Algonquin

Algonquin - Backcountry

Biking

Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail

The Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail is located 23 km from the West Gate and 33 km from the East Gate, just off of Hwy 60. The trail consists of four loops, with distances of 4.7, 10.1, 17.1 and 23.4 kilometres. All four loops are hilly and unsuitable for small children and unfit adults. They are rated at a moderate level of technical difficulty. The western or return side of each loop follows the old Minnesing Road where the trail is smoother and the grades are less steep. Expect extensive muddy sections until the drier weather of August and September. Cabins are located at the start of the trail and on the return run of the second loop. The trail passes through hardwood forest with views of three lakes along the way.



Old Railway Bike Trail
The Old Railway Bike Trail runs from Mew Lake Campground to Rock Lake Campground but can also be accessed from Pog Lake Campground. This 10 kilometre leisurely trail runs along the abandoned rail bed of the historic Ottawa, Arnprior, and Parry Sound Railway built across the park in 1895. The trail has several interpretive panels along the route which explain Algonquin’s history.

Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail
A short mountain bike trail of 6.5 km (13 km round trip) and moderate degree of difficulty can also be accessed east of the Kingscote Access Point. Once on the mountain bike trail, there is an interesting 150 m side trail that provides access to Gut Rapids, which is a narrow scenic canyon on the York River.

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.

Boating

Motorboats 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 Algonquin Provincial Park.

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.

Reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment, 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 available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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.

Hiking

The interior of Algonquin offers over 140 km of backpacking trails with designated campsites. Campsites are designated for hikers only and are always located close to the water’s edge. The trails are regularly maintained, but some sections can be very challenging and rugged. The scenery, forest types and terrain vary throughout the trail network offering great wildlife viewing opportunities. Interior camping fees, rules and regulations apply.

Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail
The Eastern Pines Trail is an overnight backpacking trail with loops of 6 to 15 kilometres in length. The trail can be accessed from the Achray Access Point. Permits can be picked up at the Sand Lake Gate.

Western Uplands Backpacking Trail
The Western Uplands is an overnight backpacking trail with loops of 32 - 88 kilometres in length. The trail can be accessed from the Western Uplands Backpacking Trailhead/Oxtongue River Picnic Ground or the Rain Lake Access Point.

Highland Backpacking Trail
Highland Backpacking Trail is an overnight backpacking trail with loops of 19 and 35 km in length. The challenging trail can be accessed from the Highland Backpacking Trailhead near the Mew Lake Campground.

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.

Swimming

The clear, clean lakes of Algonquin offer endless opportunities for swimming. Discover secluded beaches or rocks for jumping as you paddle through the interior of the park.

Winter Activities

The mood of Algonquin in winter is very different from the summer scene familiar to most park visitors. On clear, frosty days after a fresh snowfall, there are breathtaking views of frozen lakes ringed by snow-covered conifers. At night the sky is bright with a billion stars and trees crack like rifle shots in the frozen stillness of the surrounding wilderness. In the winter the easiest part of Algonquin to visit are areas accessible from the Highway 60 corridor in the southwest section of the park. 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.

Nordic Skiing is very popular in Algonquin.
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.
These cabins are regularly maintained and stocked with firewood. Privies are located nearby.

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. This trail network is very challenging and is only recommended for experienced skiers who are well prepared for the conditions.

To minimize damage to trails, dogs, walking, snowshoeing, toboggans and sleighs are not permitted on ski trails.

An extensive dog sledding network exists in Algonquin. Several commercial operators offer this service and should be contacted directly for prices and information. Overnight trips of up to seven days are available. The scenery and experience that this adventure offers will create memories to last a lifetime.


Interior Camping



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. Reservations are not required; however valid interior permits are. Permits can be purchased at the East or West Gates.



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.

No lodges or rental outfitters operate in Algonquin during the winter, but yurts are available for rent at Mew Lake Campground.

Winter fishing is not permitted in Algonquin Provincial Park and snowmobiling is only permitted on the hydro line across Clyde Township.