Algonquin Provincial Park is the first park the Ontario province set aside to be protected. It was established in 1893 and covers an incredible 7,725 square kilometers (2,983 square miles). This Algonquin wilderness protects many natural ecosystems like bogs, beaches and forests. The landscape can change from rocky ridges to maple forests or flowing rivers in a couple of kilometers. Wildlife is as variable as the landscape. Keep a look out for a moose in the water, his antlers covered in underwater plants, dripping, as he raises his head from eating beneath the surface.
Backpacking and Hiking Trails
Hiking trails are available in all the sections of the park. Along the Highway 60 Corridor there are several hiking routes to choose from including an easy one hour hike on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk, a moderate two hour hike on the Hemlock Bluff Trail to see Jack Lake or the strenuous three to four hour hike on the Centennial Ridges Trail with breathtaking views from towering ridges.
The eastern and northern sections of the park offer fewer trails but some of them have guides including the one on the Barron Canyon Trail who will explain the history of the canyon to you. On the Brent Crater Trail you can read the posted information about how the crater was formed thousands of years ago when a meteorite smashed into the earth.
Take your time really enjoying this incredible wilderness of the northern section of the park. Take your backpack and spend a couple days exploring the 140 km of backpack trails and spend your nights in one of the provided campsites.
On the Water
Pass some time in one of Algonquin’s lakes swimming or fishing. Canoeing is the favored mode of water transportation in the park. With over 2,000 km of canoeing routes you are bound to find the one that suits you the best. Motorized boats are permitted in specific lakes of Algonquin park. The size of the motor dictates which lake it will be allowed in and when. Check the regulations on the Algonquin Park website. Keep in mind that water-skiing and jet-skiing are prohibited throughout the park.
Picnics and Camping
You are welcome to stay in the Algonquin Provincial Park for a day, a week or even longer. There are picnic sites set up throughout the area and many include facilities with showers and flushing toilets. These facilities are also open to campers, as well as the facilities sprinkled throughout the park for your convenience. Laundry facilities are also available. Some campsites are set up with electricity.
Most campsites are located near the different lakes, except for backpacking campsites which are located on the trails. For groups of 10 to 40 people the Whitefish Lake Group Campground has basic amenities.
Algonquin Park is an amazing place to spend some time in a winter wonderland. There are trails throughout the park that provide snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities and a chance to see either tracks of wildlife or the animals themselves. Try your hand at dog sledding in the park with a third party provider. There are different winter camping alternatives available, primitive camping off the main trails, campsites in the Lake Mew Campground that includes electrical hookup and convenient facilities as well as the opportunity to rent a yurt. The yurts have furniture and electric heat and you will need to make reservations in advance.