mono cliffs

This unreal cliff system near Toronto offers sweeping views of fall

You could spend a lifetime in Southern Ontario and still not discover much less visit all of its various natural gems, but fall is the ideal time to make a go at knocking places off your provincial bucket list.

Here's a suggestion for a place to add: Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. Located on the Niagara Escarpment, this series of rock faces, crags, trails, and lookouts is one of the best places near Toronto to take in the majesty of fall colours at their peak.

The vista from the viewing platform at the Cliff Top Trail is particularly memorable, as it juts out from the edge and offers a panoramic view of the dense foliage below. This is pretty much heaven for leaf peepers.

It's not all about the sweeping views, though. Another favourite spot in the park is the 100 foot stairway that snakes its way down the cliff to a wooden bridge that runs right through two rock faces. Both features are completely photo-worthy.

Mono Cliffs is a day-use park only, so you don't need to worry about not getting a permit. The primary activities here are hiking and biking, which helps a bit with crowd control during peak foliage season. It's still busy, but not quite so hectic as other popular fall lookouts.

All told, there are eight trails at the park, as well as connections to the larger Bruce Trail. The longest of these — the Walter Tovell Trail — is just shy of five kilometres. In other words, this isn't a place to engage in epic physical exertion. It's all about the natural landscape and the stunning views.

Lead photo by

hellokittydc. With files from Derek Flack.


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