(of motorhome rental after previous one night hotel stay upon arrival)
Collect your motorhome and head out on Highway 12 towards Brampton, stopping en-route to stock up on groceries and fill up with gas.
Plan to travel only a short distance today – perhaps stopping overnight at Chipwoods Park Campground in Shelburne. (approx. 1hr-1hr 15mins from Toronto). Close to Shelburne is the small village of Violet Hill and Mrs Mitchell’s, a fine dining and unique shopping destination – consider stopping here for dinner before or after checking in at your campground.
✪ Toronto to Shelburne – 80 km/50 mi
The drive is about 3 hours today as you make your way through spectacular fall colours to the South Bruce Penninsula and an overnight stay in Tobermory, at the tip of the Bruce Penninsula. There are a number of campgrounds in the area such as Summer House Park Resort, an easy 20 minute drive from Tobermory on the shores of Miller Lake.
Tobermory has so much to offer a visitor that it’s worth considering a two night stay in the area. Hike the majestic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment along the world famous Bruce Trail or the inland trails of Bruce Peninsula National Park! A feast for the eyes – and camera lenses of the naturalist – Tobermory has the largest concentration of orchids in North America as well as many unique, one-of-a-kind wildflowers!
Other options include a scuba-dive the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay and explore the many shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park, or enjoy a cruise on one of the glass bottom tour boats which leave docks in Little Tub Harbour several times each day. Perhaps enjoy a special adventure – canoe, kayak or sail around the many islands of Fathom Five or charter a boat for a day of fishing. Partake of the clean, fresh air of the Northern Bruce Peninsula while enjoying an invigorating round of golf at the Cornerstone Golf Club. The possibilities are endless!
✪ Shelburne to Tobermory – 200 km/125 mi
Day 3 – Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula
Spend another day here admiring the spectacular scenery in the amazing part of Ontario. For ideas about things to do, we suggest you visit the Visitor Information Centre in Tobermory for ideas or check with your campground hosts. In the evening, sit and watch a magnificent sunset over Lake Huron. Spend another night near Tobermory.
Today catch the CHI-CHEEMAUN ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth. This ferry has limited space for vehicles over 2.6 metres high and does not accept reservations so we suggest you arrive early at the Tobermory Terminal – 8 Eliza Street, Tobermory, to secure space for your vehicle.
Fall sailing times are at 8.50am and 1.30 pm but, as sailing times can change without notice, please telephone Owen Sound Transportation on 1-800-265-3163 to confirm. The ferry journey from Tobermory to South Baymouth takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Manitoulin Island, sometimes known at the Island of the Spirits, is at the northern edge of Lake Huron and is the largest freshwater island in the world at 180 kilometers long and 50 km wide. Spectacular sunsets, scenic landscapes and tranquillity await visitors of Manitoulin Island. The island contains more than 100 lakes, making it a premier recreational destination for water sport enthusiasts. Rich culture and heritage of the native Ojibwa can be experienced through festivals and pow wows, live theatre and other cultural exhibits. There are a number of campsites on the island and we recommend you phone ahead to secure a camping spot.
✪ Tobermory to Manitoulin Island – 50 km/30 mi (by ferry)
Day 5 – Manitoulin Island
Spend the day exploring this unique island. Some suggestions include the Great Spirit Circle Trail, a network of First Nations cultural attractions offering diverse activities such as cultural experiences, touring and pow wows.
It’s a 6 hour drive ahead of you today as you travel through a landscape of ever changing colours en route to Sault Ste Marie.
✪ Manitoulin Island to Sault Ste Marie – 260 km/225 mi
Day 7 – Sault Ste Marie – Tour Suggestion Algoma Valley/Agawa Canyon Tour Train
Advance reservations are essential, however the fall colours in the Agawa Canyon are not to be missed. Take a rest from driving today and sit back in the comfort of CN Rail’s Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The train leaves daily during the Fall from the CN Rail station in Sault Ste Marie at 8.00am, returning to Sault Ste Marie at 5.30pm. Bookings can be made with tour companies or directly with CN.
This one day wilderness excursion will take you 114 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie, over towering trestles, alongside pristine northern lakes and rivers, and through the awesome granite rock formations and mixed forests of the Canadian Shield.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the train coasts 500 feet down to the floor of the Agawa Canyon, where you will have almost two hours to experience the pristine beauty up close. You can enjoy scenic walks on gravelled trails, four waterfalls or an invigorating climb up over 300 stairs to the breathtaking Lookout platform, perched 250 feet above the tracks. Though peak colour varies with each season, the last two weeks of September and the first week in October can offer the most spectacular colour in the Algoma Valley.
