By:  Monica Kucharski

Even though summer is undoubtedly the most anticipated season, the fall has its own legions of fans.  There is so much to love about this season.

Brisk walks, hikes or bike rides through multi-coloured woodlands or parks; crisp air pungent with foliage scent; drives through country roads whizzing by colourful scenes of farms and just harvested fields…the outdoors in the fall beckons with sensory pleasures.

Mississauga’s many parks and conservation areas are great spots to enjoy the sights and scents of fall.  Whether it’s the Rattray Marsh, Riverwood, the Erindale Park or the Meadowvale Conservation Area, the trails, woodlands, and observation points are there for your leaf-changing enjoyment.

But, if you feel like a bit of a drive out to a destination you may not have seen before with activities that will pump up the fall season spirit, here are some ideas:

Ride The Rails

Embark on The Credit Valley Explorer in Orangeville, about an hour from Mississauga.  The train has assigned seating in reclining first-class seats, constantly-changing views from large picture windows and snack or meal service with complimentary refreshments.  Scenic highlights include the 1,146 foot long railway trestle bridge spanning the Credit Valley and the Forks of the Credit river, and the Forks of the Credit Provincial Park at Cataract.

Closer to Mississauga, admission to Halton County Radial Railway in Milton includes unlimited historic streetcar rides on two kilometers of scenic track, which stops at a famous ice cream shop (approximately a 20 minute ride), access to the grounds, display barns and historic Rockwood Station.

Climb Up For a Better View

Try out rock climbing at Rattlesnake Point.   Rattlesnake Point is a great place to try out rock climbing for the first time— there are usually instructional groups that operate on this cliff to help you along.   Rattlesnake Point also has several hiking trails. The Buffalo Crag Trail is fairly easy and the views from Buffalo Crag Lookout Point promises to take visitors’ breath away in the fall.

Walk or Hike Among Canyons, Waterfalls, and Quaint Villages

Located on the picturesque Bruce Trail, Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is the perfect getaway just one hour north of Mississauga. Walk through a canyon on the spillway trail or past 30-meter cliffs on the cliff top trail and enjoy the breathtaking fall views.

Also on the Bruce Trail, Forks of the Credit Provincial Park north of Mono Cliffs offers several hiking trails among waterfalls and rivers.

The quaint village of Belfountain is just under an hour north of Mississauga, and the drive into the village is curvy and woodsy.  The park around the village offers gorgeous hiking trails, fishing, picnicking, flower gardens, a suspension bridge, and a waterfall.

Muskoka:  Worth The Drive from Mississauga

In about two and a half hours north from Sauga, you can reach Ontario’s iconic fall getaway, Huntsville in Muskoka. Few places beat Muskoka for the colourful display of Canada’s fall.   You can bike or walk the area’s  scenic trails, explore like the Trans Canada Trail and the Fairy Vista Trail that are legendary for fall colours. Or, you can check out  Muskoka’s heritage properties, or the Lake of Bays, or venture on a day trip to Algonquin Park, Canada’s oldest provincial park.

There is lots to do and many places near Mississauga to enjoy while the sun still shines and the landscapes start to shimmer with colour. What did the fictional Canadian heroine, Anne of Green Gables, say?  “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”