Algonquin

Algonquin - Backcountry

Backcountry Camping

1. The Experience

The heart of Algonquin is its vast backcountry of maple hills, rocky ridges, great pines, and over 2,400 lakes with some of the best trout fishing opportunities in the world. The park is known for its breathtaking landscapes, old logging depots, abandoned homesteads, as well as old growth pine stands and unique wildlife such as Moose, Beaver, Otters, and Loons.

There are two ways to explore Algonquin’s backcountry: the backpacking trail network and the canoe routes network. The backpacking trail network features three different trails with loops ranging from 6 km to 88 km for a total of 140 km of trails. Algonquin canoe routes suit all skill levels, ranging from an easy paddle-in campsite, to a weeks-long paddling trip.

Every backcountry campsite is marked by an orange sign and features a fire pit, box privy, and flat area for your tent. Every portage is marked with a yellow sign that indicates the portage length and what lakes it connects to. Many longer portages feature at least one canoe rest along the way.

2. Reservations and Interior Camping Permits

Lake or zone-specific reservations are available online or by phone up to five months in advance of your arrival date. When making a reservation, you will select a pre-defined lake or zone to camp in for each night of your trip. Within your lake or zone, campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are recommended to secure your campsite.

Interior camping permits are required for backcountry camping at Algonquin Provincial Park. Permits are picked up in-person at designated access points located around the park boundary and along Highway 60 as indicated in the tables below.

Paddling Access Point Permit Pick-up Location
Aylen Lake East Gate Office
Basin Lake Bonnechere Provincial Park Office
Bissett Creek Road Cedar Lake (Brent Permit Office)
Brain Lake Mattawa Information Centre
Cache Lake Canoe Lake Permit Office
Canoe Lake Canoe Lake Permit Office
Cedar Lake – Brent Cedar Lake (Brent Permit Office) located on Brent Rd along way to the Access Point
Galeairy Lake East Gate Office
Grand Lake Sand Lake Gate
Hay Lake East Gate Office
Hollow River – Dividing Lake East Gate Office
Kawawaymog (Round) Lake Round Lake Access Point Office
Kingscote Lake Pine Grove Point
Kioshkokwi Lake – Kiosk Kiosk Access Point Permit Office
Lake Opeongo Lake Opeongo Permit Office
Lake Travers Sand Lake Gate
Magnetawan Lake Permit Office located inside Kearney Community Centre
Mallard (Sec) Lake Sand Lake Gate
McManus Lake Sand Lake Gate
North River Cedar Lake (Brent Permit Office)
Pinetree Lake East Gate Office
Rain Lake Permit Office located inside Kearney Community Centre
Rock Lake Rock Lake Campground/Permit Office
Shall Lake Shall Lake Permit Office
Smoke Lake Canoe Lake Access Point
Source Lake Canoe Lake Access Point
Sunday Creek East Gate Office
Tim River Permit Office located inside Kearney Community Centre
Wendigo Lake Cedar Lake (Brent Permit Office)
Backpacking Trail Permit Pick-up Location
Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail Sand Lake Gate
Highland Backpacking Trail Mew Lake Campground Office (end of April to Thanksgiving)
West Gate (winter only)
Western Uplands Backpacking Trail Permit Office located inside Kearney Community Centre
West Gate

For additional information including hours of operation, please contact the Algonquin Provincial Park information line: 705-633-5572.

Winter Backcountry Camping Protocol: Algonquin welcomes visitors all year long, but there are some differences in access and permitting during the winter months. The park does not take reservations for the winter months and camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Interior camping permits are purchased at the East or West Gates during hours of operation. Winter backcountry camping is not permitted on designated summer campsites or within 30 metres of a lakeshore, trail, or portage marked on the Canoe Routes Map or Backpacking Trails Map.

3. Trip Planning

The Algonquin Canoe Routes Map is available as a digital file online. Paper copies are available for purchase online, or in-person at many locations in and around the park including park offices, stores, and local outfitters.

The Algonquin Backpacking Trails Map is available for sale online through The Friends of Algonquin Bookstore and may be purchased in-person at many locations in and around the park including park offices, stores, and local outfitters.

There is a ban on cans and glass bottles and in Algonquin’s backcountry.

Motor restrictions exist on most lakes in Algonquin.

Possession or use of live baitfish is prohibited in Algonquin.

Please refer to the most recent version of the Ontario Fishing Regulations before fishing in any of Algonquin’s Lakes. There are special restrictions in place to protect the fisheries.

ParkBus is a service that offers transportation to Algonquin from Toronto and Ottawa and makes stops along the Highway 60 Corridor including Opeongo and Canoe Lake Access Points. For more info visit the ParkBus website.

For information about Algonquin and local outfitters, click here.

Please be respectful of the natural environment and other visitors. Practice leave-no-trace camping, camp only on designated campsites, and be aware of your surrounding neighbours, ecology, and wildlife. We appreciate your efforts to maintain this pristine environment.

