There’s a certain sweetness in the air when autumn comes into play after a hot summer in Orillia and Lake Country. As the days get shorter and nights get cooler, we are rewarded with a kaleidoscope of colours to mark the change of season.
With thousands of acres of forests, the region is dotted with hundreds of kilometres of trails for outdoor recreational use. One of the highlights is exploring the trails beneath the high tree canopy in Copeland Forest. At 4,400 acres, it’s the largest intact forest south of Algonquin Park with no roads going through, which means it’s safe for dog walking, horseback riding and mountain biking. “I love walking in the fall. The middle of September until the end of October, the colours are beautiful,” says David Kennedy, chair of Copeland Forest Friends.
Cyclists have long made this area a destination, flocking here to experience hundreds of kilometres of hilly, winding roads and scenic loop trails throughout Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Ramara townships. “The cycling is amazing up here, but it’s also not too far of a drive from Toronto so it’s not unrealistic to come up for two days or just come up for the day,” notes Brendan Matheson, experience development coordinator for Tourism Simcoe County.
Many of these same routes can be driven be car or motorcycle for one or multi-day trips through the picturesque area. Visitors are drawn here not just for the scenery, but to stop at our various towns such as Washago, Coldwater and Orillia for a bite to eat or visit multiple lakefront parks for a picnic. The rural roads are dotted with businesses offering fresh, locally grown products and a brand new brewery, Quayle’s Brewery, that grow their own hops.
Glen Oro Farm’s boutique trail rides are a perfect way to experience the fall colours in Orillia and Lake Country. Whether it is family adventures, girlfriend getaways, date nights or solo excursions. Glen Oro Farm welcomes guests of all skill levels to its trail rides, which include the opportunity to groom and saddle up their horse and learn about the ancient art of horseback riding. Guests can disconnect from the stresses of modern life and enjoy a peaceful 2.5 hour adventure through the maple clad slopes of the Oro-Medonte ecosystem.
Glen Oro Farm’s Luke Sedgwick explains the benefits of riding here: “The motion of being on a horse walking has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. On a trail ride here it’s not uncommon to see some of the wild residents of Glen Oro, such as deer, coyotes, rabbits, foxes, turkeys, and occasionally even the odd bear. ”
For those who want to enjoy aerial views of the majesty fall colours, a 30-, 45- or 60-minute tour in a float plane with Lake Country Airways is the best way to get the views and the photos they want.
“In 30 minutes, you can get to the edge of Muskoka or you could do a local tour over the City of Orillia. The hour tour can get you to Dorset, Mactier or even Georgian Bay, but all of our tours can be custom planned, as well,” says employee Kenzie Brailey.
Whether by foot, car, bicycle or plane, the views of Orillia and Lake Country is not to be missed this fall.
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