Three Tried and True Local Spots to Check Out the Fall Colours

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When out for a drive to look for cows the other day, I noticed something that evoked excitement deep within; the first changing leaves. While it was only the tips of a few trees scattered amongst the sea of green, I couldn’t help but feel that it was the first marker to the end of summer.

With all of the unknown we’ve experienced over the last year, there is a sense of comfort in knowing what comes next. The air will begin to cool, the days will start to shorten, and the leaves will eventually drift to their final resting place.

To some, this may be a time to lament over the dog days of summer, but to me it means wool sweaters, toques, hot coffee, and most importantly, long bug-free walks.

After years of experience, I know exactly where we are headed when the colours start to pop and now you will too. The best part is, while the landscape stays the same, Mother Nature paints the forest with unique vibrancy year over year.

Here are our tried and true local spots to check out the Fall colours.

McGeachie Conservation Area – CLOSED FOR 2022 SEASON

363 Steenburg Lake Rd N, Gilmour, ON

A view of the tree canopy from below. The leaves are mostly green, with pops of orange.

With updates to existing trails, and newly forged paths to take, McGeachie is the perfect place to explore. The trails are easy to navigate, well-marked at each intersection, and offer multiple options ranging in length. With scenic observations points at both the old and new Beaver Dam, and tall towering trees bordering the path to both, no matter which route you take, it’s sure to boast lovely views.

Trail Tip: Take a photo of the Trail Head map on your phone to easily steer your way through the Y’s in the trails. Pick a route and stick to it, or hop around from trail to trail, creating your very own unique adventure according to your timeframe and abilities.   

The Gut Conservation Area – CLOSED FOR 2022 SEASON

2399 The South Rd, Coe Hill, ON

The Gut is a one-of-a-kind, natural wonder that visitors have been escaping to for years. While most go to enjoy the sights and sounds of the gorge below, few know of the Wilderness Trail that meanders along the river, over roots and rocks, and through the dense, quiet forest.  Once you reach the old logging road, it loops back to the parking lot. Although, a much more demanding experience than simply marveling the rushing water and scenic view, the immersive design of the trail is breathtaking in a whole new way.

Trail Tip: Make sure to carve out some time on your adventure to simply sit and enjoy the magnificent power or the gorge; it is one of nature’s finest masterpieces.

Eagles Nest Park

79 Eagles Nest Park Rd, Bancroft, ON

For a true bird’s eye view of the Fall colours covering the town and valley below, make your way up to Eagles Nest Park located on the Northern outskirts of the Town of Bancroft. The Hawkwatch Trail that leads from the parking lot to the iconic lookout platform is an accessible trail (one of the first in Ontario) granting ease, use and experience for all. If this is your first visit, well, enjoy! If it’s not, you know that with each passing day, the landscape evolves. Almost miraculously, it’s never the same twice.

Trail Tip: With the lookout being such a highlight, few know that this property is home to a variety of landscapes. Once you’ve marveled at the rolling colours below, why not take the Gerry Whyte Trail and check out the boardwalk for a strikingly different spectacle.

And just when you think you’ve missed out on the Fall Colours, think again.

The Tamarack trees at O’Hara Mill Homestead & Conservation Area are the last to go up in (hypothetical) fiery flames. Enjoy one last burst of colour and the magical reflections they make along the Mill Pond.

As always, we encourage hikers to be responsible and respectful.

"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.”Chief Si’ahl

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