Canada and the United States are prime leaf-viewing territories and these top five destinations will have you gasping and reaching for your camera
5. Swallow Falls State Park, Maryland, USA
This remote mountainous state park in Maryland explodes with fall colour. The best place to view the display is below Muddy Creek Falls, a thundering 53-foot waterfall surrounded by a blanket of golden leaves. The 2.4km (1.5 miles) Swallow Falls Canyon Trail takes in this impressive waterfall and is accessible to walkers of all fitness levels.
How to get there: as the park is about 304km (189 miles) from Baltimore or 294km (183 miles) from Washington DC, the best way is to rent a car and drive.
For more ideas on what to see and do, check out our Things to see and do in Maryland page.
4. Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Nova Scotia, Canada
The craggy coastal park in Nova Scotia is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. The Cabot Trail, a gloriously scenic 298km (185 miles) driving route, winds through river canyons and lush forests, as well as offering spectacular coastal views. In autumn, the rolling woodlands in Cape Breton Highlands National Park burst with colour – and you might just spot a moose or bald eagle to make your visit even more memorable.
How to get there: the national park is at the northern tip of Cape Breton island and the nearest big town is Moncton (New Brunswick) which is 470km (292 miles) away. Renting a car from Moncton is the best option.
For more ideas on what to see and do, check out our Things to see and do in Nova Scotia page.
3. The Catskills, New York, USA
About 160km (100 miles) northwest of New York City lie the majestic Catskill Mountains. Hike the trails around Kaaterskill Falls for wildly photogenic views over the Hudson Valley and its technicolour forests. If you’re looking to photograph the autumn colours then you’ll find endless opportunities here. Apart from beautiful foliage, the Catskills celebrates Oktoberfest over four weekends (from end September to mid-October) with plenty of food, drink and music.
How to get there: Interstate 87 takes you from New York City to the Catskills in under three hours.
For more ideas on what to see and do, check out our Things to see and do in New York page.
2. Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada
Just three hours’ drive from downtown Toronto lies Algonquin Park, a stunning park which is almost five times the size of London and home to over 1,500 lakes, many of which were formed by the retreat of glaciers during the last ice age. You can see the beautiful foliage of sugar maples and red maples from as early as mid-September. From mid to late October, the needles of Tamarack trees turn vibrant yellow before dropping just before winter.
How to get there: Algonquin Park is around three hours’ drive from downtown Toronto via Ontario Highway 11.
For more ideas on what to see and do, check out our Things to see and do in Ontario page.
1. Duluth, Minnesota, USA
The north shore of Lake Superior combines sweeping lake views with a kaleidoscope of colours, making it one of the best leaf peeping spots. To get the best views, drive along the 40km (25 miles) Skyline Parkway where you start from Magney-Snively Park – as you move east, the trees change from sugar maple, red oak, birch and aspen to white pine, and you get a dazzling mix of reds, browns, yellows and greens. Late September to mid-October is the best time for seeing fall foliage.
How to get there: from Minneapolis, drive north on Interstate 35 to Duluth, which is about 250km (155 miles) north.
For more ideas on what to see and do, check out our Things to see and do in Minnesota page.
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This article was last updated on 09/10/2018