1. Shubie Park
  2. Susies Lake
  3. Fox Lake
  4. Blue Mountain
  5. Admiral Lake Loop 
  6. Gibraltar Rock Loop
  7. Rogart Mountain Trail
  8. Wentworth Look Off
  9. The Look Off
  10. Mersey River
  11. The Acadian Trail
  12. Aspy Trail
  13. Cape Smokey
  14. Franey
  15. 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

Location: Dartmouth
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

14. Franey

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.

Which of these spots are on your list this fall? Did I miss any of your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

Laura Hawkins Local Adventures

3 Replies

  1. Canada fall foliage reports are scarcer than those for United States leaf-peeping destinations. Some are not updated reports but are just helpful guides to foliage road trips, train rides, hiking trails, and even gondola rides that are all great ways to explore the beauty of Canada s top fall color destinations .

  2. Beautiful drive from Pictou County to Amherst on highway #4 then #2. Passing through Mount Thom, Truro, Masstown, Economy, Parrsborro, Springhill then onto Amherst.
    Also highway # 245 onto highway 337, start at Sutherlands River around Cape George continuing to Antigonish.
    The Northern shoreline has alot to offer in scenery and foliage!!

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