Events Calendar

Current Weather

Algonquin Park Fall Colour Report

Ontario Parks requires the online (or telephone) purchase of day use permits up to 5 days in advance, with capacity limits for each day. Learn more about purchasing/reserving your permit for entry into Algonquin Park.

Image: At km 13 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 13 of Highway 60 (near Hardwood Lookout Trail) in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge). See more images below or see live views via the Algonquin Park Webcam.

Fall Colour Report

Related Topics

Facebook icon Twitter YouTube Instagram
Algonquin Park Webcam: Live Views of Algonquin Park

Visitors coming to Algonquin Park in early October are observing the best Sugar Maple fall colour at the landscape level. Visitors will observe an excellent variety of colours across the Algonquin Park landscape including red, orange, yellow, and green (see Fall 2022 Images below).

A drive through Algonquin Park or a walk on an interpretive trail (especially ones with landscape views) will be popular activities with 'leaf peepers'. See Trip Planning Hints for ways to get the most from your upcoming visit to Algonquin Park.

The maple understory (at ground level within the forest) is still protected from cold and frost by overhead leaves. These understory leaves remain mostly green and should offer better fall colour toward Thanksgiving. Poplar (Aspen) are showing a slight yellow colour change that peaks in early to mid-October. Tamarack, Algonquin Park's last tree to change colour in the fall (usually mid to late October) remains green.

Keep watching this webpage for updates and the latest images as conditions warrant.

For live video see the Algonquin Park Webcam or The Friends of Algonquin Park's Facebook page for additional images.

Fall colour is subject to numerous environmental variables such as daylight length, moisture, temperature, frost, wind, heavy rain, etc., so the exact peak fall colour for each species is difficult to determine in advance. High winds, rain, or even snow can sometimes quickly result in fragile leaves being knocked off the trees increasing what is called leaf fall. Check back for frequent updates as conditions warrant.


Current Status of Algonquin Park's Fall Colour

Below is the current status of Algonquin Park's fall colour change (click to enlarge). This diagram reports on the status of the most popular tree species during fall leaf colour season in Algonquin Park. Please check back throughout fall for updates as conditions warrant.

Current Fall Colour Leaf Change in Algonquin Park

Current Maple Colour Status in Algonquin Park

Current Poplar and Birch Colour Status in Algonquin Park

Season To Date

September 5, 2022 - The temperature recorded at the East Gate of Algonquin Park dropped to 3°C overnight. Slight fall colour change is noted in the deciduous trees in Algonquin Park. Fall colour season is beginning!

September 13, 2022 - Shortening daylight length and cooler temperatures, and drought induced stress, have encouraged Red Maples, to intensify their fall colour change. Some Red Maples growing in normally wet areas, are already showing their peak colour. Sugar Maple dominated areas are showing a greenish-yellow colour at the current time, but the best is yet to come. Later changing poplar and Tamarack are showing minimal colour change.

September 15, 2022 - The temperature drops to -1°C overnight at the Park's East Gate. This below freezing temperature will further encourage trees to change colour in preparation for winter.

September 19, 2022 - Heavy rain and strong wind has increased leaf fall of early changing species such as Red Maples. These drought stressed trees started showing colour change in early September with some reaching their peak colour by mid-September.

September 23 & 24, 2022 - Two nights of below freezing temperatures (dropping to -2°C overnight at the Park's East Gate on September 24, 2022) will further advance fall colour change in Algonquin Park in the days ahead.

September 27, 2022 - Overcast conditions make for great viewing of Algonquin Park's increasing fall colour.

September 30, 2022 - Cold overnight temperatures with frost, shortening day light length, and light winds (that reduces leaf fall) are combining to offer the best maple viewing at the landscape level.

October 2, 2022 - Light winds, associated with a high pressure system, are allowing maple leaves to remain on the trees and show their impressive orange-red colour to Park visitors. Temperature dipping to -6°C overnight will encourage the maple understory and poplar (aspen) to increase their fall colour change.


Images of Fall 2022 in Algonquin Park

Below are recent images of Algonquin Park during fall 2022. 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.

