Best Time to See Fall Colours in Ottawa

Best Time to See Fall Colours in Ottawa

Best Time to See Fall Colours in Ottawa

Fall is a beautiful time to visit Ottawa, the nation’s capital. The vibrant colours of the fall leaves make for a picturesque backdrop to Ottawa’s historic and national sites. The various reds, greens, yellows and oranges we see in Autumn leaves are visible to us because of the lack of chlorophyll which usually makes for a green leaf. Chlorophyll dies when the days get shorter and less daylight causes the trees to start shutting down.

To get the best of the changing seasons from summer to fall, visiting or travelling about in September through October is the best time to see fall colours in Ottawa. For the camera lover, fall can be considered the most photogenic season in Canada.

The best way to see fall colours in Ottawa

Road trips and trail hikes are two of the greatest ways to see the changing foliage. On four wheels you have the freedom and flexibility to follow the trees and find new roads as you go. If you’re travelling by air to the nation’s capital, consider renting a car to take a road trip through some of the beautiful landscapes that surround the city. “Leafers” and “Peepers” as they are called, often choose weekdays to tour looking for the best fall foliage because weekends are busier on the roads. Be sure to bring your camera to make the most of your road trip. If you’re planning on taking pictures of the changing trees, fall foliage can be best captured when the sun is rising or setting and is low in the sky. Days which are partially overcast are also great for capturing the fall leaf colours by camera as it will help the colours really stand out.

Where to see fall colors in Ottawa

The Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink in the winter, but during Autumn it is a beautiful place to watch the leaves changes. Trees line the canal and provide walkers, joggers, bikers and even paddlers with a beautiful backdrop. Several boat rental locations will set you up with a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddle board so you can see the fall leaves while you float down the historic canal

The Arboretum in Ottawa it a very popular park for hikers, dog walkers and anyone that wants to get outdoors without travelling far out of town. Sprawling across 64-acres and providing over 4000 specimens of woody plants, the Arboretum is located just on the opposite side of the Rideau Canal and will provide a beautiful landscape to see the changing colours of the fall leaves.

The bucolic conservation area of Gatineau Park is a spectacular place to explore for fall foliage views. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa, Gatineau Park offers 361 square kilometres of space and some of the most spectacular views of the area can be seen by taking trail hikes up to the highest peaks. The Eastern Red Cedar is a particularly rare tree that is native to the Gatineau Hills and can live up to 400 years.

When to see fall colours in Ottawa

Among the first leaves to change are that of the Red Maple trees. This begins in September and the spectacular progression of colour changing continues right through October. Ontario Parks Fall Colour Report offers a comprehensive map to help you choose the best time to visit different areas across Ontario if you’re looking to see fall colours. Another helpful tool is the Ontario Fall Colours Progression Report which offers great leaf colour reporting to help you plan your most beautiful roadtrip to the nation’s capital.

Did you like our Best Time to See Fall Colours in Ottawa article? Check out our other resources here.

If you are seeking advice on buying a home, more information about Airbnb investment properties, or have more questions for us, we are happy to provide you with helpful guidance and support. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 613-590-3036.