Sign in
Cottage Country Ontario Is A Magical Escape For So Many Reasons This Fall

When it comes to experiencing the true magic of fall, cottage country Ontario is the place to do it. In 2019, the fall colours in Ontario are expected to peak around October 12, making this October the perfect time to get out of Toronto and into the countryside. Whether you choose Muskoka, Kawartha Lakes, or Haliburton, there's some serious fall fun waiting for you just a road trip away!

Bala Cranberry Festival & Plunge

Price: $10 admission, $15 cranberry plunge

When: Friday, October 18-20

Address: 3060 Muskoka District Rd. 169, Bala

Why You Need To Go: You can enjoy all things cranberry, from wine to crêpes and so much more. The festival will also have live entertainment, rides, good eats, Elvis tributes, and numerous other activities for the whole family to enjoy. While you're there, you can head over to Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery to witness the cranberry harvest and plunge right into a field of cranberries yourself.

Lions Lookout 

Price: Free

When: Year-round

Address: Lookout Road, Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: You haven't seen Huntsville until you've looked down at it from Lions Lookout. The overview of the city surrounded by beautiful fall foliage is a sight that will take your breath away. Mid-October may be the best time of year to visit, as the maple leaves are expected to be in full fall form by then.

Lake of Bays Brewing Co.

Price: Prices vary

When: Tours every Saturday by appointment from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Address: 59 Main St. E., Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: October means fall is here, and that means it's time for everything pumpkin. Yes, even the beer. You can take a brewery tour with your besties and then sample some delicious pumpkin ale. The pumpkin beer is only available during the fall season, so try it while you can.

Haunted Halloween Weekend

Price: Free

When: Friday, October 25-26

Address: Algonquin Provincial Park

Why You Need To Go: You can go trick-or-treating from campsite to campsite, enjoy pumpkin carving, costume contests, creepy campfires, and more! A park naturalist will be available to showcase spooky animal skeletons at the visitors' centre. You can even roast ghost marshmallows and spider wieners.

Muskoka Heritage Place

Price: $6.15 for a train run

When: Varied hours until October 7

Address: 88 Brunel Rd., Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: The Heritage place offers plenty of unique activities, including The Train and Steam Museum. The building is a recreation of a 1920s train station. After you've explored the museum, you can hop aboard the old steam train for a scenic ride through the fall foliage.

Muskoka Steamship Cruise 

Price: Starting at $33.50

When: Varied departure times

Address: 185 Cherokee Ln., Gravenhurst

Why You Need To Go: You can take to the water to witness beautiful Muskoka fall foliage in a whole new way. You'll sail through narrows and past an adorable lighthouse. Snacks are available for purchase onboard as well. With one, two, two-and-a-half, and three-and-a-half-hour cruises available, there is one that fits everyone's schedule. There are a number of themed cruises to choose from as well.

Huntsville Treetop Trek

Price: $59.99

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until October 13

Address: 1180 Highway 60, Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: You can walk among the golden treetops through a series of ariel rope courses and ziplines. This is the perfect way to see the changing fall colours while simultaneously giving yourself an adrenaline rush.

Santas Village Spooktacular 

Price: $24.95

When: Saturday, October 19-20 and 26-27

Address: 1624 Golden Beach Rd., Bracebridge

Why You Need To Go: This Christmas theme park transforms into a spooky wonderland in October. You can enjoy haunted houses, spooky characters, a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, and so much more. You're encouraged to dress up in your own spooktacular costumes as well.

Muskoka Drive-In Theatre 

Price: $10

When: Until October 11

Address: 1001 Theatre Rd. Hwy 11, Gravenhurst

Why You Need To Go: Fall is the perfect time to cuddle up with a blanket and a good movie. You can take in two movies under the stars for only $10. Ample parking is available and they even have 50 cent popcorn refills. The theatre will try to remain open until Halloween, based on attendance.

Gravenhurst Farmers Market

Price: Prices vary

When: Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. until October 30

Address: 861 Bay St., Gravenhurst

Why You Need To Go: You can browse a variety of local craft and food vendors, including the popular Pretzel People for a delicious fresh-baked treat! There's always plenty of tasty samples to enjoy as well.

