08/30/2016 04:41 EDT | Updated 08/30/2016 06:00 EDT

The Ultimate Fall Foliage Tour Through Ontario

Canada's tree-covered wilderness and cool fall temperatures create some of the world's most vibrant fall foliage. The autumn colours are more intense in the Great White North's eastern provinces, and the most populated, east-central province of Ontario is one of the best for viewing them in jaw-dropping settings.

Whether you live in the country's fourth-largest province or will be driving in from nearby, these five road trips stops, starting and ending near Toronto, will leave you in awe of Mother Nature's work in fall.

Algonquin Provincial Park


Photo credit: Sean X. Liu

The picture-perfect fall colours at Algonquin Provincial Park are nothing new for Toronto residents, who live just three hours southwest of the park's forests, lakes, trails and rivers. The provincial park is known for its vibrantly coloured Red and Sugar Maples, which shine their fall colours more fully from mid-September through mid-October.

Algoma Country

Cruise roughly 6.5 hours west of Algonquin Provincial Park, and you'll find yourself minutes from the Canada-U.S. border near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. There's no better way to admire nature's handiwork than aboard the Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The locomotive winds through dense forests that pop with reds, oranges, yellows and bright greens during the fall months. The train travels north from Sault Ste. Marie to areas that are unhindered by roads and buildings, offering a fall foliage experience unlike anywhere else in the province.

Rainbow Falls


Photo credit: Dad

Continue 5.5 hours northeast of Sault Ste. Marie, and you'll arrive at Rainbow Falls. The park's hiking trails lead to peaks offering panoramic views of colourful trees lining Whitesand Lake and prodigious Lake Superior. Visitors can spend days enjoying the splendor of the falls as they cascade through dazzling leaves and plunge into the deep blue Great Lake. Visitors can camp alongside Whitesand Lake at one of the roughly 100 sites available or venture five kilometres west to the Rossport Campground on the shoreline of Lake Superior.

The Blue Mountains

After roughly 12 hours of your trek back to Toronto, you'll find yourself in The Blue Mountains. This aptly named town is known for its tourism centered around 300-metre-tall Blue Mountain, the Blue Mountain Resort and the area's Georgian Bay scenery. The resort is known for its annual Fall Colours Weekend at the end of September, which includes fall foliage gondola rides, live music in the Village Plaza, hiking on the Apple Pie Trail, Mountain Top Segway Tours and tons of other family-friendly events to celebrate the season.

Fort Erie


Photo credit: Loozrboy

The final stop along your Ontario fall foliage adventure is at a place Winston Churchill described as one of the most beautiful Sunday drives in the world. The Niagara Parkway begins in Fort Erie and cruises along the Niagara River to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Along the way, you'll find yourself pulling your vehicle to the side of the road to snap photos of the contrast between golden trees and the greenish blue river. Niagara-on-the-Lake is an ideal place to rest for the night -- after you check out all of the local shops, eateries, and local wineries of course.

The return trip to Toronto is a 1.5-hour-long cruise along the shores of Lake Ontario, offering even more postcard-worthy fall views for the tail end of an epic autumn adventure.

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