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Algonquin - Overview

Algonquin Provincial Park - main photo of the park

What you'll like:

The essence of Algonquin is in its vast interior of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes. The only way to explore the interior of this park is by canoe or on foot. There is also a second Algonquin - along the 56 kilometre stretch of Highway 60. Here you can enjoy camping at one of eight campgrounds, hike one of 14 trails, take part in extensive Natural Heritage Education programs, and visit Algonquin’s exceptional Visitor Centre, Logging Museum and Art Centre. For over 50 years, each Thursday in August, park staff have offered the “Public Wolf Howl”, a highly engaging program on wolf ecology that includes howljng for wolves. Weather and wildlife dependent. Check for details on park events.

  • Excellent trout fishing, particularly in the month of May
  • Amazing moose viewing opportunities along Highway 60 as the moose are attracted to roadside salt left after the winter sanding operations
  • Spring also features outstanding birding opportunities throughout the park with spring arrivals and migrants
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Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Total Campsites - 1330
  • Electrical Campsites - 489
  • Backcountry Campsites - 1946
  • Group Campsites - 18
  • Yurts - 8
  • Rustic Cabins - 14
  • Lodges - 3

Camping

One of the reasons for Algonquin’s popularity is the variety of choices offered in the park for camping and recreation.  There are essentially two Algonquins to choose from; the vast backcountry as well as the developed campgrounds. 

The backcountry offers both backpacking trails as well as canoe routes which provide a very rugged and primitive camping experience.

In contrast, the Highway 60 developed areas offer eight car campgrounds and range of services.  These camping experiences place visitors within a short drive to interpretive trails, the Visitor Centre, Logging Museum, restaurants, lodges, outfitting stores, picnic areas and beaches. 

For more detailed information about the many different areas of Algonquin, please refer to the other Algonquin listings.


 

Car Camping

There are many car campgrounds available in Algonquin. Each varies in size and services meaning that each campground offers a unique experience. This allows guests to choose the campground and services that best suits their needs for their trip. 

The Highway 60 Corridor features eight car campgrounds including Tea Lake, Canisbay Lake, Mew Lake, Two Rivers, Pog Lake, Kearney Lake, Coon Lake, and Rock Lake.

On the north side of the park are two basic car campgrounds; Kiosk and Brent Lake. Achray Campground is on the east side of the park.

Please refer to the individual park listings for more detail on these campgrounds.

 

Radio-Free Camping

Several campgrounds at Algonquin have designated radio-free areas including:  Canisbay, Mew Lake, Pog Lake, and Achray.

 

Dog-Free Camping

Several campgrounds at Algonquin have designated dog-free areas including:  Canisbay, Mew Lake, Pog Lake, and Achray.

 

Group Camping

Whitefish Lake Group Campground is located on Highway 60 at km 37.  Please refer to the individual park listing for more details.

 

Walk-in Camping

Five walk-in campsites are available at Kingscote Lake Access Point.  Permits are available from Pinegrove Point Resort.

 

Backcountry Camping

Please refer to Algonquin’s backcountry park page for further information.

Highlights of Things to Do

As one of the largest of Ontario Parks, Algonquin is very diverse and offers a variety of activities for everyone.

There are many self guided interpretive trails which range from easy to difficult, from 1 km to nearly 11 km, and through a variety of landscapes with beautiful lookouts, lakes, and forests.

The lakes of Algonquin offer a variety of recreational opportunities including canoeing, kayaking, swimming, fishing and boating. With nearly 2,500 lakes in Algonquin, there is lots of exploring to do!

For those who wish to discover and learn more about the natural and cultural history of the park, there are many opportunities available at the Visitor Centre, Algonquin Logging Museum and the Algonquin Art Centre. In addition, the Natural Heritage Education program offers learning opportunities throughout the park with guided walks, evening programs and “roving naturalists”.


Just the Facts

 
Hiking
Take only pictures, leave only footprints: don't bring any plants, animals or other natural objects with you. Park regulations prohibit this. For more information on Leave No Trace practices, visit www.leavenotrace.ca.

