When slush and ice suddenly vanish and it’s possible to be outside without fingers turning numb in five minutes, canoeists begin to crawl out of paddling hibernation. Maps are smoothed onto kitchen tables, lonely packs are released from their closet prisons and barrels are filled with food. While spring and summer canoe trips are undoubtedly fantastic, fall paddling means cold and sunny days, fewer people on the waterways, and best of all, a canvas of bold-colored leaves. Here are the top places to wonder at the beauty that is chlorophyll breaking down.
Visitors from all over the world come to Ontario in the fall to view the spectacular colors. Seeing them by canoe makes the experience even more special, especially when vising an Ontario Provincial Park. One of the best destinations is Algonquin. At 3,000 square miles, once the temperature drops this wilderness canoeing paradise bursts with maples, aspens and tamaracks in varying shades of orange, red and yellow. Discover Ontario canoe trips here.
The BC Rockies
The Rocky Mountains of British Columbia are a famous destination for skiiers, but before the many dry meters of powder descend, the fall colors surrounding alpine lakes are equally impressive. Mountains that are covered with deciduous trees that from far away they look like moss in the summer turn bright gold in the fall. A day spent whitewater canoeing on the Kootenay River or the White River with this gorgeous backdrop is well worth the trip. Explore BC canoe trips here.
Manitoba is a seriously cold place to spend winter—it is home to polar bears, after all. The fall however, is perfect in this central Canadian province. From coniferous trees like the eastern white cedar and red pine to deciduous like the Manitoba maple and black ash, the trees go off here in the months preceding winter. Explore amazing Manitoba trips like the Seal River here.
Did you know that New England has given rise to a crop of famous authors? Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen King, John Irving and Dan brown all called this collection of six states home. Throw a few books by these local authors into your barrel and paddle through landscapes saturated by stunning fall colors. The colors begin to change in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire in late September and continue in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island in late October. Discover New England canoe trips here.
The word Saskatchewan may evoke images of flat, never ending fields of wheat, but this province actually has 100,000 lakes. As well as being a great destination for an exciting canoeing adventure on the northerly Fond du Lac or Porcupine River, Saskatchewan also has vivid fall colors. The prime viewing time in Saskatchewan is October. Explore Prairie paddling adventures here.
Ah, la belle province. Quebec is full of maple trees, lending plenty of bright red to aerial views of the province in the fall. The best time to see fall colors in Quebec is the end of September to the middle of October. Gaze at the passing leaves between sets on the Dumoine River or the equally scenic Bonaventure River. Plan your next fall canoeing adventure in Quebec here.
In need of gear for that upcoming canoeing trip? Explore our Paddling Buyer’s Guide.