Fall into Muskoka
Fall In Muskoka: the next best thing to summer, and maybe after summer 2014, better THAN summer.
With sporadic being a forgiving description of the weather during Muskoka’s most famous season, there was widespread anticipation of epic fall scenery and hope for an Indian Summer. September started much like August finished; chilly, rainy and not all that much fun. Reluctant cottagers winterized their boats, packed up their hope and headed south. Then, when it seemed like September would just fade into a grey and cold October, the cold nights broke into hot sunny days and the proverbial “it” was on.
For two weeks in September that eventually leaked into October, the weather redeemed itself completely. The cold nights and hot sunny days had a multiplier effect and the trees went from lush green to yellow almost overnight. The subtle yellows of early fall quickly changed into vibrant red and orange.
It doesn’t hurt when fall colours peak on a sunny weekend with temps solidly parked in the “t-shirt” range and vehicles lined up at the West Gate of Algonquin Park like a ride at Wonderland. But as locals and savvy visitors know, alternate traffic-free views of hills on fire with colour abound. Don’t limit yourself to the beaten path, get off the highway and do some exploring, it’s worth it. Limberlost Forest, the Echo Valley trail system, the Big East River, the Bracebridge MNR trails and the Torrance Barrens are just a few awesome alternatives for epic, crowd-less leafing.
Word spread, pictures were posted, colour ratings escalated from “50%” to “75%” and people came north. Bus tours that were scheduled for October scrambled to fill seats early and suddenly highway 60 was packed.
Do yourself a favour when a Muskoka summer doesn’t live up to every expectation: leave some time for September.