Whiskey Rapids Trail located at km 7.2 - 2.1 km (1.5hours) moderate
This looped trail leads along the Oxtongue River to scenic Whiskey Rapids. The trail guide discusses the ecology and history of an Algonquin river.

Hardwood Lookout Trail located at km 13.8km - 0.8 km (1 hour) moderate
This walk introduces the visitor to the ecology of a typical Algonquin hardwood forest and culminates in a fine view of Smoke Lake and the surrounding hills.

Mizzy Lake Trail located at km 15.4 – 11 km (4-5 hours) moderate.
This trail requires an early start and a full day to do properly. It visits nine ponds and small lakes and affords some of the best chances to see wildlife in the Parkway Corridor. Dogs are not permitted on the trail.

Peck Lake Trail located at km 19.2 - 1.9 km (1 hour) moderate.
This trail circumnavigates the shoreline of Peck Lake. The trail guide explores the ecology of a typical Algonquin lake.

Track and Tower Trail located at km 25km - 7.7 km (3 hours) moderate
This looped trail features a spectacular lookout over Cache Lake. An optional 5.5 km side trip follows an abandoned railway to Mew Lake.

Hemlock Bluff Trail located at km 27.2 - 3.5 km (2 hours) moderate.
This trail leads through a mixed forest to an impressive view of Jack Lake.

Bat Lake Trail located at km 30 - 5.6 km (2.5 hours) moderate
This looped trail introduces the hiker to basic park ecology while visiting a beautiful hemlock stand, a fine lookout, and acidic Bat Lake.

Two Rivers Trail located a km 31 - 2.1km (1 hour) moderate
This looped trail includes an easy climb to a pine-clad cliff.

Centennial Ridges Trail located at km 37.6 - 10 km (3-4 hours) strenuous
This demanding loop rewards the hiker with spectacular viewing along two high ridges.

Lookout Trail located at km 39.7 - 1.9km (1 hour) moderate

This trail is relatively steep and rugged but affords the hiker with a magnificent view of several hundred square kilometres of Algonquin.

Big Pines Trail located at km 40.3 - 2.9 km (2 hours) moderate
This trail visits spectacularly large, old growth White Pine and the remains of an 1880s logging camp.

Booth’s Rock Trail located at km 40.5 - 5.1 km (2 hours) moderate
This trail visits two lakes and a spectacular lookout, returning via an abandoned railway.


Spruce Bog Boardwalk located at km 42.5 - 1.5 km (1hour) easy
Several boardwalk sections in the looped trail give you an excellent close-up look of two typical northern Black Spruce bogs. The trail is located right off of the Highway 60 corridor, making it very accessible for bird watching.


Beaver Pond Trail located at km 45.2 - 2 km (1 hour) moderate
This trail provides excellent views of two beaver ponds.

Algonquin Logging Museum Trail at km 54.5 - 1.3km (1 hour)
This trail and exhibits summarizes the logging history of the Algonquin area. Features a re-created camboose camp and a fascinating steam-powered amphibious tug called an “alligator”.

SOUTHERN SECTION OF PARK

High Falls Hiking Trail - 1.9 km, 30 minutes 1 way or 1 hour for return
Starting from the High Falls parking area, the trail follows an old road through a Red Pine plantation. It then becomes a footpath northward through hardwood forests on the west side of the York River. The trail connects with the first portage on the river then branches off to a rock point north of High Falls.  From the end of the trail you have a view of the top of the rapids upstream of High Falls and a view downstream of the falls.

Scorch Lake Lookout Trail – less than 1 km, moderate
Although this 942 m trail is very steep, it’s well worth the 20 minute climb to see the spectacular view of Scorch Lake.

Bruton Farm Hiking Trail
The Bruton Farm Hiking Trail is 2.4 km in length and takes about an hour to walk one way.

