While we cling desperately to the last weeks of summer sun, we can't help but accept that fall is fast approaching. But, cool winds and red leaves don't need to put a stop to your travel plans. In fact, if you're looking for an easy fall hike in the province that provides incredible and colourful views, then this Ontario volcanic mountain lookout is the perfect spot!
Located in the Sudbury District, the breathtaking Willisville Mountain Lookout is a destination that is worth every minute of the five-hour drive from Toronto.
Famously painted by The Group Of Seven, this volcanic rock mountain is millions of years old. It's hard to believe that just last year, the mountain almost became a mining site. Luckily, Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC) stepped in to raise funds and save the area.
In fact, EBC has saved a number of similar natural treasures, board member Ted Cowan tells Narcity.
"We specialize in the Niagara Escarpment lands and lands near it or important in its watersheds," Cowan explains.
"Willisville Mountain looks south to that part of the Niagara Escarpment on the north of Manitoulin, where EBC also has 26 nature reserves."
Access to the mountain is relatively easy, Cowan explains.
Simply follow Highway 6 until you reach Willisville Road, and you'll then see the small 150 metre long parking area. Signs in the parking lot mark the start of the trail, and a series of red dots will direct you to the lookout!
The dots have been there for over 50 years and are maintained by a local 80-year-old couple, Cowan explains.
"She had taught school in Willisville. He had worked in the quarry. They met, married, and raised family there and for the past 50 years have renewed the dots on the trail," says Cowan.
"The mountain earns that kind of caring. We in EBC will do our best to carry on their efforts."
Cowan says there are still plans to attract more visitors to the mountain, but acknowledges that there is something special about the lack of large groups.
"We want people to know and visit Willisville Mountain, but it will need a bit more parking 20 spots instead of present six and likely an outhouse (or a) toilet to handle greater numbers," Cowan explains.
"There is room for 20 maybe 40 people at the top, but it is also a place where people want to be on there own for a bit, so no need for crowds."
Willisville Mountain Lookout
Location: Sudbury, Ontario
Why you need to go: Take in breathtaking and ancient views any time of year at this historic mountain lookout. Transport yourself back billions of years at this incredible peaceful getaway.