Dorset Lookout Tower

Price: Starting at $5

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in October

Address: 1191 Dorset Scenic Tower Rd., Dwight

Why You Need To Go: Standing 465 feet tall, this tower offers a stunning 360-degree view of Lake of Bays below. If heights aren't for you, the views from the bottom of the tower are nothing short of breathtaking as well. There are washrooms, picnic areas, a gift shop, and hiking trails nearby as well. Due to the tower's increased popularity in the fall, you can expect long wait times on the weekends. Weekdays are the best time to visit if you can. On certain days in October, the tower will close at 4:30, so check their website for updates.

Sandhill Nursery Fall Festival

Price: Free admission

When: Saturday, September 21 until Monday, October 14

Address: 1686 Muskoka Rd. 3 W., Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: The fall festival is the perfect time to find all of your seasonal plants and decor, from corn stalks to pumpkins, straw bales, squash, and annual planters. On the weekends, you can also enjoy a giant maze, pumpkin slingshots, barbeques, and more.

View The Lakes Muskoka Chair Tour

Price: Free

Address: Various locations

Why You Need To Go: You can go on a super fun mission to find all 10 of these hidden Muskoka chairs. The hunt will take you to some of the most scenic points in all of Muskoka. This is such a fun, interactive, and unique way to take in the fall beauty and grab a cute chair picture for the 'gram. You can find a helpful chair map on the Muskoka Lakes website.

Bracebridge Waterfalls

Price: Free

Address: Bracebridge

Why You Need To Go: If you love to go chasing waterfalls, then Bracebridge is the place to be this fall. With three main waterfalls all located close to downtown, there's so much beauty for you to soak in. Whether you visit Bracebridge Falls, High Falls, or Wilson's Falls (or all three), you can enjoy the peaceful sound of flowing water while you're surrounded by beautiful red and yellow leaves.

Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour

Price: Free

When: Tuesday, October 5-6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address: Various locations

Why You Need To Go: If you love art, then this look inside Muskoka's art studios will speak to your soul this October. You can see beautiful works of art and witness many local artists at work, getting an inside look at not just their product, but their process as well. Who knows? Maybe you'll even find something new to take home.

Honey Bee Festival

Price: Event prices vary

When: Saturday, October 5

Address: Various locations in Georgian Bay

Why You Need To Go: This festival is definitely buzz-worthy. You can participate in the 5k run, browse the market for delicious honey treats, check out the local bee-themed artwork, or enjoy a honey-themed three-course dinner at the Mayor's Gala. Proceeds from all of Saturday's events go towards saving the bees and other pollinators.

Georgian Bay Island National Park

Price: $5.80 admission

When: Until October 14

Address: 2611 Honey Harbour Rd., Honey Harbour

Why You Need To Go: You can catch the Day Tripper boat out to this stunning island park. Hike the trails and take in the incredible views for a day. Alternatively, you can rent a cute little cabin and stay the night. While the park services close after October 14, the actual park stays open year-round.

Buckhorn Berry Farm Pumpkinfest

Price: $9

When: October weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address: 3055 Berrie Rd., Lakefield

Why You Need To Go: You can never enjoy enough pumpkin in October. At the farm, you can enjoy pumpkin cannons, corn mazes, a haunted forest, wagon rides, food trucks, pumpkin patches, and more. At the end of the day, you can come home with your very own pumpkin and other goodies from the farm store.

Norwood Fall Fair

Price: $10 admission

When: Saturday, October 12-14

Address: 48 Alma St., Norwood

Why You Need To Go: This long-running fall fair provides fun for the whole family, with midway rides to cotton candy, farm animals, vendors, and more. This year's fair theme is scarecrows and fence rows.

Self-Guided Butter Tart Tour

Price: Prices vary

Address: Various locations

Why You Need To Go: You can download a butter tart map that will guide you to all of the sweetest tarts in Kawartha. You can sample, compare, and satisfy your sweet tooth. The self-guided tour also gives you a chance to see beautiful parts of Kawartha Lakes in October.

Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre

Price: $15 per adult

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Thanksgiving

Address: 1305 Redkenn Road, Haliburton

Why You Need To Go: Whether you're a lone wolf, or travelling with a pack, you can stop and watch this beautiful pack of Haliburton wolves. The centre gives you an opportunity to learn more about these animals, and you might even hear them howl (not just at the moon). You will also have access to a wild woods walk and a chance to meet some pigs as well.

