People travel for hours to take in the beautiful colours and crisp fall air. But that isn’t necessary for residents of Barrie and the surrounding area. Every year, Simcoe County and nearby areas are painted gold and crimson.
Here are some of the best places to go to enjoy the fall colours by water, road or trail …
If you want to stay close to home, be sure to stop by Sunnidale Park or Ardagh Bluffs. These are two of Barrie’s largest city parks, so there’s lots to take in. Especially when you consider the variety of native species whose autumn leaves range in colour from yellow and orange to red and brown. Sunnidale even has an arboretum with a substantial catalog of trees, shrubs and flowers.
Barrie’s waterfront is also a great fall stop. While there, you can take a 6.7 km walk around Kempenfelt Bay with many stops to enjoy the view!
You can also do a drive by tour of the waterfront and Sunnidale to take in the colours. To extend your experience, take Sunnidale Rd out of the city and head to Historic Fort Willow. Here you can get out and travel down the surrounding trail network.
Midland has plenty of parks and recreational trails to explore, but one must see destination on your fall colours tour is Why Marsh.
The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre has some of the best fall views! It has a variety of short, long, easy and expert trails to hike or ride. There’s also a boardwalk with stunning views of the marsh and the trails are dog friendly.
For a full day experience, pack a lunch and have a picnic while enjoying the changing of seasons. Or consider visiting when they’re hosting one of their many fall events.
Horseshoe Valley Road is where it’s at! Take a drive down the road to see all the fabulous colours. Be sure you’re prepared to take in the view as you crest the hill between Line 3 and 4. From there, you will be able to see acres and acres of colourful tree tops all around you.
If you want to get a closer look and take your time exploring the fall scenery, pull off a Horseshoe Resort! The Resort has several gorgeous trails for hiking and biking. It also connects to the Copeland forest, which is one of the area’s most beautiful old growth forests.
If you have access to a boat, Orillia is a great place to take in fall colours from the water. From Orillia, you can easily explore Lake Couchiching, The Narrows, and Lake Simcoe.
If you prefer to stay on land, you can visit Scout Valley to take in the picturesque fall views. The first offers great views of towering deciduous along hilly terrain with several detours to extend your visit. The park also features a bridge crossing, lookouts and a log home from 1832.
Grants Woods and George Langman Sanctuary are also excellent stops for fall colours in Orillia.
If you’re in the Collingwood area, you’ll want to head to Blue Mountain. It has some of the best views of Collingwood and Georgian Bay. While there, check out the Cascade Trail. The trail cuts through the forest and has many lookouts where you can enjoy the surrounding landscapes.
If hiking is not for you, you can also enjoy a gondola ride or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can zipline! There’s also a driving tour of the area all laid out with tons of exciting stops and experiences along the way!
So what are you waiting for? Go enjoy the fall colours before it’s too late!
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