Algonquin Provincial Park Travel Guide

  • Booth's Rock Trail
    Booth's Rock Trail
    by GrumpyDiver
  • East Gate
    East Gate
    by GrumpyDiver
  • Fall colour drive
    Fall colour drive
    by GrumpyDiver

Algonquin Provincial Park Highlights

  • Pro
    sim1 profile photo

    sim1 says…

     Beautiful nature, lots of wildlife 

  • Con
    NC_Ziggy profile photo

    NC_Ziggy says…

     Not enough time for Nature, Nature, Nature! 

  • In a nutshell
    epicult profile photo

    epicult says…

     Backcountry wilderness at its best! 

Algonquin Provincial Park Things to Do

  • Algonquin Portage - Store and...

    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...

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  • The Grand Lake and Achray Campground.

    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...

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  • Sand Lake Gate - entrance to the park.

    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...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Hotels

Algonquin Provincial Park Restaurants

  • Grab a coffee and enjoy the view

    It is just a place that is somewhat overpriced, but they do have great coffee and pie! However, it is a place to start off on a journey, or sit and have a chuckle as you watch those who really have no idea what they are doing, or simply to sit, enjoy your coffee and take in the beauty that surrounds the area. The Strawberry Rhubarb pie was good -...

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  • The only way to eat

    Its been said by other people here, but maybe I can help reinforce it. Cook your own food! Its part of the whole experience. Take a little stove or utilise the fire pit and grill some burgers. Make sure that you filter any water you use either by using one of those neat devices you can buy or heating at a rolling boil for several minutes. Put any...

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  • EEEKKK!!!

    Probably more of a health warning than a restaurant tip. But... ...you know what? A greasy burger has never tasted so good after beating yourself up for 4 or 5 days in the bush! I wouldn't even dream of eating this crap otherwise. You'll absolutely LOVE chowing down on this after 4+ days of 'backpack friendly' camping food. Also, if you're a beer...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Nightlife

  • Night watch

    One of the most exhilerating experiences of interior wilderness camping is finding a clearing, lying with your back to a smooth lake ledge rock and gazing at the stars and planets.As a bonus, if you start howling to the wind you may be able to initiate your own private wolf communication network.

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  • who needs a bar?

    You will not find any raging clubs or even quiet pubs in Algonguin's Interior and, in fact, there is a bottle ban so it is best to forgo the beer. Yeah, that is me saying do not bring beer! But with sunsets like these, who needs a beer anyway? And besides, you will really enjoy a cool one after five days of paddling when you get back.

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  • A little wine?

    Who says you can't make a little of your own nightlife out in the wilderness? I empty two bottles of wine into a 1.5 litre plastic water bottle (no glass or tin allowed in the park) and enjoy it during the trip. Don't drink and canoe or try navigating the trails. No one want to rescue a foolish drunk :-) Also, please don't bring a 24 of beer. 1....

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Algonquin Provincial Park Transportation

  • bus to Algonquin from Toronto or Ottawa

    Cheaper travel close to the park. Twice a week service. It takes you to the wolf Den Lodge Hostel which is at Oxtongue lake. (15 minute drive to the park) Takes highway 11 north to highway 60 than east.

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  • Driving to Algonquin park by car.

    We drove to Algonquin park by car from Ottawa. The drive takes ca 1 hour and 45 minutes. To get there from Ottawa you proceed west along Highway 417, pass through the town of Pembroke and make a left turn into Doran road, which is marked as Renfrew County Road 26. Then make the first right turn onto Barron Canyon Road, which is marked as Renfrew...

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  • Footwear for Success: Part I

    Not enough can be said for packing the right footwear! To ensure you have a safe and comfortable trip, pack these three different types of footwear/wet-wear. 1. Wet Shoes/Boots:These are typically good waterproofed hiking/approach boots. You'll wear them while in the canoe, portaging and setting up camp for the night. They're important, for a few...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Shopping

  • Firewood

    It's great to have a campfire when you are camping in Algonquin. And buying firewood is no problem at all here. They sell it at every entrance gate to the campgrounds. You have to watch the opening hours though, I don't think you can buy wood all day long. But I mostly pick it up at the end of the afternoon and haven't had any problems at all.

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  • Books and souvenirs

    Next to the little grocery store at the 'Two Rivers Campground' is also a little souvenirshop. You can buy anything here from Sweaters, T-shirts, books, and all kinds of other souvenirs. And of course you can buy your postcards that you want to send to your VT-friends here as well :-)Another option to buy souvenirs is to go to the Visitor Centre....

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  • Little grocery store

    There nearest shops outside the park are very far away, so it's best you bring all the supplies you need. There is a little grocery store in Algonquin at the "Two Rivers Campground", where you can buy some basic groceries. It's great when you are for a few days in the park and you forgot to bring something or need something fresh like bread, fruit...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Local Customs

  • Tuesday, August 3 - part 4

    Sun is going down to I'm using the light of the fire to write. At dusk and night we can hear an eerie cry. Loon or timber wolf? We cannot tell.Today we travelled through MacIntosh Creek. Water Hyasynt (spelling is a guess [hyacinth]) galore! We took quite a few pictures. The wind was quite strong and it wasn't until we almost reached the 745 meter...

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  • Monday, August 2 - part 1

    Right now we're stopped at a site on Big Trout Lake because it's too windy to canoe. It is 4:29 pm.We woke up this morning at 7:40 am and we were on the water by 10:15 am. There was a 1800 meter portage between Merchant Lake and Big Trout Lake. We find the portages difficult, Dad has a hard time with the canoe. I think Lori is the best in shape. We...

