See Ontario’s fall colour by air or rail
Autumn is Ontario’s most dramatic season, with Mother Nature giving us an awe-inspiring performance of breathtaking colour.
Unfortunately, it’s also our shortest season. So don’t miss out! Get yourself front row seats to the amazing fall foliage on one of these eight aerial or rail tours before the curtain drops on this year’s natural show.
Open-air gondola at Blue Mountain
A spectrum of spectacular emeralds, golds and scarlet blanket the Niagara Escarpment in fall and the open-air gondola at Blue Mountain Resort provides the perfect 360-degree view of this natural wonder.
Details: Get unlimited, single-day access to the open-air gondola with an Explore All Day Pass (available online), which also provides access to Blue Mountain’s network of hiking and cross-country trails. Prices range between $5 for kids to $40 for adults. Guests can also use Play All Day or Season Passes.
The gondolas run until mid-October, Sunday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition to overnight visitors, there are four parking lots open to day guests, as well as a direct messaging service for parking availability.
Location: 150 Jozo Weider Boulevard, Unit AS8, The Blue Mountains
Fly over Muskoka with Georgian Bay Airways
Set out on a sightseeing tour of a lifetime with Georgian Bay Airways. Soar above Muskoka’s scenic lakes, islands, villages and resorts all bathed in rich fall colour on their Fall Colours Tour. Alternative tours include flying over the 30,000 Islands, fly and dine excursions or a romantic sunset Champaign trip. Private and charter adventures are also available.
Details: Sightseeing tours are based on a minimum of two people, departing from Parry Sound Harbour, book at least 48 hours in advance online or call 1-800-786-1704.
Fall Colours Tours are offered until mid-October, 45 minutes in length and cost $220 per adult. Free four-hour and all-day parking is available in downtown Parry Sound.
Location: 11a Bay Street, Harbour Dock, Parry Sound
Sunrise and sunset hot air balloon rides with Sundance Balloons
Sundance Balloons operates in several Ontario locations with seasonal sunrise and sunset sightseeing excursions over cities and countryside landscapes.
Details: One-hour flights are offered between May and October and are based on weather conditions. Prices range from $215 to $350 based on number of vouchers and time of flight.
Locations: St. Jacobs, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Ottawa.
Ride the York-Durham Heritage Railway
All aboard a historic rail coach that chugs from Uxbridge to Stouffville across the picturesque Oak Ridges Moraine. The fleet includes converted passenger coaches, a caboose, box cars and even a kiddie trail. Themed rides feature fun events like murder mysteries or tea parties, and in fall, the Fall Colours Lunch Feast, Fall High Tea and the Pumpkin Patch Family Fest in the 1950s heated heritage rail car.
Details: Weekday and weekend rides are available. Prices and length of trip vary depending on the day and event. Vegetarian meals are available, and cars are wheelchair accessible.
Location: The train travels between Uxbridge Train Station, 19 Railway Street, Uxbridge and Stouffville Go Station, 6176 Main Street, Stouffville
Great Lakes Helicopter sightseeing tours
This fall, combine three of Ontario’s most beloved things in this epic afternoon adventure: autumn colour, scenic lake view and amazing craft beer on a fly & dine tour.
Embark on a roundtrip helicopter flight from Grand Bend along the picturesque Lake Huron West coastline, over the fields and foliage of Huron County with stops at award-winning local craft breweries, such as Cowbell Brewing Co. in Blyth.
Details: Call 1-877-648-3732 or 519-650-4542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book, cost and trip duration vary per tour. Cowbell Brewing Co. Tour is $349 per person, minimum two passengers, approximate flight time is 45 minutes, full tour is 2.5 hours.
Location: Headquartered at 4685 Fountain Street North, Cambridge, Fly & Dine tours departs from Grand Bend Airport, with additional tours available out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
Fall colour excursions with South Simcoe Railway
Climb into a restored 1920s rail coach in Tottenham and ride the rails along the century-old line that once connected Hamilton with Barrie and Collingwood. Today, the train travels through Beeton Creek Valley on an hour-long roundtrip. The popular tour includes the Conductor’s commentary on the story of the line, the train and rail history in Ontario.
Details: Fall Colour Excursion run October 1-23, 2022, departing each day at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., advance reservation is required and tickets for fall are on sale September 6. Tickets cost between $9-$15 per person and can be purchased online or by telephone at 905-936-5815 using MasterCard or Visa. Get your tickets early as these sell out fast!
Location: South Simcoe Railway Station, Mill Street West, Tottenham
Scenic chairlift rides at Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride
The panoramic view of Eagle Lake, Moose Lake and the dazzling fall colours of Haliburton Highlands under wide open skies from the viewing area at the top of Sir Sam’s ski hill is incredible. What makes it even more enjoyable is the seven-minute scenic chairlift ride and down the hill.
Details: Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride is running their chairlifts on weekends throughout the fall season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on site and cost $7 per person, $20 for a family or get the lift access with a $10 hiking pass.
Location: 1054 Liswood Road, Eagle Lake
1000 Islands Helicopter Tour
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the 1000 Islands region from a first-class seat in the air. 1000 Islands Helicopter Tours and Kouri’s Kopters offer planned tours, special packages or customizable charters. Book ‘The Works Tour’ to see it all – the historical sites of Kingston, sunken ships, and landmark castles.
Details: Summer and fall hours of operation May to November, daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Book online, prices vary based on tour or package. The Works Tour last a full hour and costs $475 each, requires a minimum of two passengers and includes a video and t-shirt.
Location: 88 County Road 32, Leeds & Thousand Islands, Gananoque
Explore Algoma on the Agawa Canyon Tour Train
This 182-kilometre, ten hour rail excursion takes you deep into the Canadian Shield and offers views of pristine northern lakes, granite rock formations, dense forest, stunning fall foliage and potential wildlife sightings. Passengers are treated to an onboard audio guide that identifies points of interest and recounts the region’s rich history with stories of the Ojibwe, fur traders, explorers, entrepreneurs and the famed Group of Seven painters.
Details: Train tickets are available for purchase online for the 2022 season which runs August 1 through to October 10. Cost is between $67.50 for kids to $135 for adults. These sell out fast. Free parking is available at the station depot in Sault Ste. Marie. Email email@example.com for accessibility details.
Location: Train Station Depot, 99 Huron Street, Sault Ste. Marie
Hot air ballooning with Skyward Balloons
Hot air ballooning is next-level exhilarating! Set out on an early morning or evening excursion where you’ll float above the fields, trees and countryside with a bird’s eye view of all the vibrant fall colours.
Details: Flights last approximately one hour, however the full experience last four hours, private two person sweetheart autumn flights start at $1,150 and include a complimentary sparkling beverage and a personalized flight certificate. Call toll free 1-888-314-4666 or 519-651-1833 to book.
Location: Based in Kitchener-Waterloo, meeting times and launch sites vary across Southwestern Ontario throughout the season.
Last updated: January 14, 2023