We often seem to get lucky with the weather in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We’re well into October, and the region is still feeling summertime temperatures multiple days in a row. Very soon, the leaves will be changing colour and that means it’s the perfect excuse to discover NOTL by car.
At Lakelands, the B&B season is still very much on. So consider booking us for your much-deserved autumn getaway. Before we tackle the best places to see gorgeous fall hues, have you ever wondered why leaves change colour this time of year?
What Leaves Are & What They Do
When maple leaves turn red — and those bursts of yellow and orange crop up — the colours never fail to delight us. But to understand why this change happens, it’s important to understand the purpose behind foliage.
Photosynthesis is an important concept in this overall process. Here’s the way it works:
- Leaves are equivalent to nature’s ‘food factories’
- Using their roots, plants absorb the water that’s in the ground
- Meanwhile, carbon dioxide gas is taken from the air
- Plants use sunlight to turn the water and carbon dioxide into glucose (sugar) and oxygen (the air we breathe)
- They use the glucose for energy and growth
When leaves turn that water and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen, the process is called photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a chemical, and that’s what triggers photosynthesis. It’s also interesting to note that chlorophyll is what gives leaves that rich, green colour during the summer months.
We all know winter’s approaching when the days get shorter and shorter. The same way, that’s how leaves know it’s time to prepare for winter too. Here’s what happens:
- Given the shorter daylight hours, there is not enough sunshine for photosynthesis to occur
- Instead, trees live off the food and energy stored in leaves during the summertime
- Chlorophyll (the chemical that gives leaves their green colour) slowly dissipates from the leaves, triggering those bright fall colours instead
Often times, those bright hues are actually inside the leaves all summer. But it’s that green chlorophyll that keeps them covered up!
Now that you know the science behind the changing of the leaves, why not cruise around Niagara-on-the-Lake to take in nature’s beauty?
Fall Driving in NOTL
The Niagara Parkway is our most famous artery, and the best route for fall foliage. Did you know the great Winston Churchill once called it ‘the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world?’ You can begin at Niagara-on-the-Lake and take the Parkway along the Niagara River (all the way to Fort Erie if you please). Along the way, you can make stops at the famous Whirlpool Rapids, Brock’s Monument and even the Butterfly Conservatory. Those same trees that made our region famous for its maple syrup are the same ones that offer spectacular hues you will never forget!
Tree-Lined Streets in Our Historic District
If driving isn’t your thing, you can still catch fall colours along our pretty tree-lined streets. Step off the main strip and explore the beautiful residential areas by foot. The temperatures are still pleasant this time of year, which means you can easily spend hours discovering the area sans car. Meanwhile, you can also stop by Simcoe Park on Picton Street for gorgeous flower beds featuring autumn plants. Or take a stroll through the Niagara Parks Garden trail along the Niagara River. Trees, streams and even wildlife — what more could you ask for this fall?
Autumn Stays at Lakelands B&B
If you’re looking to unwind after a busy summer before settling in for winter, consider Lakelands for your next retreat. As mentioned in our previous blog post, fall is the perfect time for winery tours as well. Right now, the vineyards are in the thick of harvest season. And that means the wineries are abuzz with activity. Browse our beautifully-appointed Suites then look through our Packages to create the stay that’s perfect for you. We look forward to hosting you and your loved ones this fall!