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at the Rock Lake Road (km 40) in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at the Rock Lake Road (km 40) in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Red Maples in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Red Maple leaves in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 near the west boundary in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 near the west boundary in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour on a dry hillside along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Fall colour on a dry hillside along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 near the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 near the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 8 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 8 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Red Maple on a dry hillside in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Red Maple on a dry hillside in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 10 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 10 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 13 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 13 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Red Maple at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on September 12, 2022

Image: Red Maple at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 16 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 16 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 20 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 20 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 26 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 26 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 27 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 27 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Maples along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Maples along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 10 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 10 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Highway 60 at km 8 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Highway 60 at km 8 in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 12, 2022 (click to enlarge).

View of the Sunday Creek valley in Algonquin Park on September 15, 2022, when temperatures dipped to -1°C overnight at the Park's East Gate.

Image: View of the Sunday Creek Valley in Algonquin Park on September 15, 2022, when temperatures dipped to -1°C overnight at the Park's East Gate. (click to enlarge). See live views via the Algonquin Park Webcam.

 

Along the Madawaska River in Algonquin Park on September 16, 2022.

Image: Along the Madawaska River in Algonquin Park on September 16, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Cache Lake as seen from the Track and Tower Trail in Algonquin Park on September 16, 2022

Image: Cache Lake as seen from the Track and Tower Trail in Algonquin Park on September 16, 2022. (click to enlarge).

 

Understory fall colour at the Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022

Image: Understory fall colour at the Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Fall colour at Hemlock Bluff Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022.

Image: Fall colour at Hemlock Bluff Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022. (click to enlarge).

View at the Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022.

Image: View at the Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 17, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022.

Image: Approaching the West Gate in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022.

Image: At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Brewer Lake (Highway 60 at km 48) in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022

Image: Brewer Lake (Highway 60 at km 48) in Algonquin Park on September 20, 2022. (click to enlarge).

 

At km 48 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022.

Image: At km 48 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At Lake of Two Rivers Picnic Ground and Beach in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At Lake of Two Rivers Picnic Ground and Beach in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Brewer Lake in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Brewer Lake in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on September 23, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022

Image: At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022

Image: At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022

Image: At Lookout Trail in Algonquin Park on September 26, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Fall colour approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: Highway 60 at km 16 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: Highway 60 at km 16 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 5 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 5 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

ed Maple along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Red Maple along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

At km 8 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: At km 8 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Near the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Near the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Red Maple in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Red Maple in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Hardwood hillside in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Hardwood hillside in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

At Smoke Creek (km 12 of Highway 60) in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: At Smoke Creek (km 12 of Highway 60) in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

At km 13 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: At km 13 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour on a hardwood hillside in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour on a hardwood hillside in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Near Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Near Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022

Image: Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 27, 2022 (click to enlarge).

 

Foggy conditions approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022.

Image: Foggy conditions approaching the West Gate of Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022.

Image: Fall colour along Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At km 16 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022.

Image: At km 16 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

At km 26 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022

Image: At km 26 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022.

Image: Fall colour in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Near Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022.

Image: Near Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park on September 29, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge). Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Tea Lake in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 20 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 13 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 13 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: At km 10 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Approaching the West Gate on Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Approaching the West Gate on Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Foggy conditions at Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Foggy conditions at Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Poplar (Aspen) and Tamarack dominated area at km 41 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).

Image: Poplar (Aspen) and Tamarack dominated area at km 41 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2022. (click to enlarge).


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.

Trees of Algonquin Provincial 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 struggles 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 that 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 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.


Algonquin Park Autumn Day Use Guide Algonquin Park Autumn Day Use Guide

Algonquin Park Fall Colour HistoryFall Colour History in Algonquin Park

During the past 40+ years, the earliest Sugar Maple peak recorded in Algonquin Park was September 15 (1982) and the latest October 9 (1996). The average peak of the Sugar Maple canopy in the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor is September 27. Algonquin Park Autumn Day Use Guide

The best fall colour watching in Algonquin Park is expected from mid-September to mid-October. Fall colour is subject to numerous environmental variables such as daylight length, moisture, temperature, frost, wind, heavy rain, etc., so the exact peak of fall colour is difficult to determine in advance. High winds, rain, or even snow can sometimes quickly result in fragile leaves being knocked off the trees increasing what is called leaf fall.

Algonquin Park's Famous Fall Colours

Book Cover: The Last Forest Ranger by Tom LinklaterIn 1949, Tom Linklater was working alone at the West Gate of Algonquin Park and noted in his autobiography The Last Forest Ranger: Algonquin Park Memories...