Radio-Free Camping

All backcountry areas prohibit the possession of audio equipment (weather radio, ear phone are the only devices permitted).

Walk-In Camping

Five walk-in campsites are available at Kingscote Lake Access Point. These campsites are less than 100 m from the parking area and include designated fire pits and tent pads. Vault privies are located adjacent to the parking area. Permits are available from Pinegrove Point Resort.

Roofed Accommodation

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Wenda Lake # 754

The Wenda Lake Cabin is believed to have been built by a Park Ranger in the early 1920s. It is a one room, open concept log cabin located on the north shore of Wenda Lake.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Not accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Tattler # 761

The Tattler Lake Cabin was the living quarters for the successive towermen who manned the Preston fire tower situated on a hilltop about two kms west of the cabin. At 579 metres, or 1900 feet, it’s the highest spot in all of Algonquin. The tower itself was put up in 1932, but there is no record of the cabin’s construction.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Not accessible.

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Rain Lake # 750

The existing cabin was moved to Rain Lake in Algonquin from Cache Lake, where it was a private leased cottage in the late 1970s. It was used as an Interior access point office until 1995. This waterfront log cabin is located at the end of the public access road at Rain Lake. It features a propane fridge, stove, lights and heat.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

This cabin has a propane fridge, stove, lights and heat. Vault toilets are shared with other campers when sites are occupied. There is a beach and boat launch area. All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (vinyl covered mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Parking for 2 vehicles is included in the rental fee.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made online or by phone.

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: McKaskill # 753

McKaskill Lake Cabin in Algonquin was built in 1932. It’s a waterfront, one room, open concept log cabin located on McKaskill Lake. This cabin can be reached through Shall Lake access point # 17, travelling by canoe for one day. It can also be accessed through Basin Lake access point # 19 by biking, carting and hiking 8 kms over a forest access road.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Not accessible.

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Lost Coin # 755

Lost Coin Lake Cabin was built in 1936. This waterfront,(waterfront is not suitable for swimming - weedy shoreline) one room, log cabin is located on Lost Coin Lake in Algonquin. Visitors must hike or bike the 7 kms from the Park boundary to the cabin after driving the Bissett Road to the Park boundary. This is beyond the Big Bissett access point # 24, after turning off HIghway 17 one km east of Big Bissett Creek village.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Not accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Kitty # 752

Built in 1935, Kitty Lake is one of the larger Backcountry cabins in Algonquin. This one room, open concept log cabin is situated on Kitty Lake. It can be easily reached by canoeing one hour from Shall Lake access point # 17.

Sleeps: 8

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

​Not accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Highview # 758

The original Highview Cabin in Algonquin was built in 1922 as headquarters for fire rangers on patrol. It was destroyed by fire in 1928 and rebuilt in that year. This one room, open concept log cabin is located just off the Nipissing River west of the 840m portage to Gibson Lake. It could take one or two days to access this cabin by canoe, depending on your access point.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water. Appropriate cold weather gear for winter.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

Not Accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Crooked Chute # 762

Construction of the original Crooked Chute Cabin was completed in 1929. It served as a shelter for rangers covering the Petawawa log drive. It was replaced with a modified replica in 1997 using logs donated by the Shaw Lumber Co. of Pembroke and with the assistance of the Algonquin Forestry Authority.

Sleeps: 8

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

Not Accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Bissett Road # 756

Bissett Road Cabin is located in a very secluded location about one km inside the Algonquin boundary off the Bissett Road. This one room log cabin was built in 1922 by the first District Forester for the Department of Lands and Forests as a moose hunting camp.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Birchcliffe #760

Birchcliffe Cabin was built in 1962. This log sided cabin sits right on Birchcliffe Lake in Algonquin. It has two bedrooms with an open concept kitchen and dining area. Accessible only by canoe, it could take one or two days to reach this cabin, depending on which access point you leave from.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

Not Accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)

Roofed Accommodation Backcountry Cabin

Number at Park: 1

Site Number(s) / Name: Big Crow # 757

Big Crow Cabin, with its boathouse and fire tower, was built in 1956. The fire tower was one of the last in Ontario to be used for fire detection up to the mid ‘70s. The cabin has two bedrooms complete with a kitchen and living area. It will normally take one day to reach this cabin.

Sleeps: 4

Amenities

All cabins are equipped with fire extinguishers, wash basin, metal pail, shovel, broom, dust pan, bunks (no mattresses), CSA-approved wood stove and chimney with heat shields, table and chairs, and an outside closed-in toilet.

What to Bring

Sleeping bags, air mattresses, cooking stove, pots and pans, utensils, flashlight, lantern, matches, food, drinking water.

Restrictions

Tents outside are not permitted. Domestic animals (pets) are not permitted in the facility or on site and smoking is prohibited in all facilities.

Parking

Not Accessible

How to Reserve

Call 1-888-ONT-PARK (1-888-668-7275)

(or 1-519-826-5290 for outside of North America)