Fall Colours & Scenery
It's the air, people say, it feels crisper and has a special woodsy scent. You may even get a drift of woodsmoke here and there. The trees are glorious, parading their best and brightest colours for our admiration. We're known world-wide for our spectacular autumn scenery and now it's that time of year when it all comes together. It's only here a few weeks, usually right around Thanksgiving, then one morning you look out and winter is pushing its nose in the door.
The City of Kawartha Lakes has suggested some excellent routes for day trips in our area.
Bobcaygeon is blessed with some of autumn's finest, both in the village and within an easy drive, ride or paddle. Some scenery is not as well-known as others, so we asked residents to recommend their favourite views.
Wondering how the leaves are progressing this year?
Every year is different just to keep us guessing. Here's the latest based on your destination.
Bobcaygeon to Buckhorn
“The drive between Bobcaygeon and Buckhorn is one of the loveliest around in the fall,” says Joyce Martin Jackson. Head north on CR #36, and let the colours unfold. Along the way, you might visit Kawartha Country Wines. Just past Buckhorn is McLeans Berry Farm where the Pumpkin Festival is in full swing weekends in October starting Thanksgiving, from 11am – 5pm.
Catherine Pentiricci recommends “Lock 32, Gamiing Nature Centre, Wilderness Park, and my backyard!” Thanks for reminding Bobcaygeoners how lucky we are to live in this area, Catherine.
Lock 32 is right in the heart of town and there's no shortage of foliage with pretty water backdrops. The Locks are open until October 9th this year so there's a good chance you'll enjoy watching boats on their way up or down the Trent Severn Waterway too.
There's green space on either side of the swing bridge where you can relax on a bench and enjoy the view. Shopping and restaurants are in the blocks leading to the swing bridge from both directions, and, every fall, Bobcaygeon sports its colourful autumn gardens and decor thanks to the volunteers from Bobcaygeon Horticultural Society and Impact 32. You'll find a good variety of pleasant accommodations if you decide to use the village as a base for your fall drives.
On Pigeon Lake Road CR #17, just 10 minutes south of town, you'll find forests and fascinating trails to ramble through and lots to learn and enjoy at this natural habitat.
No need to go far, it's only a few minutes from town. Take CR #36 north then take the first right turn onto Wilderness Park Road. This 8-acre lot of mature forest was made possible through generous donations from supporters, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the City of Kawartha Lakes, as well as a significant amount of assistance from individuals and organizations. Hard-working volunteers cleared the lot of debris and Wilderness Park was officially opened in the spring of 2014.
The park is open to hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, and nature interpretation, with trails that are built to best-practice standards and accessible to all, including those who are physically challenged.
Kathleen Seymour-Fagan loves the view from the patio at Eganridge , and Richard Kyle also recommends “Dinner on the Eganridge Resort, Country Club & Spa patio ... on a Friday night because they have live music on Fridays.” Just take CR #8 west toward Fenelon Falls, it's only 5 minutes out of town.
“The drive between CR #8 and Sturgeon Point (along CR #30 and CR #25)” is recommended by Carly Poole. While you're on your way there, take a dipsy doodle along the half-dozen concession roads heading north between Bobcaygeon and Fenelon. Farms and trees and pretty country views.
Carly's last recommendation is “the lovely view down Macy Lane off of CR #17”. Not too far from the village, and worth the drive. Just head south on Hwy #36, then turn left onto CR #17 (Pigeon Lake Road) and Macy Lane is the second road on the left.
Panorama Park, Minden
Feeling like a little longer drive? Wendy Hall recommends “Minden for colour! Go up CR #649 to Minden, you should see colour starting now!” A spectacular view point called Panorama Park is an elevated park overlooking the village of Minden and offering a beautiful setting for picnics and stunning fall colour viewing.
Skyline Park, Haliburton
Dorothy Black also likes Minden Lookout and, in addition, recommends Haliburton's Skyline Park, about an hour's drive from Bobcaygeon. It's a pretty trip all the way there any time of year and amazing in the fall. Skyline Park is a lookout point that gives you a long-range view overlooking Haliburton, complete with lakes and thousands of trees all at their show-off best. From Bobcaygeon, drive east on Hwy #36, north on CR #507, west on CR #503, north on CR #3, west on CR #118 to Skyline Park Road on the left. The lookout is at the end of Skyline Park Road.
How about a paddle or a boat ride? Boyd Island, the largest undeveloped island in the Kawarthas, is arguably at its best this time of year with its large display of deciduous trees. You can paddle past and admire, or land and explore the natural beauty along the trails. Boyd is a land trust now, and is open for all to respectfully enjoy.
From The Big Smoke
For a longer day trip from Toronto, take Hwy #11 north to Hwy #12 (Orillia). Follow the signs toward Casino Rama and turn left at the Rama Road and follow the Rama Road to the stop lights at CR #45 (Monck Road), Turn right and drive east to Norland. Watch for the Quaker Oaks Farm, winners for Best Canadiana Buttertart on the 2017 Kawartha Northumberland Buttertart Tour. A stop here to see the animals is fun for the family and their tarts are out of this world. You might want to pull over to eat them with a view of pretty little Head Lake on your left just before Norland. At Norland, continue on through the lights toward Kinmount. At Kinmount turn right on and go over the bridge, turn right again on CR #121. Turn left on Hwy #49 and soon you'll be in Bobcaygeon. Time to stop for lunch at one of the fine local restaurants. After you've enjoyed dessert at our famous Kawartha Dairy, take CR #36 via Nogies Creek to Buckhorn. Go south on CR #23 to CR #29 and turn right. Take CR #29 through Peterborough to Hwy #7 and go west on Hwy #7 to Hwy #115. Drive south on #115 to the 401. Home just in time for dinner.