“…Thanksgiving weekend was going to be very busy, as the colours were at their peak. I should have about three hundred permits made up ahead of time so that all I would have to do was fill in the driver’s name and car license number, and if he was stopping, note the place. Saturday was not that busy but Sunday was unbelievable. By about eleven o’clock I had used up all my permits. There was about a quarter mile of cars lined up waiting to get into the Park! I thought to myself this was ridiculous! These folks were not hunters or poachers, they just wanted to take some pictures of the colours that were at their best...”


Why Does Fall Colour Happen?Red Maple in Autumn, Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park is ablaze with vibrant colours during September and October. In a landscape so often dominated by the green of summer, how does this brief explosion of reds, oranges, and yellows happen in the early autumn? The answer involves a complex process of numerous chemicals and environmental variables. Read more at Why Does Fall Leaf Colour Change Happen?


Where Should I Visit in Algonquin Park?

Algonquin Park Autumn Day Use Guide
Autumn Day Use Guide - EN, FR, DE, ZH, JA, KO

The "Algonquin Dome" refers to the high elevation piece of the Canadian Shield that underlies the western two-thirds of Algonquin Park. Here an ancient mountain range continues to exist increasing elevation well above that of surrounding areas (primarily outside the Park). These ancient rolling hills covered by soils deposited by a glacier thousands of years ago, created suitable conditions for the growth of maples. The maples - primarily Sugar, Red and Striped - experience a cooler climate than those outside the Park area as a result of the higher elevation. These cooler conditions and the resulting shorter growing season make for an early fall and thus an earlier fall colour watching season than other locations in southern Ontario. Fortunately for visitors, Highway 60 runs through a large section of Algonquin Park's higher elevation. The Highway 60 Corridor provides easy access to the Park area dominated by these three species of maples for keen "leaf peepers".

Below is a satellite image taken near the peak of the Sugar Maple canopy showing the red/orange colour of the Sugar Maples and the boundary of Algonquin Park. Algonquin Park's West Side including the Highway 60 Corridor is dominated by maples, while the Park's East Side is dominated by pines that show green needles that do not change colour. This satellite image was taken on October 1, 2012.

Algonquin Park's Fall Colour Seen From Space

Suggested Places for Viewing Algonquin Park's Fall Colour

Below are suggested places for viewing Algonquin Park's fall colour. These locations change according to the date and conditions observed within Algonquin Park.

Recommended Interpretive Walking Trails

Regardless of the exact date, Algonquin Park's Interpretive Trails are a good way to view the fall colour. Trails offering lookouts with wide vistas are especially popular around the Sugar Maple peak and the later peak of poplar and birch species. These day walking trails range in length from 800 metres to 11 kilometres in length. Trails that are suggested for fall walking include:

Side Roads with Foliage Viewing Opportunities

The following side roads connected to Highway 60 offer foliage viewing opportunities with lower speed traffic than Highway 60.

  • Roads leading to Access Points around the periphery of Algonquin Park.

Visitor Updates for Fall 2022

West Gate Algonquin Sign

Ontario Parks continues to announce changes to visitor management strategies for fall in Algonquin Park. For this autumn, these include...

How to Obtain an Algonquin Park Permit

Day Use Visitors (Daily Vehicle Permit)

  • All who use Algonquin Park must have a valid permit. Day use permits allow for day visits to Algonquin Park, including access to trails, museums, beaches, picnic grounds, etc. Daily Vehicle Permits are valid from 7:00am until 10:00pm. Permits can be purchased online or via telephone up to 5 days in advance of your arrival. See more information.
  • Booth Rock Trail - Special Permit Required - Ontario Parks has special capacity restrictions for Booth's Rock Trail for the fall. If you wish to walk this interpretive trail a special type of permit is required. Learn more.
  • 100% of Daily Vehicle Permits (day use permits) can be purchased online (or via telephone) up to 5 days in advance, so permits may sell out in advance.
  • In-person permit sales in Algonquin Park are not available, purchase online or via telephone.
  • Permits are not required to be posted on your vehicle dashboard, but visitors should make sure their license plate number is correct and up-to-date. Park Wardens will be using an internet based cell phone app to confirm vehicle license plates numbers in Algonquin Park. The permit holder may change a license plate number online or over the phone if the license plate number associated with your permit is incorrect.

