Algonquin Provincial Park Things to Do

  • Barron Canyon - notice the canoe on the river.
    Barron Canyon - notice the canoe on the...
    by Regina1965
  • Barron Canyon - easy to fall down here.
    Barron Canyon - easy to fall down here.
    by Regina1965
  • Greg and I hiking by the Barron Canyon.
    Greg and I hiking by the Barron Canyon.
    by Regina1965

Most Recent Things to Do in Algonquin Provincial Park

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    Algonquin Portage - Store and outfitters.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 2, 2011

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    Algonquin portage store.
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    I will add this tip under things to do even though this is a store, as this is the last opportunity for fuel before you enter Algonquin park. At this store they rent out canoes and kayaks and sell canoes. They have camping supplies and food and souvenirs. And they sell firewood and gas, there were stacks of firewood there for sale.

    They have lodging as well and are located only 20 minutes away from Algonquin Park.

    There are washrooms here, but they are just a hole in the ground.

    We stopped there for a picknic as they have a nice picknic area, but we were eaten alive by the mosquitos there.

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    The Grand Lake and Achray Campground.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 2, 2011

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    The Grand Lake and canoes.
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    After our hike on Barron Canyon Trail Greg and I went to Grand Lake where the Achray campground is located. I found this place to be heaven on earth, I had no idea that there were golden beaches in Algonquin park. And this beautiful lake, where people were canoeing and swimming and wading.

    As it was so hot and sunny I couldn´t resist wading in the lake, I so wanted to go for a swim, but hadn´t brought a swimsuit. Greg sunbathed while I went wading in the lake, with the children, getting to know the wildlife in the lake, tadpoles, f.ex. which I have never ever seen before. So I felt like a child there, and have fond memories from this trip. We didn´t camp though, we only visited for a couple of hours.

    There is a store by the lake which used to be a train-station.

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    Sand Lake Gate - entrance to the park.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 2, 2011

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    Here you pay the entrance fee.
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    We entered the park at Sand Lake Gate, which is where you pay the entrance fee and get info on the park. We only wanted to stay for one day so we paid CAD 15 for a day permit for two people. But of course here people also pay for camping, canoes etc. The day permit allowed us to stay in the park until 22h, but we were out of there way before that time as we arrived early.

    The day permit must be put on the dashbord of the car or else one gets a parking ticket.

    On display at the Information center is cooler, which got "attacked" by a black bear (see my photos). There are ca 2.000 black bears in Algonquin park and even though it is rare to run into one they can get attracted by the smell of food. So this is a warning to guests to store their food properly.

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    The Barron Canyon.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 2, 2011

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    Barron Canyon - notice the canoe on the river.
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    Our goal was to hike on the Barron Canyon trail. It is an easy trail, marked by a blue dot on some trees, but it is really not possible to get lost on this trail. Only at the very beginning does it go a bit upwards, after that it is a all smooth. It leads you by the amazing Barron Canyon. I must say that it is quite breathtaking, and we got very lucky that it was sunny and no wind and 27-29 degrees C, which made it even more breathtaking.

    Even though this is a short trail, 1,5 km loop, then it takes some time walking the whole circle as there are so many places where one wants to stop and admire the canyon and take photos. In the brochure it says it takes 1,5 hours just to finish the trail. We saw a canoe down on the mirror like river and it was just surreal, for me at least, coming from the rugged Iceland, where we have quite different canyons with glacial water.

    This beautiful trail is on the east side of the park and the trail takes you along the north rim of the Barron Canyon which is 100 m deep.

    There are no fenches here so this is a dangerous trail and I would not take kids with me on the trail as a fall from the cliff would for sure kill you and there have been some fatal accidents here.

    Greg and I had some Virtualtourist photos taken with the Virtualtourist flag. Fortunately we met some people on this trail who were willing to take our photo with the flag ;)

    On the way back the trail takes you through a small forest (I was always on the look-out for bears and wolfes) and don´t forget to sign the guest-book near the end of the trail. The trail then ends by the parking lot where we started from.