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  • Wednesday, August 4- part 1

    We woke up at 7:30 am this morning. Dad got up first and made us hot chocolate to drink in our tent. When we came out of our tents, it was extremely windy and the sky was completely covered in white and grey clouds. Bad day we think! In about an hour, however, the clouds shifted to reveal a blue sky. The lake looked calm. I was surprised at how...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Dramatically changing weather

    We were driving towards Opeongo Lake (3 kms north of Km 46.3 mark) when the rain started falling. Before we know it, it turned into a massive down pour with visibility becoming almost zero. We saw some kayakers drastically pedaling to get back to the launching deck. When we reached the launching deck of Opeongo Portage Store (6.2 kms north of 46.3...

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  • Algonquin Park

    I've been going there for 25 years. Number one problem is noisy people. They RUIN it for everyone. This is not a wilderness park as often described. It is a daycare for teenagers and five year olds. Crank up the volume big time. Going into the interior by foot or canoe for miles on end results in MORE noise from idiots not less. The organized...

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  • Watch for Logging Trucks

    Even though Algonquin is a provincial park, it doesn't mean that all of its land is protected. In fact, only about 20% of the land is saved from the chainsaw. If you are only travelling around Hwy 60, you will likely even not know about this fact, as most of the logging activities occur deep in the interior of the park. I was aware of this when...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Tourist Traps

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    The Moose Bus

    by sim1 Updated Nov 28, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Hmmm, I have to admit that I was a bit shocked to see this bus on highway 60, standing on the side of the road. A busload full of tourist got out of the bus to see the moose on the side of the road. Of course I love to spot a moose myself, so I can understand everyone would like that too. But I don't think this is the way to explore Algonquin Park. Of course you'll see a moose this way, but that is not 'all' what Algonquin Park is about. You need to get out of the car or bus and try to get 'into the park'. Go hiking, canoeing, biking, that's the way you can really feel what Algonquin Park is all about. Don't fall into this trap, taking this bus, and only see Algonquin by stopping on a few spots, see a moose, and travel to your next destination in Canada. You will never discover the real beauty of Algonquin Park or Ontario that way.

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    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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Algonquin Provincial Park What to Pack

  • Going for a hike

    When you go on a day hike it's good to take a few things along with you. * First of all the bug repellent (see the next tip for more info).* Sunscreen! The sun can be suprisingly strong and a sunburn is easily caught.* Water! Hahaha, when you've done a climb uphill you certainly get thirsty. So bring plenty of water for your hike. Never use the...

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  • Protecting against mosquitos

    As you could read in my warning tip it's best to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes because of the West Nile Virus. Here are some useful tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes: Pack light coloured and long-sleeved clothing that includes long sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants, shoes, and tuck pants into socks for extra protection....

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  • Good shoes

    If you want to hike any of the park's more demanding trails, or even carve your own then make sure you have a sturdy and comfortable pair of shoes (preferably with ankle support incase you slip).

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Algonquin Provincial Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Backwoods camping

    This is where you'll pee. Its in far better condition than the toilet in my bathroom when I was a student. Do not wipe your ass with poison ivy.

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  • finding the toilet game...

    The campsites all have pit toilets but you have to look around to find them. They are generally far off to the back of the site which makes for some spooky night time toilet runs....lol. Oh my...

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  • a lucky mistake....

    Sometimes you make a mistake that costs you, other times you make out on the deal. One day on the trip I rushed in changing my film to get the best light. I inadvertently put in a roll of 800ASA film rather than the planned ASA200. I realized it right away but it was too late to change it. So, I tried to use as much of the film up as I could in...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Sports & Outdoors

  • If you're prepared you can enjoy the...

    I didn't partake this time, but years ago as a camper, we set out to our summer camp from Canoe Lake Portage Docks (which is much fancier now then it was 35 yrs ago!). From here you can rent a canoe, and the gear, to go canoeing for the day, or for several days. This time, we just watched the many tourists and their families going out for an hour...

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  • Gunnel Bobbing

    This is a foolish watersports game played by those looking to 'literally take a load off' and get stupid after some serious portaging and canoeing - or - you just happen to be near a lake and have a canoe. The name of the game?... Gunnel Bobbing -or- dump your competitor into the lake. It goes like this:1. Two people paddle out in a canoe into a...

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  • Comfy Portaging

    Portaging a 45-60 pound canoe, along with a 40-50 pound pack, can be pretty hard work. This is especially true when you've got 6-7+ KM's of portaging to accomplish a day for 4 or 5 days.It's very easy to become fatigued during a canoe trip and a good portion of that fatigue comes from the canoe resting (and/or grinding) your shoulders while you...

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Algonquin Provincial Park Favorites

  • GENERAL TIP WITH A BEGINNERS...

    Try Algonguin Outfitters for equipment. Seeing animals is not guaranteed. Fot three to four day trips you do not need a guide as long as someone can read maps and you have some camping experience. Paddling across a lake into the wind can be tiring so take breaks at the portages. You will have to portage . When we were there the last time we ran...

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  • CANOEING INTO ALGONQUIN

    UNDER CONSTRUCTIONAlgonguin Park has an interconnected waterway system ( lakes, rivers, etc) which totals some 2000km in length making it probably the premier canoeing/camping area in the world . If you visit Algonquin Park you have to go canoeing .

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  • CAMP SITE ON JOE LAKE

    UNDER CONSTRUCTIONCamping locations within the park are regulated . You cannot just camp anywhere .Here is a camp site. This location is really good as it is only a 1 1/2 hour canoe trip back to the docks, which is an advantege if bears steal your food at night .

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