LIST: 5 Must-Visit Places to See Fall Colours in Almaguin
It’s the time of year when the brisk autumn breeze dances through treetops set ablaze with vivid reds, deep oranges, and bright yellows. It’s spectacular and if you’d like to avoid the crowds along Hwy. 60, then keep driving north.
Screaming Heads of Midlothian
For an ethereal journey into spooky season, the Screaming Heads of Midlothian will not disappoint. You can explore the 300-acre property all year round. Made from slabs of concrete, the 20-foot tall Screaming Heads are the most prominent displays with messages scrawled on their bases, but you can’t help but be amazed by the Midlothian Castle. The artist Peter Camani’s home, is complete with a two-headed dragon. Be on the lookout for peacocks while there!
While the “Screaming Heads” are a sight to behold on their own, the fiery foliage sets an amazing backdrop. There is no charge to take a step into Camini’s surreal Artscape but you can leave a donation at the gate.
You can find the Screaming Heads just outside of Burk’s Falls in the Township of Ryerson at 981 Midlothian Road.
Moose Mountain outside the Village of South River
For those who are interested in a fall “view-from-the-top,” the trail locally dubbed as Moose Mountain is a beautiful 2-kilometre trail loop managed by a volunteer trail maintenance group, The Forgotten Trails, based out of South River. It’s not actually a mountain but be prepared for a bit of a climb, it is worth it to be treated to a spectacular view.
To get to Moose Mountain, if you’re coming up from the south, you will turn right onto Ottawa Avenue in the Village of South River. Take Ottawa Avenue to Chemical Road for approximately 16 kilometres then turn onto Forestry Road for approximately 2.2 kilometres and you will find the trailhead. There is signage but it might be obscured.
Brook’s Falls in the Township of Perry
Don’t go chasing waterfalls – unless you’re in the Township of Perry and you stumble across Brook’s Falls because it is beautiful this time of year. I don’t know about you, but the smell of autumn leaves and a rushing river releases all the feel-good emotions. You won’t be able to help but snap the perfect selfie framed by the sunset-coloured overhang on this short but worth-it trail.
So, grab your favorite autumn beverage from a local Almaguin coffee shop and head to Emsdale for the perfect fall picnic – and picture – opportunity. The parking lot for the falls is located at 690 Deer Lake Road and there is plenty of signage to aid you on your quest.
Get lost down Kent Mills Road in Joly Township
All those who wander might not be lost but there is something to be said about finding yourself down a random backroad in the Almaguin region. One of my favorite roads to get lost on is Kent Mills Road. It’s a winding, scenic route that will eventually take you into the Algonquin Park access point in the Kearney region.
To get there: If you are travelling up Hwy. 11 South, you can get off at the Pevensey Road exit and take Pevensey all the way until you see Kent Mills Road.
Alternatively, you could find Kent Mills Road the way I found it, which was by looking for Dobb’s beach, getting lost, asking a kindly gentleman who was tending to his garden where to go, getting further lost but ultimately finding a beautiful place to explore. Whichever route you choose, you will be treated with the feeling of being completely alone in beautiful northern Ontario.
High Rock Lookout in Strong Township
High Rock Lookout is situated on 1,178 square feet of rocky outcropping looking down at beautiful Lake Bernard and is an amazing spot to check out those autumn colours. You can enjoy two marked trails across the 5 and a half acres of birch and maple trees.
To get to the lookout, located at 843 High Rock Drive, you can take Hwy. 11 to Pevensey Road, take a left onto Muskoka Road, and follow that until you get to South Lake Bernard Road. Travel that until you see the aptly-named High Rock Drive and take a left there to find the park.
Bonus: If you’re looking for an off-road adventure in the fall, Outdoor Adventures ATV offers guided ATV tours through the bush in the South River area and if you ask an Almaguin local, they will agree that there’s no better way to view the colours than from atop a trusty four-wheel drive steed.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of vibrant autumn hues!
Pictured above: Brooks Falls, Emsdale, ON