Canada’s eastern provinces have gained a reputation for the vibrant fall colours that dominate the landscape, but now Nelson has joined the ranks as one of the top 10 places for leaf peeping in Canada.
“It’s pretty amazing to be put alongside Quebec City,” said Diana Ducs, executive director of Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism. “They have been known for their fall colours for decades and now we’re in that category along with them. It’s pretty special. A little town of 10,000 people and our community being recognized at that level is pretty great.”
Nelson was included in the list with Jasper, Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Confederation Trail in PEI and Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail.
The write-up featured with a picture of Nelson in fall colours, mentions the warm weather throughout September, October and even early November.
“Early to mid-fall often feels like summertime — minus the bugs and tourists — making it a golden opportunity to explore autumn’s arsenal of colour,” reads MSN Canada’s travel page.
Even though Nelson is known for its winter and summer activities, Ducs said the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism is working to promote the Queen City as a destination throughout the shoulder seasons.
“This really does highlight great things Nelson has to offer in the shoulder seasons,” she said. “Something we are really trying to do is educate tourists on coming here in late-August, September, October and even pushing into November.”
The quiet of the fall paired with the constant unique qualities of the community continue to make it a great place for tourists to come leading up to winter.
With tourism being the main industry of the Nelson area, Ducs said it is one of the organization’s goals to keep tourism at a constant level.
“Typically they do start to peter off, but one of the goals of Nelson Kootenay Lake is to keep the tourism at a constant level and keep people coming through the fall. It helps the people, the economy and the businesses,” she said.
While groups like Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism are focused on drawing new visitors to the area, Ducs said there are a lot of repeat customers.
“It was interesting, there was an elderly couple from the United States that came through and they were talking to the front desk and as they walked out the door they said, ‘See you again next year,’” she said. “There is something about this place, people just keep coming back. There is something captured in the colours, the community and the culture.”
To see a full list of the top 10 places for leaf peeping in Canada, click here.