couple sitting on a bench looking out over the water, the trees are bright shades of orange

Experience the Best of Fall in Bruce County

Crisp autumn temperatures, sunny skies paired with dramatic clouds, quiet country roads and vistas of changing leaves below scenic lookouts on the Niagara Escarpment-this is fall in Bruce County.

Often considered a summer destination, fall is a hidden gem that’s slowly being discovered by visitors (a secret locals have long embraced). The waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron have spent all summer heating up creating perfect swimming conditions, the bugs are long gone and your favourite attractions and hiking spots have fewer people, offering you a chance to truly enjoy the experience. There are endless opportunities in Bruce County but we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favourite fall activities to help you plan your trip.

Enjoy the Fall Harvest

Fall is harvest season so along with hitting our local farmer’s markets, make a plan to visit Smith’s Apples near Port Elgin to pick your own apples and pumpkins. Let the kids attempt the corn maze in The Outback play area before filling your basket in the market with fresh baked goods and fresh-pressed apple cider. Open from Labour Day to Thanksgiving, make Smith’s a family fall tradition.
A stop at Hi-berry Farms will prove fruitful (see what we did there?). Be sure to visit their website before heading out to find out what’s fresh that day.
Add the annual Pumpkinfest celebrations to your harvest festivities. While this year’s festival is virtual, there are plenty of pumpkin-inspired take-home activities for families. Don’t forget to watch the live stream of the weigh in to see who has this year’s prized pumpkin.
Want to add some pumpkin spice to your journey? Visit some of the great coffee shops in our downtowns and treat yourself to a pumpkin spice latte.

Paddle the Saugeen River

This epic 102-kilometre river runs from Hanover to Southampton and can be completed as several shorter day paddles or with an overnight camp out. While the river can be busy with group floats in the summer months, the fall offers a quieter opportunity to enjoy the beauty a paddle here provides. The Saugeen Valley Conservation Area gives a great overview of the route and you can find info on all the access points here. Need a canoe or kayak rental or prefer to go with a guide? Check out Thorncrest Outfitters for all your paddling needs.

Watch the Salmon Jump at Sauble Falls

Before you’re stuck inside watching the nature channel all winter, why not experience a magical natural phenomenon up close? Head to Sauble Falls Provincial Park and watch the Chinook salmon make their way upstream to spawn. You’ll find yourself cheering on these mighty fish as they battle their way back to their birthplace. The park is open for camping until October 31 so consider making it a weekend getaway.

Swim on Both Sides of the Peninsula

As anyone who’s had to return to school or an office after Labour Day can tell you, some of the nicest, sunniest days happen in the fall-so if you can carve out some time off, take advantage of it with a trip to the Bruce. With the warmer temperatures having heated up both Georgian Bay and Lake Huron all summer, fall is a great time to take a dip at our local beaches. Whether you head to Lion’s Head, Singing Sands, Sauble Beach, Kincardine’s Station Beach or even book a timeslot at The Grotto, a quick dip is perfect after a fall hike. Just be sure to pack your hoody and sweatpants for the evening’s campfire. Cool fall nights pair perfectly with warm autumn days.

Enjoy Bug-Free Hiking on the Bruce Trail

One major bonus of visiting in the fall is the joy of hiking on bug-free trails. By autumn, most of the black flies, mosquitoes and deer flies have buzzed off for another year, meaning you can tackle your favourite Bruce Trail hikes in peace. Find a hike in Bruce County by visiting The Peninsula Bruce Trail Club and the Sydenham Bruce Trail Club.

Take in the Fall Colours from a Scenic Lookout

With the Niagara Escarpment running along the Peninsula to Tobermory, there’s no shortage of stunning scenic lookouts to enjoy-and fall is the perfect time to do so. Be sure to pack your camera as the leaves below offer an ever-evolving canvas of colour over the autumn months. Take a hike at Purple Valley, Devil’s Monument or to Bruce’s Caves and step into a painter’s palette of fall colours.

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