Old Railway Bike Trail
The Old Railway Bike Trail between Rock Lake and Mew Lake Campgrounds was extended in 2011. The extension adds 6.2 km of bike trail that runs west from Mew Lake Campground to the Track and Tower Trail. You can now plan a combined adventure by biking to the most westerly end of the bike trail and then hiking up the “Tower” portion of the Track and Tower Trail to take in a premier vista of Algonquin Provincial Park. The full bike trail is now 16.2 km in length and is accessible from Rock & Coon Lake, Pog Lake, Mew Lake Campgrounds. This 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.
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.
There are canoeing opportunities available on Mew Lake at the campground. In addition, there are many other lakes nearby where visitors may put in their canoe. Rentals are available at the Portage Store and Opeongo Store in the park.
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.
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 offers many opportunities for hiking. The following trails are located near the Mew Lake Campground.
Track and Tower Trail located at km 25 km - 7.7km (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. This trail can be accessed directly from the campground.
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 at km 31 - 2.1 km (1 hour) moderate
This looped trail includes an easy climb to a pine-clad cliff.
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.
A sand beach and swimming area is centrally located in the Mew Lake Campground.
Algonquin 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.
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. 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. 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.