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    Fall Colours

    by Babzz Updated Apr 4, 2011
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    Southern Ontario has arguably the most beautiful autumns of all of Canada. Algonquin is one of the recommended places to experience this beauty in (roughly) late September to mid-October. Check out the park's webpage regarding the status of the foliage.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Opeongo Store & Access Point to the Interior

    by mim95 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Leisure paddlers on Lake Opeongo

    There is a boat launch, canoe and other equipment rentals, water taxi service, a gift shop and an interior camping registration office.

    Algonquin has over 2000km of canoe routes! Lake Opeongo is the largest lake in Algonquin and it is one of the many access point to the park's interior along Hwy 60. It is not for novice paddlers. You can hire a water taxi to take you and your canoe to the inner lakes. And of course, you should get a detailed canoe route guide before heading out. A map is shown below.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Kayaking
    • Camping

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    Dorset

    by sim1 Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    No snowmobiles


    We made another stop in the village of Dorset, to get a cup of coffee and stretch our legs. During a cold winter day like this there is not so much to do and see in Dorset. But if you come here in the autumn it will be crawling with people.

    Dorset is known for its observation tower and the autumn colours. The observation tower is a fantastic place to see the fall colours. Quite a lot of people know of this place and know that the best time to visit it is on 'Thanksgiving weekend'. I've made a separate page about Dorset where you can get an impression what this place is like during the autumn.

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    Algonquin Park

    by sim1 Updated Feb 24, 2010

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    Algonquin Park


    The most likely way that you enter the park is through the West Gate. And the first thing you will see is this welcome sign:

    You are now entering Algonquin, the oldest and most famous Provincial Park in Ontario. Since 1893, this vast expanse of forest lakes and rivers has protected some of most precious natural and cultural heritage and welcomed and inspired millions of visitors.

    From here the Frank MacDougall Parkway, named for a famous park superintendent, will take you 56 kilometres across the park's south-west corner, trails, museums, campgrounds, and canoe trip access points are waiting to start you on your personal discovery of this wild and magnificent landscape. Have an unforgettable visit....

    I couldn't have said it any better... yes... unforgettable it is! Algonquin is so beautiful!!

    I've been to Algonquin about 6 - 7 times by now and whether it was summer or autumn, I just loved it here. This was my first real visit in the winter though. But my first impression wasn't disappointing, it looked lovely! The plan was to go on a little hiking trip. I hope that would be possible with all this snow!

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  • heitzenrater's Profile Photo

    Rent a canoe and paddle on out.

    by heitzenrater Written Jul 9, 2008

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    So you can do a day paddle and cone the sorounding lakes, or you can go on an overnight trip.
    If you plan on camping overnight you will need a back country permit. They come on first come first serve so book early.
    Once you have booked you permit you get that at canoe lake, then bring your permit to portage store and pick up your canoe. You must bring your permit to the portage store to pick up your canoe. The buildings are located about 400m from each other.

    RATES
    Per day range from;
    25.95 for Aluminum Canoes – (15ft)
    42.95 for Kevlar - Ultra-light Canoe (17ft)

    OTHER EQUIPMENT
    you can also rent other equipment you may need like;
    -tents
    -stoves
    -sleeping bags
    -sleeping pad
    -and more.

    The Portage Store
    Box 10009 Algonquin Park
    Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
    PIH 2H4

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  • heitzenrater's Profile Photo

    Hunt out the wild life!

    by heitzenrater Written Jul 8, 2008

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    While your out on the trail or water take time to enjoy the wildlife. Many people who go look for the infamous moose. There is much more to enjoy. Take time to look for the more subtle and ignored animals. You wouldn't want to miss out on some good shots.

    The website below gives some info on the parks wildlife.

    Enjoy.

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  • heitzenrater's Profile Photo

    Highlands back packing trail

    by heitzenrater Updated Jul 8, 2008

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    Highland Trail has 12 and 22 miles (19 and 35 km) paths.

    Day 1 - We entered the trail and walked with packs to Provoking lake east end (aprox 4-5 miles). We did this with packs and then set up camp.

    Day 2 - We walked the big loop, also called the west loop. This is a very long loop and is marked with yellow markers. It took aprox 9 hours round trip form our camp. It was a 18 mile walk.

    Day 3 - hiked out with packs from camp.

