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Sep 11, 2023

10 min. read

There’s a ton to love about fall in Ontario. From spectacular driving routes that wind past brilliant fall leaves in northern country to folksy fall fairs and pick-your-own orchards to apple cider tasting, you really can’t go wrong with any fall activity here. But rather than list the usual favourites, we ventured a little off the trodden path to come up with these five amazing and unusual ways to celebrate fall in Ontario.

Celebrate all things cranberry in Bala.

Every year, the postcard-worthy town of Bala bustles with excitement when visitors flock to the Bala Cranberry Festival. This year’s event runs Oct. 13–15, and it’s well worth the drive to Bala for it. After all, where else can you wade out into the middle of a cranberry bog, sample cranberry wine (you’ll need to book tickets to Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery to do these two activities), shop from a seemingly endless array of delicious cranberry-made goods, see all kinds of live entertainment and more? If you schedule this event into the calendar, be sure to go hungry!

A person is holding a bunch of red cranberries.

Chase waterfalls in Ontario along the Bruce Trail.

Did you know that Hamilton, Ontario holds the distinction of being the waterfall capital of the world? The Bruce Trail's Iroquoia section (Hamilton/Halton Region) is home to 120 waterfalls, and there’s no better season to hike it than in the fall. Wander through forests ablaze with stunning colours, and find waterfalls ranging from small cascades to 41 metres high. Pick a trail that matches your fitness level, grab some hiking poles (CAA Members get special savings on them) and be sure your phone is charged so you can bring home some gorgeous photos.

A waterfall surrounded by fall colored trees.

Mingle with artists at the Thanksgiving Studio Art Tour.

Each Thanksgiving weekend, dozens of Simcoe area artists open their studio doors to the public, during the three-day-long Images Studio Art Tour. As Ontario’s finest and longest-running studio tours, this event allows you to discover the exceptional local artisans and craftspeople in Simcoe County. Meet painters, potters, sculptors, photographers, wood turners, jewellers and assorted mixed media artists and have a chance to purchase their works. This self-guided tour winds from Moonstone through the scenic Horseshoe Valley and along the Lake Simcoe shores to Orillia. It’s a great way to support the local arts community and take in sensational scenery at the same time.

A person holding a cup out of a box.

Find your way out of a corn maze (or two).

There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline surge of trying to find your way out of a corn maze. Ontario has a bounty of this kind of good, old-fashioned fun. Near Kingston, you’ll find masterful mazes at Fruition Berry Farm and Wynn Farms – the latter even has a moonlight adventure to up the “scary” factor. The corn maze at Thiessen Orchards near Dundas comes complete with a mystery to solve as you try to find your way out. Cooper Farm in Zephyr hosts Friday night mazes under the light of the moon, while Kusterman’s Adventure Farm near London ups the thrills with a corn maze lit only by flashlights and a coffin simulator ride. Make a full day of your visit with the hayrides, apple picking, petting zoos and fresh produce shopping offered at many farms. To find a corn maze near you, head here.

Two girls standing in a corn field.

Take a scenic train ride.

A scenic train ride aboard a historic, restored coach is a magical way to see Ontario’s fall leaf show. And there are half a dozen different routes to choose from. Close to Toronto, there’s the Waterloo Central Rail that winds its way from St. Jacob’s Village to Elmira, the York-Durham Heritage Railway that takes you from Uxbridge to Stouffville, and the South Simcoe Railway that leaves from Tottenham to meander through the stunning Beeton Creek Valley. The most popular fall train ride is the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. It runs from October out of Sault Ste. Marie, offers views of Ontario’s fall leaf show that are simply breathtaking.

A train traveling through a forest.

There is no shortage of ways to celebrate fall in Ontario. Wherever your fall adventures lead, you’ll want to ensure your car insurance is in order before you head out. CAA Auto Insurance* offers complimentary policy reviews to help you check that you have the right insurance for your needs. Speak to a licensed CAA Insurance Agent about a quote today. Call 1-855-245-3716 or visit caasco.com/FallDriving

Terms & Conditions

* Auto Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company. Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.

Information was accurate at the time of posting. See event websites for the most up-to-date information.

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