See The Canadian Maple Leaf Turn Red in Muskoka

Muskoka is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. And typically Muskoka earns its status through big sky and grand lake views during the summer months of May through August. But you’d be remiss if you defined Muskoka solely by those gorgeous black water lakes. Muskoka is luxury within the woods and those woods are at their most stunning during the fall months of September to November.

muskoka fall colors
Changing leaves in Muskoka. Photo Credit: Meghan Sherwin

With crisp weather comes the turning of the leaves to a riot of reds, oranges and yellows. And with the evergreens sprinkled throughout – the forests are full of color that can’t be matched any place on earth. It’s such a beautiful sight that multiple websites showcasing “foliage reports” exist – helping residents and tourists alike keep track of all the colors and changes taking place in the forest.

A Quick Lesson in Leaves

Oaks, Sycamores, Ash, Dogwood and the famous Sugar Maples turn fire engine red. The Birch and Poplar leaf brightens to an incredible lime green. Not to be forgotten, the Aspen, Tulip Tree, Walnut and Elm transform to a sunshine yellow. The Canadian forests are filled with such diversity there are leaves that fill the spectrum in between from the Beech to the Willow ensuring the landscape is filled with colors your kids will love to collect.

muskoka fall colors
Collection of leaves. Photo Credit: Meghan Sherwin

When to Go

To celebrate Mother Nature, Muskoka hosts the “Bala Cranberry Festival” where the scenic town of Bala is full of fall farmers markets, bakeries and events celebrating the season of the famous tart berry. Farmers flood the growing area to allow the ripe berries to float for the harvest and kids delight in bakery fresh treats while parents enjoy the paired wine tastings. It’s always hosted the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving. This year, the festival falls from October 14-16, 2016.

What to Pack

The cool weather comes quickly this time of year, with the average day time temperature at 53.9°F (12.2°C) and night time lows of 35.4 F (1.9°C). This means choose your clothing wisely; with wool, flannel and fleece layers and those knitted accessories – the classic Muskoka look. Jackets, sweaters and boots are a perfect choice, with knitted caps keeping ears warm if you’re hiking and picking apples during the day. But be prepared to lose a layer or two if the sunshine comes.

How to Get There

With Pearson International Airport (YYZ) only 90 minutes away, it’s easy to land in Toronto and drive yourself to Muskoka. And don’t forget to stop at the well-known spot Webers, with famous hamburgers & a Canadian classic Roots pop up clothing shop, in a trendy airstream, of course) to make sure you arrive in Muskoka well fed and well dressed. But for those who don’t want to sit in traffic, you can charter a float plane from Cameron Air to land right at the lake and make the trip that much simpler. See our summer Muskoka guide for more details.

And don’t forget to showcase your visit to the great Canadian north, by snapping a photo of the iconic red Maple Leaf that only changes color during these months. In addition to all the great outdoor memories, it’s the perfect way to showcase your fall trip to Muskoka.

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About Meghan Sherwin

Meghan Sherwin is the founder and active board member of the award-winning Non-Profit: Safe Streets, Kids at Play. She is also the mother of two boys. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read Meghan's articles

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