What is leaf peeping?

It is an informal term which means: “The popular activity of traveling in the fall to areas wooded with deciduous forests to view and photograph the changing colour of the leaves”. 
+ View more from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaf_peeping

Origins of Leaf Peeping

Though the origin of the expression is not well known, the tradition of leaf peeping is not exclusive to North America.  It is also a popular tourist activity in the United Kingdom and regions of Asia-Pacific.

In Japan, the custom “Momijigari” means going to visit scenic areas with “leaves changing colors”. The Japanese traditionally see Autumn as a period of quiet reflection, and a time to honour one’s ancestors.

Secrets to Great Leaf Peeping  

Weather! Hot days, sunny skies and cool night temperatures in the fall bring out the best colours.Family Activities in the fall

Fall mornings can be spectacular. The air is often crisp and still. Layers of fog and mist can offer special images, especially as the sun filters through the trees. 

If you want to peep in peace and avoid the crowds, visit during weekdays.  Earlier in the day is always recommended, as Scenic Caves is generally busiest between noon and 3pm, especially on weekends.

It’s okay to peep solo.

You don’t have to travel far to leaf peep.   Plan a daytrip.

Best leaf peeping locations at Scenic Caves

Don’t just look out your car window.  HIKE it! Breathtaking landscapes are a feature of Scenic Caves Nature Adventures.  Our recommended leaf peeping hiking points:

Suspension BridgeFall activities
First View
Lover’s Rest
Upper Nature Trails
Signal Point

Get up close and personal with the fall leaves on a guided Eco Adventure tour. + View 2017 Fall Special http://www.sceniccaves.com/2017-fall-eco-adventure-tour/

Zipline through the colours on the Thunderbird Twin Zipline (operates Friday-Saturday-Sunday during the fall) + View http://www.sceniccaves.com/activities/rates-packages/thunderbird-twin-zip/

Which trees make the best colours for leaf peeping?

The most common varieties of trees and colours you’ll discover at Scenic Caves: 

Sugar Maple (orange-red)Leaf peeping
Red Oak (red, brown, russet)
White Birch (bright yellow)
White Ash (purple)
North American Beech + Ironwood  (brilliant yellow)
Dogwood (purple-red)
Hawthorn (russet-brown)
Cherry (orange-red)
Poplar (golden yellow)
Sumach (fiery red)
… and more!

Tips for what to bring on your Leaf Peeping Adventure

Fall adventure essentialsHiking boots/running shoes with good treads.
Camera or smart phone.
Clothing layers
Water and snacks
Pack a picnic

When is peak season for leaf peeping?

Aerial-view-of-Scenic-Caves in FallTypically late September to mid October, depending on where you are located.

Higher elevations reach peak colours sooner. Not only do the highest trees change color first, but the highest leaves in a tree do as well.  Lower elevations and valleys generally reach their peak later.  Scenic Caves is located at the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment, making it an ideal destination for prime peeping.

Leaf Peeping Reports

400 Eleven’s Ontario Fall Colour Progression Report: https://www.400eleven.com/seasons/fall/colour-progression-report

Kevin Forget’s weekly Ontario Travel Report https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/plan/kevin-reports

Branch out

Get off the beaten path and visit some regional fall-oriented activities:

Fall view of south Georgian Bay

Scenic Drives + View http://www.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca/89p_great-scenic-drives.htm
Apple Pie trail + View https://www.applepietrail.com/
Ciders, Wines & Brews + View http://www.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca/160p_wines-ciders-amp-brews.htm
Farmers’ Markets and roadside stands  Don’t forget to bring plenty of cash as independent operators don’t always offer plastic payment options. + View http://www.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca/32p_farmers-markets.htm

Serious leaf peepers

Be sure to make lasting memories and don’t forget to share your photos with us:

Happy Leaf Peeping!