Seasonal Permit Holders

  • Ontario Parks is advising that entry is not guaranteed for seasonal and commercial day use permit holders and is dependent upon capacity limits. Seasonal permit holders must reserve online, up to 5 days in advance, at no additional cost, to guarantee entry on a specific date. Seasonal day use permits include annual, summer, and winter versions. See more information.

Bus Permits

  • Ontario Parks has implemented new policies for obtaining Bus Permits in Algonquin Park from September 12 to October 17, 2022. See more information.

Overnight Campers (Developed Campgrounds and Backcountry Campers)

  • If you have a camping reservation, made up to 5 months in advance, you do not need to purchase a Daily Vehicle Permit in addition. Visitors with developed or backcountry camping reservations should proceed directly to their reserved developed campsite or backcountry access point. Permits are not required to be posted on your vehicle dashboard or campsite post, but campers should have a printed copy or digital copy of your confirmation letter as proof of your reservation with you while in Algonquin Park.

Lodge Guests

  • Lodge guests with reservations for a Park lodge should proceed directly to the lodge/resort as per their confirmation details.

Traveling through Algonquin Park on Highway 60

  • People traveling through Algonquin Park on Highway 60 between Oxtongue Lake and Whitney, Ontario do not need a permit. However, if you use any facilities (e.g. trail, picnic ground, bathroom, etc.) a day use permit is required.

Capacity Limits and "Sold Out" Algonquin Park

  • Ontario Parks will stop selling permits for Algonquin Park once capacity is reached. When Algonquin Park has reached capacity, visitors will not be able to purchase a permit (or use a seasonal permit), and you will not be permitted to use Algonquin Park.
  • Ontario Parks has not released the number of day use permits to be sold on any given day, or for different locations within Algonquin Park, or different types of permits.

When Will Algonquin Park Sell Out?

Below is a record of dates when Daily Vehicle Permits (day use permits) were sold out in Algonquin Park in recent years. Please note that historical data is no guarantee of future permit availability.

2022 Sold Out Dates

Below is a list of dates when permits sold out in different geographic areas of Algonquin Park during fall 2022.

Status Date of Permit Date Sold Out* Geographic Area
Sold Out October 1, 2022 September 30, 2022 Highway 60 Corridor
Sold Out October 2, 2022 October 2, 2022 Highway 60 Corridor
* Day use permits can be purchased up to 5 days in advance.

2021 Sold Out Dates

Status Date of Permit Date Sold Out* Geographic Area
Sold Out October 2, 2021 October 1, 2021 Highway 60 Corridor
Sold Out October 3, 2021 October 3, 2021 Highway 60 Corridor
Sold Out October 9, 2021 October 7, 2021 Highway 60 Corridor
Sold Out October 10, 2021 October 7, 2021 Highway 60 Corridor
Sold Out October 11, 2021 October 8, 2021 Highway 60 Corridor
* Day use permits can be purchased up to 5 days in advance.

2020 Sold Out Dates

Below is a list of dates when permits sold out in along the Highway 60 Corridor of Algonquin Park during 2020. Permits for specific geographic sections for Algonquin Park were not yet in effect.

  • October 3, 2020
  • October 10, 2020
  • October 11, 2020

Hardwood Lookout Trail Closures

Ontario Parks has announced that Hardwood Lookout Trail will be closed on 16 days during the peak fall colour period. The shortest interpretive walking trail in Algonquin Park (and its parking lot), will be closed the following dates during fall to improve traffic flow.

  • September 10 & 11, 2022
  • September 17 & 18, 2022
  • September 23/24/25, 2022
  • September 30/October 1 & 2, 2022
  • October 7/8/9/10, 2022
  • October 15 & 16, 2022

Limiting Occupancy to Algonquin Park Buildings

  • All Algonquin Park buildings have fire code capacity restrictions. If a building is at capacity, Ontario Parks staff will require you to wait in line for entry. For your trip planning information, see the real-time occupancy at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre, courtesy of The Friends of Algonquin Park.

Tips for Viewing Algonquin Park's Fall Colour

Fall colour in Algonquin Park

Coming to Algonquin Park to enjoy the best fall colour? Here are a few tips for fall colour watchers.

