- Shubie Park
- Susies Lake
- Fox Lake
- Blue Mountain
- Admiral Lake Loop
- Gibraltar Rock Loop
- Rogart Mountain Trail
- Wentworth Look Off
- The Look Off
- Mersey River
- The Acadian Trail
- Aspy Trail
- Cape Smokey
- Mary Ann Falls
Autumn: when the blanket of deciduous trees and brush covering Nova Scotia bursts with colour before fading away for the winter. Our fall foliage makes even the most ordinary settings spectacular, but this kaleidoscope of scarlet, tangerine, gold, and copper doesn’t last long. In Nova Scotia, colourful fall foliage typically reaches its peak in mid-October—slowly painting the leaves in late September, and weather dependent, leaving most trees nearly bare by the end of October.
Observing this change brings me so much joy and appreciation for nature’s beauty and our capacity to observe it. My hope is to share that with you!
I recently wrote an article for The Coast (Guide to Fall Foliage in Nova Scotia) which goes into detail on six places that are ideal for soaking up the sights of this season… but there are simply more good places than space to cover in that piece.
Here, I’ve included 15 places that are beautiful year-round but are especially incredible in the peak of autumn. Get your Nova Scotia fall foliage fix!
1. Shubie Park
This is a popular park features an easy crusher dust trail following the lake and vantage points across the water and its little islands.
2. Susies Lake
Location: Bayer’s Lake, Halifax
One of my favourite hiking trails in Halifax and also one of the best places to watch a sunset in Halifax, the look off at Susies Lake offers a panoramic view of colourful trees and red brush along the water’s edge.
3. Fox Lake
Location: near Kearney Lake, Halifax
Another one of my favourite Halifax hiking trails, the look off across Fox Lake offers an epic vantage point of maple, oak, and elm trees.
4. Blue Mountain
Location: Hammonds Plains
This unmarked trail offers the highest point of Halifax’s Chebucto Peninsula, offering a panoramic view (and lots of trees) as far as the eye can see.
5. Admiral Lake Loop
Location: Musquodoboit Harbour
Branching off the Musquodoboit Trailway, this wilderness trail leads to several look offs, including Skull Rock and the Rolling Stone, offering views of tree canopy, lakes, and Musquodoboit Harbour.
6. Gibraltar Rock Loop
Location: Meaghers Grant
On the opposite end of the Musquodoboit Trailway is the Gibraltar Rock Loop. A steep uphill climb immediately leads to a spanning vista of the river and trees below.
7. Rogart Mountain Trail
Location: Trailhead at Sugar Moon Farms
This trail has a ton to offer, including a waterfall (see #9 on this list of Nova Scotia waterfalls)—but in autumn, the stars are the stands of sugar maple and yellow birch, and Catherine’s Look Off.
8. Wentworth Look Off
Location: Trailhead at HI-Wentworth International Hostel & Lodge
Part of the network of trails that start at the hostel, the Wentworth Look Off offers a spanning view of the Wentworth Valley and the canopy of trees covering it. This is also an excellent winter hiking or snowshoeing trail.
9. The Look Off
Location: North Mountain, Canning
No hiking required! The Look Off is well-marked and located at the side of the road, providing views of farmers’ fields lined by trees and the Minas Basin.
10. Mersey River
Location: Kejimkujik National Park
This beautiful, ancient river (a major transportation route for the Mi’kmaq people for thousands of years) can be explored by canoe, by foot, or ideally both!
11. The Acadian Trail
Location: Cheticamp, Cape Breton
One of my favourite look offs in Cape Breton, this trail offers several spanning vistas of colour exploding across the canopy, along with coastline and the Cabot Trail below.
12. Aspy Trail
Location: between Pleasant Bay and Cape North, Cape Breton
This trail leads to a breathtaking look off, framed by crimson red maple, with views down the Aspy Valley. In addition to being another one of my favourite look offs in Cape Breton, the beautiful Beulach Ban Falls (one of my favourite Cape Breton waterfalls) can be enjoyed right at the trailhead.
13. Cape Smokey
Location: Cape Smokey Provincial Park, Cape Breton
You’re probably starting to see a theme… yes, this is another one of my favourite look offs in Cape Breton.
Location: Ingonish, Cape Breton
You guessed it! Last but not least, this also on my list of Cape Breton look offs, but for good reason.
15. Mary Ann Falls
Location: Ingonish, Cape Breton
This popular Cape Breton waterfall is also surrounded by stunning foliage. When we visited in mid-October, I was blown away by even the confetti-like foliage that covered the footbridge that leads to the waterfall.