EASTERN SECTION OF ALGONQUIN PARK:



Barron Canyon Trail 1.5 km (1 hour) moderate
This trail leads to and runs along the north rim of the spectacular 100m deep Barron Canyon. The trail guide uses six stops to explain the formation and history of the canyon. Caution: This trail travels by an unfenced cliff, keep children close by and pets on a leash at all times. It is located 10 km from the Sand Lake Gate entrance to the park and 35 km in total from the junction of the Barron Canyon Road and the Trans Canada Highway.

Berm Lake Trail - 4.5 km (2 hours) moderate

The trail circles Berm Lake and runs through pine and oak forests typical of the area. A trail guide discusses the ecology of a pine forest. This trail is accessed from the Achray Campground.


NORTHERN SECTION OF THE PARK:



Brent Crater Trail - 2 km (1.5 hours) strenuous
The Brent Crater was formed when a meteorite crashed to earth thousands of years ago. From a wooden observation tower overlooking the crater, the trail descends to the crater floor before looping back to the starting point. Six interpretive stops relate some of the geological and historical significance of this unique feature. This trail is accessed from the Brent Campground.

BACKPACKING TRAILS


The interior of the park offers over 140 km of backpacking trails with designated campsites. More information is available by calling 705-633-5572.

 
Canoeing

Algonquin Provincial Park offers the canoeing enthusiast a network of over 2,100 km of canoe routes. A detailed map-brochure, Canoe Routes of Algonquin Park shows the entire park network of canoe routes, portages, and interior campsites. Elsewhere on the maps, detailed directions are given for 29 different access points along with complete information on planning and completing a canoe trip. A copy of this map can be purchased for $4.95 from the Friends of Algonquin Park.

There are two outfitters which offer canoe rentals in the park:

Opeongo Store and Canoe Centre
Located 6 km north from km 46.3 on Highway 60

Portage Store and Canoe Centre
Located at km 14.1 on Highway 60

To avoid disappointment reservations are recommended, but are not necessary for backcountry campsites. Reservations can be made by calling the Ontario Parks Reservation Service. Permits must be picked-up at a designated access point on the day of departure. Please consider your trip details carefully and always plan for the unexpected. Information relating to trip planning can be obtained by calling the Algonquin Provincial Park Information Line at 705-633-5572. Users will reserve a campsite on a specific lake each night, however individual campsites on that lake are first-come, first-served basis.

 
Swimming

The clear, clean lakes of Algonquin offer endless opportunities for swimming. All campgrounds and picnic areas have designed beach areas.

 
Boating

Motor boats are not permitted on most lakes within the park, however there are some exceptions.



(a) Motors of unlimited horsepower may be used on Galeairy and Opeongo Lakes.

(b) Motors of 20 horsepower or less may be used on the following lakes: Bonita, Cache, Canoe, Cedar, Kingscote, Kioshkokwi, Little Cauchon, Rock, Smoke, Source, Tanamakoon, Tea, Two Rivers, and Whitefish.

(c) Motors of 10 horsepower or less may be used on the following lakes: Cauchon, Cauliflower, Grand, Joe, Little Joe, Madawaska, Manitou, North Tea, Radiant, Rain, Tepee, and Travers.

(d) Motors of 6 horsepower or less may be used, from the day following Labour Day to the last Thursday in June, on the following lakes: Big Crow, Hogan, La Muir, Little Crow, Proulx and White Partridge or the Crow River from Proulx Lake to Little Crow Lake.
Waterskiing, jetskiing and other similar activities are not permitted within the park.

 
Fishing

Algonquin has a reputation for some of the best trout fishing in Canada. More than 230 lakes have native Brook Trout and 149 have Lake Trout—a fantastic concentration of trout waters that continue to yield good fishing because of the Park’s tradition of wise conservation.

Along the highway, many of the lakes are stocked with Splake (a hybrid of Brook and Lake trout) and fishing is outstanding. Spring is the best season for trout and summer brings on more enjoyment with Smallmouth Bass. Spend a July day with the family at a prime bass location, enjoying the scenery and reeling in the night’s dinner.

