Photo credit: @diaryofvan
Feast your eyes in Lanark County, where each fall, sugar maple forests explode in shades of brilliant yellow, fiery reds and rusty oranges. Here, spectacular views and colourful displays lie literally around every twist in the tree-lined road, and each year people come from all over to enjoy the beauty of autumn.
The secret behind these spectacular and colourful displays comes from Lanark County’s role as the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario, and the abundance of sugar maples that provide the sap that’s turned into delicious maple syrup each spring. In Lanark County, our maple heritage is celebrated all year long.
Come to Lanark County to explore the fall colours in these top seven locations and you can indulge yourself with some of the most dramatic displays of fall colours in the world. Don’t forget your camera!
1. Mill of Kintail (Mississippi Mills)
Take a stroll through the winding paths at the Mill of Kintail and bask in the stunning fall colours on display. The Mill of Kintail is the perfect spot for a picnic in the park, hike, or relaxed walk; bring a picnic basket and relax on the grassy lawns around the park, or head deeper into the bush for an up-close experience with the falling autumn leaves. The Mill is a five-minute drive from the town of Almonte, and offers more than four-kilometres of trails.
While You Are Here: Visit the town of Almonte and stop by North Market for a warm drink to enjoy during your visit to the Mill of Kintail or to warm up afterwards.
2. Riverside Park (Carleton Place)
Located in the heart of Carleton Place, Riverside Park is peppered with mature trees that turn the park into a multi-coloured landscape each fall. Take a stroll along Riverside Trail that runs along the waterfront and view the fall display in all its glory, and reflected in the water of the Mississippi River. Discover the Carleton Place Canoe Club, enjoy the beach and park, or have a picnic during your visit.
While you are here: Plan to stop for a bite to eat in Carleton Place, and you can even combine experiences and take a picnic lunch from The Good Food Co. to enjoy at Riverside Park.
3. Blueberry Mountain (Lanark Highlands)
There are few places more beautiful in the fall than Lanark Highlands, and one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County is Blueberry Mountain. Hike to the top of the mountain and get a bird’s-eye view of the vibrant fall colours. The drive to Blueberry Mountain is known for the tree-lined roads that wind and twist their way over hills and past wetlands, creeks, and rivers, making it an absolute pleasure to be during the autumn.
While you are here: Order some cider online from Ugly Apple Cider and Wines and pick it up on your way home from the mountain! You will deserve a nice refreshing treat after your climb.
4. Temple’s Sugarbush (Lanark Highlands)
Enjoy a walk amongst nature, and the beautiful multi-coloured maple trees at Temple’s Sugarbush, a unique maple sugar bush a short drive west of Ottawa between Carleton Place and Perth. The sugarbush covers 70 acres of mature forest that includes a wide variety of trees like ash, elm, basswood, hickory, birch, butternut, cherry. This means you will be treated to a variety of colours and textures during your stroll.
While you are here: Order online to pick up some fresh maple syrup, or some melt-in-your-mouth maple taffy while you are visiting the sugarbush.
5. Stewart Park (Perth)
If you’re looking for another fantastic picnic spot, complete with trails, mature trees and the sound of rushing water, look no further than historic Perth’s picturesque Stewart Park. Located behind town hall, Stewart Park is one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County, and is home to a number of mature trees that shed their brilliant leaves each fall, carpeting the grass with a bright layer of rustling leaves.
While you are here: Visit Gather, a beautifully simple restaurant, who sources all their products locally, creating modern, wholesome comfort food.
6. Wheeler’s Maple Products (Lanark Highlands)
Travel to Wheeler’s Maple Products to learn how pure maple syrup is made from some true maple syrup experts! If you are interested in maple syrup, you will need to make sure to stop by the Wheelers Maple Heritage Museum, which currently holds the Guinness World Record for “Largest Collection of Maple Syrup Artifacts”. After spending some time with history, head to their hiking trails to see the maple trees in their autumn glory, ablaze in yellow, red and orange.
While you are here: Pick up some of their famous pure maple syrup, maple butter or maple sugar candy, or if you’re feeling peckish stop for a plate of their famous pancakes.
7. Centennial Park (Smiths Falls)
Smiths Falls’ iconic water tower is the perfect backdrop for the towering trees in Centennial Park. This is a good time to park the car and get out to see the colours up close. Wander along the leaf-lined paths bordering the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal, beneath the trees that dominate the setting. Park benches are strategically positioned to look out over the canal and invite visitors to sit and bask in the beauty of the season.
While you are here: Grab a seat with a view at Lockmaster’s Taphouse, and enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking the falls.
Fall is a busy time in Lanark County, with so much to see and do in our outdoor paradise. Come and spend the day, a weekend, or longer, and discover all there is on offer. Hike, cycle, walk, drive, shop, dine, and enjoy!