Retrace your steps today back as far as McKerrow. Then continue east on Highway 17 to Sudbury. Here you might like to take time out to visit, Science North, Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction. An architectural wonder, its two giant stainless steel snowflakes are linked by an underground tunnel carved out of two-billion-year-old rock.
While in Sudbury, stop by the tourist information center for suggestions as to what to see on the next part of your journey to North Bay. If you’d prefer not to travel so far today, perhaps find a campsite to stay at just out of Sudbury and continue from there to Algonquin Provincial Park on Day Nine. Driving time from Sudbury to Algonquin National Park is approximately 3 hours.
✪ Sault Ste Marie to North Bay – 450 km/281 mi
It’s a leisurely drive south today as you travel through picturesque small towns to Huntsville, a thriving community of approximately 18,000 residents. Take a break here – perhaps visit the Muskoka Heritage Place and Pioneer Village and do some shopping before continuing on Highway 60 to the small town of Dwight and Oxtongue Lake which is nestled against the southern border of Algonquin Provincial Park.
If you’re looking for a family campground near the west gate of the park we suggest you try the Algonquin Trails Camping Resort. Situated on 115 acres in the heart of Ontario’s most popular wilderness area, minutes from Algonquin Provincial Park & Huntsville, Ontario, Algonquin Trails offers true wilderness beauty on large campsites, along with spectacular attractions at or near the resort. On the other side of the park, just outside the east gate is All Star Resort located on the banks of the Madawaska River.
✪ North Bay to Huntsville to Algonquin Provincial Park – 130 km/82 mi
Day 10 – Algonquin Provincial Park
While summer may be the most usual time for a visit to Algonquin, autumn is probably the best time. The fall colours alone make a trip worthwhile, especially if you catch the maples at their peak in the last week of September or, occasionally, in the first few days of October.. The spectacle of hundreds of square miles of red and golden orange forest, blue lakes, and evergreen shores is one that no one should miss.
Then, a couple of weeks later, the aspens, the Tamaracks, and the Red Oaks hit their best and put on another interesting show before giving way to a more subdued November. There is much more to autumn in Algonquin, however, than the colours.
Cool nights and sunny days with no biting insects, make it an ideal time to camp and hike. The woods are still, the horizon stands out sharply across lakes of glass, and for much of the time you’ll have large parts of the Park to yourself. Fall evenings are the best time to try howling for wolves. During the day, you’ll have a good chance of seeing a big bull moose, its antlers now full-grown and polished, ready for the rut, or mating season, in late September and early October.
Spend another night in this amazing place before continuing your journey tomorrow to Peterborough.
You have a choice of routes today as you head south towards Peterborough. If you’re on Highway 60 we suggest you travel east towards Barry’s Bay then turn right at Highway 62 continuing south on Highway 62 to Maynooth and Bancroft to Peterborough. Alternatively, from Highway 60 you can head south at Dwight on Highway 35 and travel through Dorset, Minden and Coboconk.
From Coboconk there are a number of highways you can take but we suggest you take Highway 8 east to Bobcaygeon then Highway 36 through Nogies Creek before heading south to Peterborough on Highway 23.
Peterborough was first known as Scott’s Plains back in 1820 when the first settler Adam Scott, built a gristmill. His daughter was the first non-native child to be born in the area. Today Peterborough is a thriving city of around 70000 people, boasting many historic buildings and a walk around the downtown area will provide photographic opportunities for those interested in the architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
✪ Algonquin to Peterborough – 200 km/125 mi (dependent upon route)
Sadly you’re nearing the end of your fall vacation. It’s only a short distance to Toronto so take time en route south to Peterborough on Highway 23.
If you have some extra time, perhaps consider a diversion to Kingston for a 1000 islands cruise. Kingston is around 3 hours drive from Toronto and you may like to spend tonight here and continue on to Toronto in the morning.
✪ Peterborough to Toronto – 136 km/85 mi
Day 13 – Toronto
Spend the day exploring Canada’s largest city. One third of Canada’s population is located within a 160km radius of Toronto city and your campsite will be able to provide you with suggestions as to what you should see and do whilst here.
Parking in downtown Toronto is both difficult and expensive. We suggest you leave your motorhome at the campground today and take public transport into the city. Some suggestions from us for things to do today are Casa Loma and CN Tower. If you’d like an aerial view of the city, the Helicopter Company has a number of tours to choose from.
Day 14 – Toronto
Allow enough time this morning to vacate your campsite and arrive back at the Toronto depot in time to drop off your vehicle.
If you have a little more time, we suggest you extend your vacation for a couple of days travelling from Toronto to Niagara Falls on Day 14 and spending a couple of days in the Niagara Falls area.
Drop your motorhome back in Toronto on your chosen return day.
✪ Toronto to Niagara Falls 130 km/82 mi each way