
- Treat yourself to a spa weekend at Millcroft Inn & Spa
- Grab some coffee at Higher Ground Cafe
4. HALIBURTON HIGHLANDS: Coboconk to Minden to Haliburton
Haliburton Highlands is where you will find the open road, and open water. Start in the small town of Coboconk and take Highway 35 to Minden. Along this route you will find very few red lights and a ton of vibrant leaves & lakes. Then take highway 21 to Haliburton. The entire route will be roughly 50 minutes end to end with no stopping.
Things to do on this road trip:
- Walk through the Haliburton Sculpture Forest
- Grab some sporting gear at Algonquin Outfitters in Haliburton
- Grab a bite to eat at Heather’s Lodge, Rhubarb (Carnarvon), or our personal fave – The Rockcliffe (Minden)
- Spend a night in Haliburton Highlands at one of the many Airbnb’s available: Gull Lake Cottages, Away Cottage, H2H Cottage, Birchwood Cottage, Fort Treehouse and many more.
- Visit one of the many artist studios in the region, such as Earth and Fire Pottery. The studios are generally open to the public in the fall. There is an official studio tour that you can learn more about here.
These 4 Ontario road trip ideas just scratch the surface of the beauty to be found in Ontario in the fall. If you want to take your Ontario road trip beyond these 4 locations, just remember to use the Fall Colour Report to pick the best region to visit for the time of your trip. Ontario fall colours don’t last long so don’t delay in planning your adventure. Have another road that you love to drive along in autumn? Let us know in the comments.
This post was sponsored in part by Subaru Canada