Moose Madness

One of the things I love about Algonquin Park is that a mere three hour drive from the hustle, bustle and stagnant insanity of Toronto traffic is some of the best wildlife viewing in Eastern North America.

Bigger than some small countries, Algonquin Provincial Park lies across the rocky spine of the Canadian Shield, protecting thousands of square kilometres of forests, rivers and lakes.

Some of Ontario’s largest un-hunted populations of bear, wolves and moose live here. With over 3,600 moose you have a great chance to see one of these majestic creatures during your visit.

Moose are attracted to the salty water leftover from winter highway maintenance. Simply drive Highway 60 and watch for a 400kg brown mammal slurping ditchwater. A good tactic is to watch for other vehicles pulled over on the side of the road – creating the Algonquin form of traffic congestion known as a ‘Moose Jam’.

Use common sense when viewing moose – pull your car onto the shoulder of the road, watch for traffic, and don’t get too close! Give moose their space, and they will reward you by ignoring you. Get too close and you may startle them into traffic, creating a hazard for humans and animal alike.

Spring moose are scruffy looking as they shed their winter coat. For a more Canadian experience and to see moose looking more photogenic – take out a canoe in the summer. Weedy lakeshores are great places to see moose as they feed on aquatic plants. Hailstorm Creek on Lake Opeongo is famous for its moose. For a day-trip, you can contact a local outfitter for a ride up the lake in a water-taxi with your canoe, camera and your sense of wonder for a wildlife experience you won’t soon forget. For more exciting outdoor adventures in Ontario – Click here.

Brad Steinberg – Management Biologist, Algonquin Park