1. Plan ahead

Know where you want to explore and how to get there. Use information sources such as:

2. Know when to visit

Not all trees change colour at the same time. Traditionally, Algonquin Park's fall colour occurs earlier than surrounding areas because the Park's high elevation, thin soils, and cooler temperatures results in a shorter growing season for all plants including its trees. This can mean the best fall colour is observed several weeks (or more!) prior to leaf colour change in places like Ottawa, Toronto or even communities just outside Algonquin Park’s boundaries. Algonquin Park's fall colour season typically starts in mid-September and concludes in mid-October.

3. Know where to visit

No tree happens to grow in a random location, rather each tree struggles 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 fall colour in Algonquin Park is no accident but is determined by factors such as geography, soil type, moisture, climate, etc. Check the “Where to Visit” section for more information.

4. Get a Park permit

Everyone who uses a provincial park requires a valid permit.

5. Stay locally

Consider staying within Algonquin Park or just outside the Park boundary to avoid entering the Park during the busy late morning or mid-day period.

6. Consider a weekday visit

Fall weekends are always busier than weekdays. If possible consider a mid-week visit to Algonquin Park as all facilities are open 7-days a week during the fall colour season.

During 2022, the busiest weekends in Algonquin Park are expected to be September 17/18, September 24/25, October 1/2, and Thanksgiving weekend (October 8/9/10).

7. Avoid traffic congestion

On the busiest weekends of the year (likely September 17/18, September 24/25, October 1/2, and Thanksgiving weekend (October 8/9/10), traffic can become slow or even stopped at some locations in Algonquin Park. Most visitors enter Algonquin Park via the West Gate that can experience traffic congestion during the late morning/early afternoon on peak weekends. Consider entering or exiting Algonquin Park’s Highway 60 Corridor via the quieter East Gate (near Whitney, Ontario).

8. Visit on a cloudy day

Many people avoid visiting Algonquin Park on cloudy or rainy days during the fall colour season. Overcast conditions cut the glare and many people agree that leaf colours appear brighter than on sunny days. An added benefit is that the Park will have fewer visitors.

9. Drive and park safely

If you stop to look at fall colour or wildlife, ensure you pull completely off the traveled portion of the road and watch for traffic. Never stop in a lane of traffic. When parking do so in designated areas only. Never block emergency vehicle or pedestrian access.

10. Get away from your vehicle

Consider getting into a canoe, hiking a longer trail, or heading off the "beaten path" as most fall visitors stay close to their vehicles or hike only the shortest trails. Or for the adventurous visitor or one seeking solitude, head into the Park’s vast backcountry.

11. Keep wildlife wild

Algonquin Park is not a zoo, all animals in Algonquin Park are wild and act accordingly. Never feed or approach wildlife regardless of its size. Feeding, harming or harassing wildlife is illegal in Algonquin Park (and all provincial parks). Use caution with your cell phone camera as getting a closer image may cause you to approach an animal too closely.

12. Take home the proper souvenirs

The removal of natural or cultural objects from Algonquin Park is illegal. All vegetation (including brightly coloured leaves) and other natural features are protected and can not be removed from a Provincial Park. Many Park facilities sell appropriate souvenirs as memories of your visit.

13. Be a responsible pet owner

All pets must be on a leash not exceeding two metres in length and under control at all times. Pets can not produce excessive noise or harass wildlife. Pet owners must also “poop and scoop” in Algonquin Park.

14. Explore beyond the Highway 60 Corridor

Algonquin Park covers 7,635 square kilometres and many backcountry access points around the periphery of Algonquin Park, especially on the Park’s West Side, offer excellent fall colour viewing with fewer people. Algonquin Park’s backcountry accessible by canoe or hiking trail is also a quiet location for those seeking solitude. Check the Algonquin Park Canoe Routes Map or Backpacking Trails Map for route ideas.

15. Don’t litter

Garbage cans plus recycling and organics (compost) facilities exist in most locations in Algonquin Park. Garbage serves as a wildlife attractant and is also unsightly to other visitors. Use the provided waste management facilities or “pack out” your garbage.

16. Stay late

The busiest times in Algonquin Park are from late morning to mid-afternoon. If you are planning a day visit, your permit is valid until 10:00pm. Stay later and observe a sunset before heading home. For your safety, ensure you are off any trail prior to darkness. Only registered overnight campers are permitted in Algonquin Park after 10:00pm.


