a VirtualTourist member from Chennai (Madras) asked on Jul 11, 2016
if i had to choose one place , which one should i choose to witness the best fall foliage this year in eastern canada.....around Montreal or / new brunswick or,/ prince edward island /or cape breton in nova scotia..
My personal opinon would be Cape Breton or all of Nova Scotia. I've been there as the leaves are changing and it's stunning. These pictures were taken in October in Cape Breton.
Around Montreal - head north to the Laurentians (about 1-1/2 hours by car near Mont Tremblant); that is one of the premiere areas to visit for fall leaves near Montreal. I have not been to the other areas during leave viewing time, so can't comment on the fall colours, but PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are a bit further north so they probably have a higher evergreen component in their forests.
So far as I know, outside of the Laurentians, the premiere fall leave viewing areas also include Gatineau Park, in Quebec on the other side of the Ottawa River, from Ottawa. Algonquin Provincial Park is definitely one of the most popular places and is about 300km north of Toronto and 260 km west of Ottawa. Due to the elevation there, its fall colours peak around a week earlier than some of the other places.
The Algoma Region of Ontario (the area where Lake Huron and Lake Superior meet), north of Sault Ste Marie is considered another great place for fall colours.
What you are looking for is areas that have lots of sugar maple trees - as these are the ones that turn the brilliant red colours.
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thanks a lot ravenswing and grumpydiver...planning to visit in last week of tsep and 1st week of oct...
They are probably all equal.
The trick is being at the right place at the right time.
Ontario and Quebec have web sites that monitor the colour changes.
GOOGLE "Eastern Township Fall Colours"
Location , colours and percentage of trees that have changes colours.
In most places the colour change occurs in a three week period.
The more northerly locations change colour first.
Older trees change colour first.
You should go to an area where say 80% of the leaves have changed colour.
That leaves a window of one week for a particular area.
There is no point in going to an area where only 30% of the trees have changed colour.
You also need a sunny day especially if you are after the red colours.
It is a very tricky business.
You will need a car.
Thanks a lot for this useful info..
"I have not been to the other areas during leave viewing time, so can't comment on the fall colours, but PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are a bit further north so they probably have a higher evergreen component in their forests."
Very wrong. The Maritimes are near the water and as such have a milder climate than inland locations at the same latitude. Most of the trees in Cape Breton are deciduous and there is the same or even higher proportion of maple trees than in Gatineau park. I am from Ottawa and have hundreds of photos of Cape Breton and Gatineau park and Cape Breton seems to have more maples.
PEI is tiny and has few forests so it wouldn't compare with NS. NB has some good locations although nothing I found compares to Cape Breton.
It is also "leaf" viewing time or viewing of "leaves".
I have been to Cape Breton twice during fall color season and it is the most spectacular. In addition to the trees themselves there are ocean views and mountain valleys filled with maples. However the province of Quebec is the most convenient to visit. In addition to the Laurentians north of Montreal, there are the Eastern townships and the area around Quebec city. Jacques Cartier park is quite spectacular with the maples at peak.
The comments others made about timing are very true. In any region the peak only lasts about a week. However when that peak occurs depends on the local microclimate which is influenced by water as much as latitude. On a trip to Cape Breton I passed through Quebec city and visited Jacques Cartier park. The leaves there were just past peak on Oct 5 with yellow remaining bu the red leaves gone. When I arrived in Cape Breton on Oct 12 the leaves along the coast were mostly green. The coastal leaves didn't change until a few days later. The latitude of Cape Breton NP is the same as that of Quebec city. However in the interior of Cape Breton in the mountains the maples were at peak with plenty of red and orange. There was also a sheltered valley where the Lone Shieling trail resides where the local sugar maple forest was still green. In the same park at the same time there were huge differences between the coastal area, inland mountain areas, and a sheltered valley.
I have also seen these differences in the province of Quebec. I once visited Mont Orford park in the Eastern townships in October. The leaves were just past peak with all of the red leaves gone. Two days later I was at the St. Anne de Beaupre basilica north of Quebec city along the St. Lawrence. The leaves in the area were at peak with bright reds and oranges. Even though this area is north of Mont Orford the proximity to water gives it a milder microclimate.
As an aside the ski resort of Le Massif du Charlevoix is next to the St. Lawrence an hour northeast of Quebec city. It has milder temperatures than Tremblant several hours south. The snow at the bottom of the 2000 foot hill near sea level is often sugary as I noticed. To compensate for this they have ski lifts with mid-mountain access.