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 to explore the fall colours in these top five locations and you can indulge yourself with some of the most dramatic displays of fall colours in the world. Don’t forget your camera!
- 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 of Kintail is roughly a five-minute drive from the town of Almonte, and features more than four-kilometres of trails. Visit the restored studio and home of Robert Tait MacKenzie, a famous sculptor, physician, and designer, and learn more about a great Canadian.
- 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.
- French Line (Lanark Highlands)
There are few places more beautiful in the fall than Lanark Highlands. Known for its many tree-lined roads that wind and twist their way over hills and past wetlands, creeks, and rivers, Lanark Highlands is a pleasure to be during the autumn. Plan a drive down French Line Road in Lanark Highlands, off of Highway 511 and prepare to be amazed by the stunning natural beauty of this terrain in fall. A hidden gem in the rolling hills of Lanark County! Extend your trip with a hike to the top of the nearby Blueberry Mountain, one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County, and get a bird’s-eye view of the vibrant fall colours in Lanark County.
- Harper Road (Tay Valley)
Another road that’s lined with trees that produce a brilliant fall display, Harper Road in Tay Valley is a delight to drive or cycle in the fall. Harper Road runs off of Highway 7 at Glen Tay, traveling north towards Balderson, and the collection of houses locally known as “Bells Corners.” This is another hidden gem that’s worth the drive to experience the vivid beauty in fall. Take some time to explore the community of Glen Tay, a scenic area nestled by the shores of the Tay River.
- 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. Stewart Park is a popular spot for fall weddings, as brides and grooms strive to capture the beauty of the season and the magic of the moment in their wedding photos. Plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch, or pick up a bite to eat from one of the many restaurants and eateries in downtown Perth.
If you plan your visit to coincide with Thanksgiving weekend you can indulge your artistic side with two studio tours that will lead you through the rolling hills to hidden artist studios and galleries throughout Lanark County. Don’t miss the Crown & Pumpkin Studio Tour or the Perth Autumn Studio Tour, both taking place Thanksgiving weekend.
If you’re not into art, autumn is also a popular time for the quintessential countryside experience, the rural fall fair. In fall, Lanark County is host to the Maberly Fair, McDonald’s Corners Fair, Middleville Fair, Pakenham Fair, and the Perth Fair (Labour Day weekend). Of course, summertime fairs are also a big hit, don’t miss the Almonte Fair, held in July each year.
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!