Algonquin hosts a Family Fishing Weekend in July at Whitefish Lake, offering a free fish and chips lunch, boats and equipment, prizes, and more. It is fun for the whole family and is scheduled to coincide with Ontario’s licence free fishing weekend.

Options to target pike are available in lakes accessible through the Shall Lake Access Point.
It is illegal to possess live bait fish anywhere in Algonquin. Please refer to current Ontario Fisheries Regulations for other restrictions that may apply.

 
Natural Heritage Education

Conducted walks are led by park naturalists every day from late June to Labour Day. These consist of an hour and a half leisurely walk, exploring and learning about some part of the park environment. Times and locations are posted at bulletin boards within the parks.



Algonquin for Kids : Come with your kids (ages 5 to 12) to the Visitor Centre for an hour of discovery with games, stories and animals. Times and topics are posted at bulletin boards within the parks.



Evening Programs begin at dusk every evening at the Outdoor Theatre (at km 35.4) from late June to Labour Day. Each program lasts about an hour and a half and consists of a film, a slide talk about some aspect of the park, a question period and them another film. When bad weather interferes, the programs are held at the Visitor Centre. Times and topics are posted at bulletin boards within the parks.



Special Events are listed in This Week in Algonquin Park posted at all bulletin boards in the park. Public Wolf Howls take place on Thursdays in August if a pack has been located in a suitable location and if the weather is favourable. Check the bulletin boards, call the Visitor Centre (613-637-2828) or check The Friends of Algonquin Park website on the Thursday morning to find out if a Wolf Howl is going to be held that day.

 
Birding

More than 260 bird species have been recorded in the Park. Many southern and overseas birders make special trips to Algonquin just to see northern specialties such as the Gray Jay and the Spruce Grouse, not to mention the rich variety of warblers or Algonquin’s most famous bird of all—the Common Loon, found nesting on just about every lake.

 
Winter Activities

Algonquin Provincial Park has as much to offer the visitor in the winter as during the summer. Highway 60 is ploughed and sanded all winter and many trails are available for the winter visitor. The Algonquin Visitor Centre is open on winter weekends and daily during the March break. A valid permit is required to use the park. Permits can be purchased at the East or West Gates or at the self-service station at the Mew Lake Campground.

Snowshoeing enthusiasts can go virtually anywhere within the park except on cross-country ski trails. If you prefer a set trail, you might try one of the short walking trails along the Highway 60 corridor or one of the two longer backpacking trails. 



Cross-country Skiing - Algonquin has three trail networks for cross-country skiing. They offer trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty.



Fen Lake Ski Trail is located at the West Gate of the park. Much of this trail travels through the hardwood bush typical of Algonquin’s west side. You will almost certainly see the tracks of moose on your outing. It offers four loops of 1.25, 5.2, 11.4 and 13 km and offers both easy and more challenging sections. All trails are groomed and track set and a 6 km section also offers a lane for skate skiing. A cabin is located at Fen Lake and privies are available throughout the trail network.

Minnesing Trail is located on the north side of Highway 60, 23 km from the West Gate.

The Minnesing Trail has four loops ranging in distance from 4.7 to 23.4 km. The trail is maintained for backcountry wilderness skiing and is not groomed. Wide touring skis and large basket poles are essential for soft snow conditions.

Leaf Lake Trail system provides some of the most beautiful vistas and exhilarating skiing available anywhere. These trails are found one km west of the East Gate. As you explore the landscape you may see the tracks of moose, otter, ruffed grouse, marten and many other animals.



Leaf Lake Ski Trail offers a wide variety of trail selections ranging in length from 5 to 51 km and ranging from easy to very difficult. The system includes three loops that are groomed for skate skiing. All trails are groomed and many are track set. Cabins and toilets are available at several locations throughout the trail system.



