Autumn Drives with colour

Canada’s resplendent natural colours are at their vivid best during the Autumn months. Here are four scenic routes that frame the very best of the season

Cape Breton’s wonders

Cape Breton in Nova Scotia is home to an array of natural wonders: winding rivers, pristine lakes, rollicking hills and ethereal waterfalls. In Autumn the landscape blooms, transforming into a kaleidoscope of vibrant warm shades.

Just off the Trans-Canada Highway, St Ann’s Bay is made for an autumnal drive. The road here winds past waterways and up and down the small hills. Visit Nova Scotia’s tallest waterfall, North River Falls, and stop for a picnic lunch at North River Provincial Park. Meat Cove is an area that is just as picturesque from the comfort of a car as on a hike. The road reveals a side of Cape Breton that shouldn’t be missed, with incredible views over the valley.

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On the road to Toronto

Quebéc’s scenic drives

Canada’s largest province is criss-crossed with scenic drives, with both lengthy journeys and shorter day-trip and weekend options. Travelling the Fjord Route – a 235-kilometre-long road trip between Petit-Saguenay and Tadoussac – is an enchanting way to see the Autumn foliage.
Crossing both shores of the Saguenay Fjord, it takes drivers on a route where they are surrounded by 300-metre cliffs and a multitude of quirky and historic towns and villages.

Or there’s The Gaspesie Tour, a 10-day drive that is home to stunning sea and mountain scenery. Photo-worthy throughout the year, Gaspésie offers a riot of colours in the autumn.

Ontario’s body perfect

For an iconic experience in Ontario, road trippers should take the route around the world’s largest freshwater body of water, the aptly named Lake Superior. Lighthouses, waterfalls, cliffs and Indigenous markers including the famous Agawa Rock, a sacred Ojibwe site covered in pictographs next to Lake Superior, make this a drive to remember.

By late September, the hardwood forests surrounding the Agawa Canyon light up with crimsons and golds. Although the drive can be done in 24 hours, the vibrant colours and scenery are best enjoyed at a more leisurely pace over several days. Or for island-hopping by car, the Long Sault Parkway skirts over 12 islands between the towns of Ingleside and Long Sault in the St Lawrence River.

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On two wheels in British Columbia

Yellowhead Trails

The Yellowhead Highway is a 2,859- kilometre route that runs from the Pacific Coast of British Columbia through Alberta and Saskatchewan into Manitoba, finally ending in Winnipeg.

It is the gateway to a multitude of Indigenous attractions, events and experiences and also traverses the lands of the First Nations, Metis, and First Peoples of Canada.

Notable stops along the way include Metis Crossing in Alberta, where travellers can hear Indigenous stories; Duck Lake Interpretive Centre, Saskatchewan; and Haida, known as ‘the Galapagos of the north’.

Drive some of the highway and expect the meadows, colourful forests and valleys to be ablaze with seasonal colours – and all framed by majestic snow-capped mountains.