Chasing Fall Colours Through The Seven: Northeastern Ontario Awaits

Take the scenic route on this 7-day road trip to discover a truly Northern experience.

Discover Northeastern Ontario’s remarkable colourful foliage, while indulging in art, northern cuisine and unforgettable sights. Try something new, learn from the locals and capture all the amazing moments this trip has to offer. See if you can do it all, and if not find the perfect starting point for you and go from there. 

Day One: Highway 11 North to North Bay, Ontario 

Along for the Ride

As you head north, toward the peace and quiet, you’ll notice the boreal forest begin to surround you. A pool of fall colours at their peak. Make your first stop in Rutherglen, Ontario to visit Von Doeler Ranch. This family-owned, fourth-generation ranch is well-known and holds years of history and memories. Join them for a horseback ride through their many breathtaking trails with variations of length. You can enjoy rides through Big Rock, Talon Lake and Talon Chutes. The ranch also offers comfortable cabins for the perfect overnight stay. 

Make Your Way to North Bay

North Bay is nicknamed the “Gateway of the North” as historically the lakes and rivers that surround the city were major trade and travel routes into Northern Canada. Embark on the Chief Commanda and take the Nipissing North Shore Scenic Cruise. This two-hour ride allows you a unique view of all that surrounds Lake Nipissing. The fall colours are truly remarkable. The calming surroundings, open-air BBQ, and bar will make this cruise feel just like the vacation you’ve been searching for.  

If you’re still hungry afterwards or looking for the perfect sit-down restaurant, visit Cecil’s Brewhouse and Kitchen just a couple blocks away on Main St. Their on-site brewed beer and perfectly curated menu is sure to meet everyone’s cravings. 

Spend the night at North Bay’s Hampton Inn by Hilton conveniently located just off the highway. Get a great night’s sleep and hit the road in the morning. 

Day Two: Temagami, Ontario to Temiskaming Shores, Ontario

As you continue North to Temiskaming Shores, be sure to stop in Temagami, Ontario. As you arrive, you’ll find yourself completely surrounded in a forest of colour. This is the perfect time of year to watch the green trees turn varying shades of reds, yellows, and oranges.

Hit the Trails

Hike Caribou Mountain for a full panoramic view of the amazing forest and lakes that make Northeastern Ontario so memorable. At the top of Caribou Mountain you’ll find the 100-foot Temagami Fire Tower, the town's most famous landmark with a history dating back to 1910. Climb to the top of the tower (or rather, take the winding, what feels like a never-ending staircase) for the true view. 

Surrounding this mountain is White Bear Forest, conservation lands of approximately 800 hectares. This old-growth forest is filled with white and red pine trees that tower above lower levels of the forest; some trunks are up to 60 inches in diameter! These trees are roughly 260-270 years old but have been found up to 400 years old. Throughout this hike, you’ll be able to enjoy everything nature has to offer. When you’re ready to head back to civilization, finish your day with a short drive up to the beautiful Temiskaming Shores. Grab a bite to eat right on the waters of Lake Temiskaming at 28 On The Lake. Try their Neapolitan pizza, signature pastas, handcrafted cocktails, and finish it off with a Nespresso coffee. Call it an early night and enjoy your stay at the Waterfront Inn just steps away.

Day Three: Temiskaming Shores, Ontario 

Wake up to the sound of waves and birds chirping on the shores of Lake Temiskaming. Start the day with continental breakfast and then enjoy a guided tour of the historic town of Cobalt, where they say you can “come for a day and discover a century.” Cobalt was named Ontario’s most historic town and is rich with culture. Before heading out, make sure you stop for some delicious homemade Belgian chocolates at Les Chocolats Martine

Day Four: Temiskaming to Timmins, Ontario 

Also known as ‘The City with the Heart of Gold,” Timmins, Ontario makes a great stopping point along this road trip. Head back out on the waters for a calming canoe trip with WildExodus Wilderness Tours. Paddle the waters of Kenogamissi Lake and take in all the fall foliage while travelling through Canada’s Boreal Forest. 

Get Close with Wildlife

The crisp fall air makes it the perfect time to add a few layers and enjoy the open wagon ride through Cedar Meadows 100-acre wildlife tour. You’ll want fully charged phones and cameras so you’re sure to capture all the beautiful scenery and friendly animals. Rain or shine throughout the ride you’ll come close to bison, elk and fallow deer. Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa also offers hotel guests spa packages and dining, be sure to enjoy some delicious Canadian cuisine. A perfect way to end a perfect day. 

Day Five: Timmins to Sudbury, Ontario

The Big Nickel

Don’t take this route for granted—endless hectares of colourful boreal forest rising up from each side of the road makes for a breathtaking drive. As you head into Sudbury, you’ll feel the energy of the city and realize its unique characteristics make it a perfect place to visit during the fall. The dozens of downtown murals (including the world’s largest outdoor mural) will have you looking for more, the waterfalls and colourful trees that surround the city are easily accessible via its many hiking and biking trails, and their many breweries will have you sampling and ending the day with a cold one. 

Wander the streets of downtown, and take in the murals that add so much character.  This street art is part of the Up Here Music & Art Festival, and if you’re looking for more, visit the Art Gallery of Sudbury. They have visual art from regional, provincial and Canadian artists that will give you a better appreciation of Canadian talent. 

Time to do some tasting! Visit Stack Brewing, Sudbury’s award-winning craft brewery. You can’t leave before trying at least one of their locally brewed beers. They represent everything that makes Northern Ontario so unique. Try their beer-based foods along with their impressive list of beers and I promise you will not be disappointed. For more Sudbury inspiration, check out our insider's guide to the city

Day Six: Sudbury, Ontario

A Day to Try Something New

The trees are changing and what better way to connect with nature than a Forest Therapy walk. If you’ve never heard of this, or are sceptical, that's okay. Today is for trying something new. Join Graceful Roots for their Fall Leaves Guided Forest Therapy Walk and learn a new appreciation for nature. You’ll move slowly through the changing leaves of Lake Laurentian Conservation Area and reap the benefits the crisp air and calming environment have to offer. Reducing stress, inducing feelings of curiosity and fostering healthy relationships with nature are just some of the many benefits this walk can provide. 

This afternoon take in the colours and scenic views from a new perspective. Let True North Airways take you above the trees for an incredible view of the autumn leaves, lakes and wildlife. True North Airways has been providing scenic tours in Northern Ontario for over 50 years. Your overnight stay at one of their camps will be cozy and quaint. If you’re looking to fill your evening with something new, they offer fishing opportunities, canoeing and kayaking excursions and even wildlife watching. 

Day Seven: Sudbury, Ontario to home

The End Already?

Your trip will end here, but before you head home stop to stretch your legs at Bell Park. The city’s largest urban waterfront park will be your last view of Northern Ontario’s breathtaking fall colours. Snap a few final pictures to end the trip, grab a coffee and snack from Beard’s Coffee Bar & Bakery, and safe travels home.

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About Northeastern Ontario Tourism

Whether planning a fun-filled family road trip, a quick weekend expedition, or a romantic getaway, Northeastern Ontario is undeniably BIG and unbelievably close.

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