Winter Camping
Highway 60 Corridor

Mew Lake Campground offers camping from mid-October until the end of April on a first-come, first-served basis. The main parking lot and the roads adjacent to sites 1-76 are ploughed. Sites are ploughed as time and weather permit. Sites 1 to 66 have electrical hook-ups. Firewood can be purchased at the Mew Lake Campground woodlot. A heated winterized comfort station provides drinking water, flush toilets, showers and laundry.



Interior


Camping away from Highway 60 in the interior of the park is also permitted during winter. You may wish to use one of the groomed ski trails to enter the park interior but camping within sight or sound of the trails or in trail shelters is not permitted. Winter camping is also not permitted on designated summer campsites or within 30 metres of a lakeshore, trail or portage. We recommend that you camp in low sheltered areas where there is a good supply of standing dead firewood for warmth and cooking.



Roofed Accommodation

Seven yurts, located in the Mew Lake Campground, are available for rent during the winter. Accessible by vehicle, these tent-like structures are equipped with basic furniture and electric heat. Reservations are required for the yurts and can be made up to five months in advance by called 1-888-ONT-PARK or by clicking on the reservation button on this website.



Dog sledding opportunities, offered by commercial operators, are available in two locations in the park - one along Highway 60 and one in the northwest section of the park accessible from the village for South River on Highway 11. 



Fishing during winter is not permitted in Algonquin Provincial Park.


Snowmobiling is not permitted within Algonquin Provincial Park with the exception of the hydro line across Clyde Township.

Ice Conditions

We advise against ice travel. Ice conditions may vary due to weather, snow depth, pressure cracks, and many other variables. Hazards are difficult to detect. Ice may be safe in one location and unsafe nearby. Use alternate land routes to avoid ice travel.

 
Hunting

Hunting in this park is subject to the Ontario Hunting Regulations. Certain restrictions apply. For more information, contact the park or a Ministry of Natural Resources office.

Amenities

Algonquin offers a variety of amenities in the park to enhance the experience of every guest. 
For those that are car camping, many of the campgrounds feature comfort stations with flush toilets, showers and laundry facilities.
 
Algonquin also features many excellent picnic grounds with great scenery including lakes and rivers. A few of these picnic grounds are also designated beach swimming areas.

Equipment rentals are available in the park so that you may explore the park by bicycle, canoe or kayak. 
If you are travelling with your pet, there are multiple pet exercise areas in the park to allow your pet to swim and play.

Just the Facts

 
Comfort Station(s)

Comfort Stations are available at many of the facilities in Algonquin Park including:
Day-use Areas, Canisbay Lake, Kearney Lake, Kiosk, Lake Of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Pog Lake and Rock Lake.

 
Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are available at many of the facilities within Algonquin including: East and West Gates, Visitor Centre, Algonquin Logging Museum, and East Beach.

Flush toilets are also available at many campgrounds including: Canisbay Lake, Kearney Lake, Kiosk, Lake Of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Pog Lake, and Rock Lake.

 
Barrier Free Access

Barrier-free flush toilets are available at the Visitor Centre, West Gate, East Beach Pavilion and Logging Museum.

A number of campgrounds have barrier-free showers and flush toilets including: Canisbay Lake, Kearney Lake, Lake of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Pog Lake and Rock Lake.

Additionally the following campgrounds have barrier-free campsites: Mew Lake, Lake of Two Rivers, Kearney Lake, Pog Lake, and Rock Lake.

 
Day Use Area

For those spending the day in the park there are picnic facilities located at Costello Creek (located 1 km north from km 46.3), East Beach Picnic Ground and Beach (located at km 35.4), Lake of Two Rivers Picnic Ground and Beach (located at km 33.8), Tea Lake Dam and Picnic Ground (located at km 8).

Each of these locations has a beach for swimming, picnic tables, and toilets.

 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are available at several campgrounds within the park including: Canisbay Lake, Lake Of Two Rivers, Mew Lake, Pog Lake, Rock Lake, and Kearney.

