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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall colour progression at its peak across Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 21/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The vibrant reds and oranges of maple trees are “really popping” now across Ontario as the fall burst of colour reaches its peak.
   Don’t miss the show while taking one-tank trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, fall fairs and festivals because it might not last long.
   Ontario Tourism reports the colour change has passed 50 per cent while most areas are reporting leaves falling before they hit their peak colour.
Vibrant colours dot the countryside across Ontario with the fall leaf spectacle. (Barbara Fox photo)
   “Ontario is the premier destination to enjoy the annual spectacle of summer’s lush greenery
transformed into a mosaic of magnificent rich shades of red, orange and yellow,” says the province’s Fall Colour Progression Report.
   Northern regions and centrally in Algonquin Park have a colour change from 60 per cent to 90 per cent now, with the numbers less in the south.

   Falling for fall

   Kevin Forget of the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Barrie gives his suggestions on things to see and do closer to home.
   Southwestern Ontario has about a 50-per-cent colour change with predominant colours of yellow and orange with pockets of red.
   Some of the “best viewing opportunities” are the Elora Gorge with its riverside trails and scenic overlooks that provide hikers with “stunning views.”
   Just outside London is Thorndale’s Apple Land Station that’s a “great spot for apple picking and pumpkins, and famous for their mile-high apple pies,” Forget said.
   The Elora Cataract Trailway is a 47-kilometre route linking the Credit Valley watershed to the Grand River along an old CP Rail bed.
   It runs through rolling countryside east of Elora, historic Fergus and past Belwood Lake that shows off the “beautiful changing scenery.”
Viewing the fall colours on the Trent-Severn Waterway at the Big Chute Marine Railway. (Jim Fox photo)
   Savour the flavours of the harvest at Stratford’s Pumpkin Trail that include freshly baked pies, fudge, pumpkin soup and spiced coffee through Oct. 31.
   Get lost in the Thamesville Corn Maze, ride the cow train, meet the animals and marvel at the corn cannon.
   In Windsor, Essex and district, navigate the scenic shorelines along the St. Clair River and Lake Huron by motorcycle, Forget suggests.
   “Hop on a bike to pedal the peninsula from Windsor’s stunning riverfront to the province’s most southern national park – Leamington’s Point Pelee.”
   Reapers Realm hosts a haunted forest ride and has the Vault of Terror, coffin rides and Reapers Putt Putt for “a lot of terrifying fun for the whole family, if you dare.”
   Down Niagara way, the colour change is creeping past 35 per cent with lots of yellows, greens and pockets of red and orange.
   Touring tips include Brock’s Monument at Queenston Heights and along the Niagara River Parkway from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Royal Mail Ship Segwun plying the blue-black Lake Muskoka waters in the fall.
   Cycle the parkway bike path by bicycle or one built for two from Zoom or join the company on a guided winery or craft brewery tour.
   “From haunted barns to wagon rides and a bucking cow ride, there’s lots of fun to be had at
Howells Pumpkin Farm.”
   With colours more than half done in York, Durham, Hills of Headwaters and Hockley Valley, a great viewing spot is the McMichael gallery in Kleinburg.
   Surrounded by forested landscape, paths and hiking trails, its 6,000-piece Canadian art collection includes works by Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven, First Nations, Metis and Inuit artists.
   Toronto and area is passing the 50-per-cent hump with still time for a guided family nature hike in High Park.
   They’re led by nature interpreters who show the natural wonders including savannahs, woodlands and wetlands.
   Go to the top of the CN Tower for a bird’s eye view of the city’s colours with two new floor-to-ceiling window walls for spectacular views.
   To learn the latest about the colour progression and trip tips, go to www.ontariotravel.net


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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