Events Calendar

Current Weather

Algonquin Park Fall Colour Report

The fall colour reporting season has now concluded. Please check back in September 2018 (or as conditions warrant) for detailed reports and live images of Algonquin Park's fall colour change. Use the information below to plan your 2018 visit, or review fall in Algonquin Park.


When Should I Visit Algonquin Park?

A trip to Algonquin Park between mid-September and mid-October is best for observing Algonquin Park's fall colour, but more precision regarding an exact date depends upon what species of tree you are interested in observing.

Red Maple in Algonquin ParkAlgonquin Park is home to 34 native species of trees. Of these species 10 are classified as conifers (cone bearing) and will retain their leaves (needles) year-round and are often referred to as "evergreen". The only exception is the Tamarack that changes to golden yellow colour before dropping its needles in preparation for winter. The other 24 species of deciduous trees change colour at different times, depending upon the species, their location in Algonquin Park, and the specific environmental conditions in that area.

No tree happens to grow in a random location, rather each tree struggle against great odds and hazards for a place in the sun and each species is subtly equipped to do better than its competition in certain conditions. Certain species of trees grow in different locations in Algonquin Park. Therefore the mosaic of forest types in Algonquin Park is no accident but is determined by soil type, moisture, climate, etc. resulting in the amazing blend of green, yellow, orange, red, and purple colours makes Algonquin Park's fall colour so special.

Traditionally, Algonquin Park's fall colour occurs earlier than surrounding areas because of the Park's higher elevation, up to almost 600 metres above sea level. This can mean the best colour is observed several weeks (or more!) prior to leaf colour change in places like Ottawa (70 metres above sea level), Toronto (75 metres above sea level), or or even communities just outside Algonquin Park's boundaries. Algonquin Park’s high elevation, thin soils, and cooler temperatures results in a shorter growing season for all plants including its trees.

Mid-September to Early October

Fall Colour in Algonquin Park

If visiting Algonquin Park during mid-September to early October, you will observe the colour change of the Sugar Maples and Red Maples. This fall colour covers hills in orange and red colours and is best observed at locations with expansive views such as trails and views across water. During the past 40+ years, the earliest Sugar Maple peak recorded was September 15, 1982 and the latest October 9, 1996. During 2016, the peak Sugar Maple colour was determined to be October 6 (almost record late), as a result of warm fall temperatures and a late frost. The average peak of the Sugar Maple canopy in the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor is September 27. See the current status of Algonquin Park's colour change above.

Early to Mid-October

Large-toothed Aspen in Algonquin Park

An Algonquin Park visit between early to mid October (including Thanksgiving) will observe the yellow-orange colours displayed by poplar and birch species, plus the orange colour of the Sugar Maple understory. This time known as the "Golden Encore" generally occurs after the Sugar Maple and Red Maple peak colour, but offers great landscape views in poplar and birch dominated areas. The eastern portion of the Highway 60 Corridor and the Park's East Side is a great location to view this colour.

Once leaves have fallen from the tops of the Sugar Maples, the understory changes colour at ground level as it was previously protected from cold temperatures by the blanket of overhead leaves. A hike along an interpretive trail dominated by maples is a great way to see understory fall colour up close.

Mid to Late October

Tamarack

A mid to late October visit showcases Tamarack at their peak yellow colour before dropping their needles in preparation for winter. The Tamarack is Algonquin Park's only cone bearing tree that changes colour and drops all its needles in preparation for winter. Search for Tamaracks in wetlands and bogs including the Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Mizzy Lake Trail, or along the Opeongo Road. By late October or early November (depending upon environmental conditions) all deciduous trees are bare and prepared for winter.


Images of Fall 2017 in Algonquin Park

Below are images of Algonquin Park during September and October 2017. Click to enlarge the images and see the captions for the image date and location. For live video see the Algonquin Park Webcam or The Friends of Algonquin Park's Facebook page for additional images.

Algonquin Park Visitor Centre October 24, 2017

Image above: View from the Algonquin Park Webcam at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on October 24, 2017. Click to view the live webcam.

Algonquin Park Visitor Centre October 16, 2017

Image above: View from the Algonquin Park Webcam at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on October 16, 2017.

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 12, 2017

Image above: Highway 60 at the Rock Lake Road in Algonquin Park on October 12, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 12, 2017

Image above: Highway 60 at km 41 in Algonquin Park on October 12, 2017 (click to enlarge).Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 12, 2017

Image above: Highway 60 at km 20 in Algonquin Park on October 12, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 12, 2017

Image above: Highway 60 at km 16 in Algonquin Park on October 12, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 12, 2017

Image above: Approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on October 12, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 6, 2017

Image above: At km 16 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 6, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 6, 2017

Image above: At Big Pines Trail in Algonquin Park on October 6, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 6, 2017

Image above: Maple-dominated forest at km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 6, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 6, 2017

Image above: Poplar fall colour at Rock Lake Road in Algonquin Park on October 6, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour October 6, 2017

Image above: Poplar and Tamarack fall colour at Ring-necked Pond in Algonquin Park on October 6, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour on October 3, 2017

Image above: Near Peck Lake Trail in Algonquin Park on October 3, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour on October 3, 2017

Image above: Hardwood Hill at km 16 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 3, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour on October 3, 2017

Image above: Approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on October 3, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park September 28, 2017

Image above: Approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 28, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park September 28, 2017

Image above: Near Killarney Lodge at Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on September 28, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park September 28, 2017

Image above: Highway 60 at km 20 Algonquin Park on September 28, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour

Image above: Fall colour and new pavement along Highway 60 at km 26 in Algonquin Park on September 22, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour September 19, 2017

Image above: Fall colour at Park Lake near the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 19, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour on September 19, 2017

Image above: Fall colour approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on the foggy morning of September 19, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Algonquin Park Fall Colour September 15, 2017

Image above: Fall colour near Tea Lake Campground in Algonquin Park on September 15, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour at Highway 60 and the Track and Tower Trail in Algonquin Park on September 13, 2017 (click to enlarge).

Image above: Fall colour at Highway 60 and the Track and Tower Trail in Algonquin Park on September 13, 2017 (click to enlarge).


Related Information

 

Reserve your developed or backcountry campsite for your next visit.

Share your passion for Algonquin Park by becoming a member or donor.

Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.