 
Boat Launch

Boat launches are available at:

Opeongo Access Point
Canoe Lake Access Point
East Beach
Two Rivers Campground
Source Lake Access Point
Smoke Lake Access Point
Kingscote Lake Access Point
Cauliflower Lake
Galeairy Lake
Cache Lake Access Point
Rock Lake Access Point
Rain Lake Access Point
Aylen Lake Access Point

 
Rentals

Canoe and outfitting rentals are available at The Portage Store on Canoe Lake, the Opeongo Store on Opeongo Lake. There are also numerous outlets in Whitney, east of the park and at Oxtongue Lake and Dwight, west of the park.



Bicycle Rentals are available at the Lake of Two Rivers Store at km 31.4 on Highway 60.

 
Park Store

There are a number of park stores at Algonquin. Park souvenirs, maps and publications are available at the stores at the East and West Gates on Highway 60 as well as at Sand Lake Gate and Achray on Algonquin’s East side and at Brent on the North side. 

The Friends of Algonquin Bookstore is located at the Visitor Centre and the Unique Boutique Gift Shop at the Algonquin Art Centre (km 20).

Additional stores in the park:

Opeongo Store and Canoe Centre 6 km north from km 46.3
Portage Store and Canoe Centre at km 14.1 on Hwy 60
Two Rivers Store at km 31.4

 
French Language Services

Bilingual services are available.

 
Picnic Shelter

East Beach Picnic Pavilion is a covered picnic facility suitable for approximately 110 people (55 people per half a pavilion). This facility is available for weddings, family reunions, business meetings, training courses, special events, and school group outings. It offers electricity and heat, hot and cold running water, picnic tables, a propane barbecue and two stone fireplaces (two bags of firewood per side available on site). Washroom facilities are located nearby.

Please call the park directly to reserve 705-633-5572.

 
Visitor Centre

Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre is open year-round and features exhibits on the natural and human history of Algonquin, a theatre which plays the video presentation “Images of Algonquin”, a viewing deck that looks out over an amazing Algonquin landscape, bookstore, and “The Algonquin Room” which exhibits Algonquin themed art by local artists.

Logging Museum
The Algonquin Logging Museum brings to life the story of logging from the early square timber days to the last of the great river drives. Start your visit with a video presentation that sums up the logging history of the Algonquin area. On the easy-to-walk 1.5 km trail, a recreated camboose camp and a fascinating steam-powered amphibious tug called an “alligator” are among the many displays. Take a step back in time and learn about this very colourful aspect of Algonquin’s cultural history. As well, the Algonquin Logging Museum has an excellent bookstore staffed by The Friends of Algonquin Park

Art Centre
At km 20, on a small hill next to Found Lake, there sits a giant, hollow sculpture made of stone. Created in 1953, this work of art was the original Park Museum. In 2005, new life was breathed into its earthly presence – as the Algonquin Art Centre!

The Framing Place and Gallery (Huntsville) has been entrusted to carry out this unique project. The central vision of this project is to act as a bridge, connecting the art world with the natural world, as well as to promote the preservation and protection of the environment, from a local to global scale.
Another Art Centre ethic is to make this facility available to everyone – it is wheelchair accessible and the entrance fee is a voluntary admission, where your contribution will be put towards the enhancement of this “open-concept” project.

The Algonquin Art Centre has an indoor gallery, consisting of three wings and a boutique; an outdoor gallery; and a “Green” Gazebo where you can treat yourself to various tasty treats, teas and coffees, or participate in one of the many scheduled art activities for both adults and children.

 
Pet Exercise Area

There are pet exercise areas available at Lake of Two Rivers Campground, Mew Lake Campground, and Rock Lake Campground.

Park Location

Campground Maps (online)

Online Map

Park Maps (pdf)

Highway 60 Corridor Overview - pdf

Trail Maps (pdf)

Interpretive Trail Maps - pdf

Fire Ban

None

There is no fire ban at this time.

Boil Water

No

There is no boil water advisory at this time.

Beach Posting

No

There is no beach posting at this time.


Algonquin Provincial Park

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