    I would recomend the following.
    In the future I would tell people to camp on provoking lake and then hike the blue trail that goes around provoking lake only. It is maybe only 6-8 miles and looks very similar to the yellow trail.

    Bring mosquito head nets and lots of powerful mosquito repellent. They where deadly.

    Other wise go and enjoy!!

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    http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/geninfo/reserve.html#interior

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  • Easy canoe route

    by darkmage2002 Written Mar 16, 2008

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    By far, the easiest canoe route for beginners is... arggh... just went looking for my Algonquin Canoe route map and I can't find it. Anyway, I'll describe it and when you get a map you'll see what I mean. The first town out the east side of the park is Whitney. If you look on the map, you'll see a VERY open system of lakes and rivers running from Whitney into the park, roughly following the south side of Highway 60. This is EXCELLENT. First and foremost, there are NO portages other than a super-short 50 m jaunt. Secondly, this entire lake system is passes by numerous organized campgrounds and boat entrances. This may sound contrary to what you want (you mentioned seeing few people and lots of wildlife) but on the other hand, this will allow you to canoe for as long as you want. If, by day 3, you feel crapped-out, you can pull up into Pog Lake campground and use the phone for transportation. If you feel like you have a few days left in you, you can make it as far as Smoke Lake. Check the map and you'll see. It goes on and on and on. As for few people and lots of wildlife, the lakes along this route are substantial in size. You can follow the south shores of these lakes and you'll feel quite isolated. Lots of marshy areas, as you requested.

    Alternatively, if you feel quite confident with the timeframe of your plans, you can END in Whitney instead. Have yourself dropped off at your preferred entry point (note that this doesn't have to be what the Park calls an entry point -- you can be dropped off anywhere) and canoe out to Whitney. The benefit here is that you can have you vehicle waiting for you in Whitney, making your pack-up and departure very convenient.

    The other thing with this route is that emergency access is excellent. If you have any trouble and need to vacate the route, you have quick access to Highway 60 along the entire length.

    Note that under ideal circumstances, you could canoe this route in 2 days. It is so open and easy. This gives you the benefit of slowing down, taking your time, and really drawing in the sites and sounds. You won't need to look at your map and say "Ok... enough pictures of this moose. Let's get moving or we won't make XXXX lake by nightfall." You can really take your time and leisurely enjoy things without worry.

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    Algonquin Art Gallery

    by CdnJane Written Jul 5, 2006

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    If you are interested in the art of the park, some dating back to the early 1900s and others done in the past year, please stop by the Art Gallery, at mile 20 I believe.
    There are some lovely paintings of the scenery and of the animals and birds of the park. Some of the artists have gone far beyond the normal trails that most park visitors get to see. One of the official Park artists is Arnold Nogy, and he was taken by ministry plane, and traveled by canoe through some of the more remote ares of the park. He did some sketching, but mostly took photos of the things that caught his eye, then went back to his studio and painted his work. I'm looking forward to his big show next year which will be wolves of the park. There are also Group of Seven artwork, and many other renown Canadian artists represented. Some of Canada's top wildlife artists have paintings there, including Brent Townsend (he designed the Bear on the Canadian $2 coin, I believe), and Glenn Loates.
    Admission is voluntary donation.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Jfsmith21's Profile Photo

    The end of the hike

    by Jfsmith21 Written Nov 8, 2005
    Spruce Bog Boardwalk Guide

    The end of the trail. The first hike of our trip is now under our belts. Though very short there was plenty to see, from the spindly Black Spruce to lush green carpets of moss. There are 11 stops along this trail with something to be learned at each turn. This is a very pleasant trip, one that small children can experience. Note: when walking across the channels of water, if you bring some bread, you can feed the fish…this will entertain the kids. Have fun, enjoy and learn something.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Spruce Bog Boardwalk continues

    by Jfsmith21 Written Nov 8, 2005
    Last flower of the walk

    There are many things to see while walking this short hike. Though I did not see one, this is a good place to see the famous Gray Jay. There is 2 other type of birds found in this region, the Golden-crowned Kinglet, which I saw but was slow on the picture taking part and the Spruce Grouse which I did not see. However, there was never a loss of flowers to take pictures of.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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