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Observation deck in Halfway Lake Provincial Park. Right: Bright fall colours in Restoule Park.

Observation deck in Halfway Lake Provincial Park. Right: Bright fall colours in Restoule Park.

With the stunning leaves and cooler temperatures, the autumn season is a beautiful time for outdoor adventures in Ontario.

It also makes it a popular time for hiking and if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, then these quieter Ontario Provincial Parks are worth checking out.

Here are ten hidden spots full of hiking trails that may pass sparkling lakes, have scenic lookouts and go through mystical forests.

According to Ontario Parks, you’ll find less-crowded landscapes to explore at these places:

  • Restoule Provincial Park
  • Mikisew Provincial Park
  • Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
  • Halfway Lake Provincial Park
  • Lake Superior Provincial Park
  • Charleston Lake Provincial Park
  • Ferris Provincial Park
  • Lake St. Peter Provincial Park
  • Awenda Provincial Park
  • Earl Rowe Provincial Park

Restoule Provincial Park, for example, has oak, maple and birch trees that seem to burn bright with colour each autumn. There is a seven-kilometre trail that leads to a historic fire tower, among other hiking trails.

Ferris Provincial Park is only two hours from Toronto and you can walk over a gorge that is surrounded by trees on a towering suspension bridge. Lake St. Peter park has a scenic lake with colourful trees in the distance and three different hiking trails.

Alternatively, three of the most crowded Ontario parks to visit in the fall are Algonquin, Forks of the Credit, and Mono Cliffs. If you're planning to explore the magical autumn trails in these parks you should plan to go during off-peak times, such as weekdays.

"Algonquin is definitely our busiest park during the fall," Ontario Parks told Narcity in an email.

Regardless of the busyness of the area, Ontario Parks is continuing the Advanced Daily Vehicle permit project so visitors can guarantee that they'll get in at 33 of the parks. For all other locations, you'll have to take your chances and purchase when you arrive.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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