Algonquin Park Fall Colour Season Summary 2021

Below is a summary of the Algonquin Park 2021 fall colour season annotated with imagery. Please note that the timing of the best fall colour varies from year to year, see Fall Colour History in Algonquin Park for more details.

At km 48 of Highway 60 in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2021

Image: At Brewer Lake in Algonquin Park on October 1, 2021 (click to enlarge).

View of the Sunday Creek Valley in Algonquin Park on October 18, 2021

Image: Tamarack fall colour along the Opeongo Road in Algonquin Park on October 20, 2021 (click to enlarge).

2021 Fall Colour Timeline

September 10, 2021 - The temperature recorded at the East Gate of Algonquin Park dropped to 3°C overnight. Slight fall colour change is noted in the deciduous trees in Algonquin Park. Fall colour season is beginning!

September 13, 2021 - Shortening daylight length and cooler temperatures have encouraged Sugar Maples, and especially Red Maples, to intensify their fall colour change. Maple dominated areas are showing a greenish-yellow colour at the current time, with the occasionally brilliant red of a Red Maple. Later changing poplar and Tamarack are showing no colour change. Trees subject to unusual stress from disease, insects, etc. are changing colour early, as expected.

September 19, 2021 - The overnight temperature dips to 1.3°C as recorded by Environment Canada at Algonquin Park's East Gate. Overnight temperatures have yet to fall below freezing in August or September 2021.

September 20, 2021 - A few days of high pressure weather conditions (bright sunshine, clear sky, and cooler overnight temperatures) has helped to intensify the Sugar Maple and Red Maple fall colours in maple dominated areas, such as the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor.

September 21, 2021 - A Rainfall Warning is issued for Algonquin Park with amounts possibly exceeding 100 millimetres. During some heavy rain events when leaves are more advanced in their fall colour change, fragile leaves can be knocked off the trees by rain and wind increasing what is called leaf fall.

September 21 to 23, 2021 - Algonquin Park's East Gate weather station records over 106 millimetres of rainfall. Heavy rain and strong winds do little to knock leaves from Algonquin Park's trees. Fall colours continue to increase.

September 28 to 29, 2021 - High pressure and clear conditions, resulted in cool overnight temperatures dipping to 0.3°C as recorded by Environment Canada at Algonquin Park's East Gate on September 28, 2021. These cool overnight temperatures are increasing the maple fall colour resulting in "near peak" Sugar Maple and Red Maple fall colour at the canopy level in Algonquin Park.

October 1, 2021 - The overnight temperature dips to -1.0°C as recorded by Environment Canada at Algonquin Park's East Gate.

October 2, 2021 - Sugar Maple canopy colour reaches peak in the western portion of the Highway 60 Corridor in Algonquin Park. This peak is later than the 40+ year average of September 27.

October 6, 2021 - Maple canopy colour is now past peak. Leaves are fragile on the twig and a significant portion of maple leaves are expected to drop with the next strong wind or heavy rain event. The maple understory continues to improve in colour. The yellow-orange-gold colour of the poplars (aspens) continues to intensify.

October 8 to 10, 2021 - Fragile maple leaves begin to fall with rain and wind events. The maple understory offers good colour for Thanksgiving weekend visitors. The poplar (aspen) fall colour reaches peak in the eastern portion of the Highway 60 Corridor.

October 12, 2021 - Algonquin Park's fall colour season is in its final stages. The Sugar Maple canopy is almost bare and the understory is still showing some yellow-orange-red colour, but leaves are fragile and continue to fall with wind and rain events. The poplars (aspens) reached peak over Thanksgiving weekend and leaf fall is increasing. Tamarack is nearing peak.

October 17, 2021 - Algonquin Park’s only cone-bearing tree that drops all its needles and the latest changing tree species each year, the Tamarack, is showing peak colour intensities of yellow/gold along portions of the Highway 60 Corridor.

October 18 and 19, 2021 - Overnight temperatures dip to below freezing with frost (-2.1°C and -3.1°C respectively) as recorded by Environment Canada at Algonquin Park's East Gate.

October 22, 2021 - A dusting of snow marks the end of the fall colour season in Algonquin Park.


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.