Haliburton Sculpture Forest

Price: By donation

When: Daily from dawn to dusk

Address: 297 College Dr., Haliburton

Why You Need To Go: A stroll through the forest in October is always a beautiful sight in cottage country. This particular forest is made a little more fun and interesting with these beautiful and quirky sculptures. From giant high-heeled shoes to bears and even little forts you can sit in, there is something interesting to see around every corner.

Barn & Bunkie Halloween Cookie Decorating 

Price: $45

When: Sunday, October 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Address: 7 May St., Fenelon Falls

Why You Need To Go: You can decorate some spooky, on-theme cookies that look like they came straight out of a Pinterest post. The best part? You can take your sweet treats home to enjoy! And with your new cookie decorating skills, you can even make more for this Halloween. You can also enjoy some fall shopping at Barn and Bunkie.

Haunted Saloon @ Kawartha Settlers' Village

Price: Cash donation

When: Saturday, October 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Address: 85 Dunn St., Bobcaygeon

Why You Need To Go: You can make your way through the haunted saloon inside of this wild-west ghost town. Bobbing for apples, scary fireside stories, trick-or-treating, and more will also be available on site. There is a kids' haunted house available as well. Costumes are encouraged!

Arrowhead Provincial Park

Price: $17.50 to $46.33

When: Until October 15

Address: 451 Arrowhead Park Rd., Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: You can enjoy various hiking trails, a waterfall, and some seriously breathtaking lookout points. If cozy fall camping is something you enjoy, Arrowhead is a beautiful place to pitch your tent. Tents and trailers are allowed until October 15, but you can rent an on-site cottage all year-round.

Kawartha Farmfest Self-Driving Tour

Price: $5 per person

When: Saturday, October 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Address: Various locations

Why You Need To Go: If you've ever wanted an inside look at how farms work, now's your chance. You can follow this self-guided tour to various farms in the Kawarthas. This gives you the chance to take in fall scenery while meeting adorable farm animals and the farmers who house them. You can collect stamps from each location for a chance to win various prizes as well.

Back Of Beyond Equine Centre

Price: $110 for two people

When: Monday to Saturday

Address: 2572 Muskoka Rd #10, Huntsville

Why You Need To Go: Nothing says romance like a horse-drawn wagon ride. You and your S/O or BFF can cozy up with blankets and enjoy the fall colours and the click-clack of horse feet as you travel through forests and rolling hills. Most of the horses at Back of Beyond are rescues or former show horses. You'll have a chance to meet and brush them, as well.

Fall Picnic @ Burleigh Falls

Price: Free

Address: Highway 28, Burleigh Falls

Why You Need To Go: Burleigh Falls is beautiful any time of year, and the surrounding area is perfect for a small fall picnic set up. Be sure to bring lots of cozy picnic blankets and some tasty seasonal treats, then just sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Warsaw Caves Conservation Area

Price: Starting at $7

When: Until October 14

Address: 289 Caves Rd., Warsaw

Why You Need To Go: While it's no secret that there's plenty of fall beauty to see above ground, you can explore these underground caves for an entirely different fall experience. Of course, there's plenty to enjoy in the conservation area once you resurface. Camping, hiking, canoe rentals, beaches, and more.

Kawartha Country Wines

Price: Prices vary

When: Daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Address: 2452 County Rd. 36, Buckhorn

Why You Need To Go: This adorable little winery is the first and only winery in Kawarthas. Here, you can enjoy so much more than delicious wines. They also offer a variety of craft ciders, jellies, preserves, and cooking oils. So grab a pal and a glass and start sipping.

Applefest @ Lang Pioneer Village

Price: $15 admission

When: Sunday, October 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Address: 104 Lang Rd., Keene

Why You Need To Go: Before pumpkin-flavoured everything took the spotlight, apples were (and still are) a staple of fall. At applefest, you can enjoy all things apple. Freshly pressed ciders, apple bread, crisp apples, and cheese curds will be available. You can make your own apple stamps, learn how to make brooms, go on wagon rides and more. So, move over pumpkins — it's apple time.

Lakefield Farmers Market

Price: Prices vary

When: Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 10

Address: Water Street, Lakefield

Why You Need To Go: Not only can you browse through the various craft and produce vendors, but there are numerous prepared food vendors as well. With everything from rotisserie chicken sandwiches to Indian food and more, the Lakefield Farmers Market is the perfect spot to enjoy a fall meal. Surrounded by beautiful parks and water, you'll get to enjoy dinner and a view.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.