Canadian summers are notoriously short. Just as you’ve gotten used to the sound of cicadas on those warm summer nights, you start to feel the air grow crisp as the autumn equinox passes.
But don’t put away your inReach just yet. Canada’s four seasons are a gift, and fall is one of the best times to enjoy our spectacular backcountry.
Here are some of our favorite outdoor activities best enjoyed in the fall:
Blaze a New Trail
Whether on foot, horseback, bike or ATV, fall is a great time to explore the wild. With any luck, the autumn days will be warm and dry, and the leaves will crunch under foot as you hike one of Canada’s many trails. The cooler temperatures are preferable to competitive hikers, adventure runners and mountain bikers striving to beat their personal best. Maybe you want to blaze your own trail in Canada’s backcountry wilderness. Regardless of how you travel, it is always a good idea to carry a two-way communicator along with a first aid kit to be prepared for sudden changes in weather. This way, you can check weather forecasts and adjust your trip plan if necessary or signal for help if you get injured or ill in the backcountry.
Hunt for Wild Game
Hunting is a Canadian tradition passed down from generation to generation, and autumn signals open season in many places. You don’t have to go very far to find deer, duck and other waterfowl in the southern regions. The best caribou, moose, elk and sheep hunting can be found in the northern wilderness. When hunting, make safety a priority by adding satellite communication such as inReach to your emergency preparedness kit due to the increased risks of using firearms or bows. Always check with your local township or hunting association for updates on hunting regulations before you set out.
There is no shortage of majestic National and Provincial parks in Canada. If you like getting away from it all, this season is the perfect time to enjoy camping in the wild. In the fall, it is not unusual for the temperature to drop down below freezing at night, but don’t worry. Frosty autumn mornings often yield warmer, sunny days. Hot chocolate on a cool night, roasting marshmallows over a campfire and the absence of biting insects are all great reasons to get out there before Old Man Winter does.
Catch the ‘Big One’
As long as the weather holds, fishing in the fall is an great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy Canada’s abundance of lakes and rivers. Head out to your favourite fly fishing spot in early autumn, or charter a fishing excursion that will take you to the best salmon, trout, bass, walleye or pickerel fishing. Anglers who are hiking or boating outside of cell range should carry a satellite-based two-way communicator, especially if traveling alone. This way you can check weather forecasts, send an SOS in case of emergency or text friends just to brag about the big one that got away.
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching is another fall activity not to be missed. Blue Whales and Orcas both have migratory routes in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from August through mid-October. During this time of year, Humpbacks and Grey Whales can be viewed in the Pacific, while Right Whales, Belugas and Long-finned Pilot Whales migrate primarily along the Atlantic Coast in the fall. Breaching whales are best observed from a boat or kayak. If you are lucky, you may get to witness a blow (spout) or fin slap. Activities on the water aren’t without risk, so bring your inReach in a protective floatation case. With 100% coverage globally, it works on the open ocean in case of emergency. Don’t forget the binoculars!
Autumn Leaves Watch
Because it takes several weeks for the leaves to change colour and finally fall off of the trees, watching the leaves change is the gift that keeps on giving. Take a small plane, hang-glider or summit your favourite mountain for a high-altitude vantage point from where you can view a kaleidoscope of color. Take a ride through one of Canada’s best motorcycle routes and get lost on purpose. Regardless of how you do it, any way is the right way to enjoy the fleeting colors of a Canadian autumn.