Algonquin Park is Ontario’s oldest and largest provincial park. Easily accessible from major centers in eastern Canada and the U.S., the park is a canoeist’s, camper’s and naturalist’s paradise.
Covering approximately 8000 square kilometers (3500 square miles) of rugged Canadian Shield country, the park is home to an abundant wildlife population, including moose, wolves and black bears. While many Algonquin visitors see moose, the latter two creatures are less common sights. During late August and into the fall, people who try howling for wolves are often rewarded with a mournful response from a nearby pack. Smaller mammals like otters, fox, chipmunks, squirrels and raccoons are common sights. Over 250 bird species have been recorded in Algonquin Park and everyone’s favorite wilderness bird, the common loon, is found nesting on most lakes.
A canoe tripper could spend a lifetime exploring Algonquin Park. Over 1500 km of canoe routes follow lakes, streams and portage trails through the vast forested interior. Campsites and portages are marked and well maintained. Fly-ins are prohibited. Motor boats are restricted to a few lakes and road access to the park is limited to the Hwy. 60 “corridor” and peripheral access points. As a result, most of Algonquin Park is only accessible by canoe. Backpacking and day hiking trails allow travel on foot. In the winter the park is also open to travel by ski and snowshoe.
If you don’t feel quite ready for venturing into the park interior, 12 drive-in campgrounds offer visitors a slightly different camping experience. Most of the campgrounds are along the Hwy. 60 corridor, with easy access to park facilities, day canoe trips, hiking trails and other activities.
However, you don’t have to be a canoeist, or even a camper, to enjoy Algonquin Park. Many people stay at lodges and resorts outside the park and enjoy day excursions in the park. Canoe and kayak day rentals are available at all four Algonquin Outfitters bases for shorter outings.
The Minnesing mountain bike trail is a great ride for fat tire fans and the Old Rail Line trail offers a more sedate riding experience (and yes, we rent mountain bikes at both our Oxtongue Lake and Opeongo bases).
There are picnic areas, beautiful sand beaches, day hikes and some amazing scenery to be seen. The Algonquin Visitor Centre is a “must see” for any Algonquin visitor. Visit the official Algonquin Park web site at www.algonquinpark.on.ca.