Situated between Ottawa River and Georgian Bay in Ontario, Algonquin Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. It was established in 1893 and is known as the Gem of the Ontario Parks System. In the list of Canada’s most priceless national parks, Algonquin Park is second and is only behind Banff National Park.
Algonquin Provincial Park has over 80000 visitors every year. It was known as the National Historic Site of Canada in 1992 after its heritage values were recognized, including the way it inspired artists, development of the park management and visitor interpretation programs. These values were later adopted by provincial and national parks across the country and its wide variety of historic structures like hotels, camps, cottages, lodges, entrance gates, museum buildings, and a railway station.
The park acts as a border between Southern Ontario and Northern Ontario. It is also an essential center for wildlife research. Most of the visitors love checking out the visitor centre or hike a trail. Continuous additions have been made to park since it is the creation, which has led to an increase in its size to 7653 square kilometres at present.
Directions to Reach Algonquin Park
- Take Highway 115 from Highway 401, which leads to Peterborough in the North.
- Travel Highway 28 to Bancroft and then take Highway 62 North to Maynooth.
- Take Highway 127 North and finally Highway 60.
- Now travel in the west direction through the Whitney village to the East Gate of Algonquin Park.
Also see: Cost of Living in Ontario, Canada
10 Exciting Reasons to Visit Algonquin Park
1. Public Wolf Howl
The naturalists have been leading public howling sessions since 1963. It is one of the core elements of the park’s education program and teaches people about several packs of eastern wolves, 35 to he precise, that reside in Algonquin.
The groups get together for a series of howling sequences in August and September. What is a lot more exciting fact is that it is possible a wolf howls if the conditions are right. Firstly, the spot where the wolves are seen is marked, and then, the session is scheduled nearby.
At times, you can hear a solo crooner or pups yipping, and at other times you score what is called a ‘full pack howl’ response. Listening to the calls is undoubtedly a thrilling experience for many. You should learn why do wolves howl in the first place and then get tips in the howling sessions organized.
2. Go Canoeing
You really should try canoeing if you are in Canada, and Algonquin Park is one of the best choices for the same. Algonquin Paddling has around 2000 kilometers of portages and routes, which allows you to plan something amazing or choose something short instead.
You can also go backcountry and hire a guide to get some help during your journey.
Voyageur Quest has been operating inspiring, authentic, and amazing adventures in Algonquin Park. It specializes in lodge-based adventure trips with perks like full-moon canoe paddles, ice skating, local cuisine, and lots of fun around the campfire.
The comfortable cottage of Voyageur Quest also has a floating sauna. The combination of luxury with the wilderness is fantastic and goes a long way.
3. Moose Spotting
If you are fond of the idea of moose munching on twigs while you unpack your picnic, then Algonquin Park is your cup of tea.
People consider it the best place in North America to spot these creatures, which are majestic in their ways.
Spring is the best time to spot these gentle creatures, but you are likely to spot them and the other ones in the different seasons too. It is, however, more comfortable to spot them in winter due to a lack of foliage. You can pick up a guide book or follow an interpretive trail to utilize your time and make the most of your time close to nature.
The walking trails in Algonquin Park are plentiful and are open at all times of the year. Pick up a trail guide booklet which is available at park bookstores and trailheads, before you start hiking.
The interpretive walking trails at Algonquin Park include Algonquin Logging Museum, Bat Lake, Barron Canyon, Berm Lake, Beaver Pond, and many more. You can go hiking, canoeing through most of the routes, or simply stroll. Just pick your scenery and then hit the trail.
Algonquin Park has 1500 lakes and 1200 kilometers of stream, approximately which contain 54 different species of fish. The park is famous for its Brook Trout and Lake Trout fishing all over the world.
There is a reason why Algonquin Park is particularly famous for Brook Trout and Lake Trout fishing. The lakes in the backcountry of the park are not used for fishing because of their remote location.
The lakes along Highway 60 corridor like the whitefish lake and mew lake have high fishing pressure, and due to this, there are special regulations to ensure that the population is not overfished. This leaves Algonquin Park as a very favorable option for fishing.
People grab the best fishing opportunities during the Springtime.
6. Explore with Skiing
Algonquin Park offers a network of 110 kilometers covered with ungroomed and groomed cross-country ski trails. The trails are for skiers of all levels. The variety of ski trails include Fen Lake Ski Trail, Leaf Lake Ski Trail, Old Railway Trail, and Minnesing Wilderness Ski Trail. The regular season for skiing is between December and March.
The Leaf Lake Ski Trail is loved by the insiders the most for its jaw-dropping and thrilling views. Except for the groomed trails, you can also snowshoe anywhere. At the Mew Lake campground, snow camp and hardcore can snowshoe are open for the entire year.
Businesses both inside and outside the park offer services and products useful for the visitors. You will find rent equipment just outside the park.
7. Dog Sled- Learn to Mush
A pack of huskies running at a rate of 30 kilometers per hour and tearing through the woods, the view is genuinely exhilarating. Algonquin Park has two dog sledding areas, so it’s a rush and a fun way to view the park.
The most popular dog sled trail is located along Highway 60. The second one is in the north-west corner of the park. To use these trails, park permits are required, and certain rules apply.
The park does not provide guided dog sledding. However, Wildness Adventures and Voyageur Quest take the visitors on custom tours. You can choose the day trips or go for full-week mushing expeditions according to your preference.
The most popular dog sledding trail is the Sunday Lake Dog Sled Trail, which offers kilometers of mushing through hardwood and mixed forest habitats.
Amateur, as well as pro astronomers, both flock to the Radio Observatory, which contains Canada’s biggest radio telescope to see the Northern lights. You can tour or join a stargazing party, join moon-viewing or take any spot for stargazing, no telescope is required.
You might even spot aurora borealis dancing across the horizon. One thing for sure is that you will view countless beautiful glittering stars, which is possible due to the dark-colored sky and lack of urban light in the area. To get updates on eclipses, comets, showers, meteors, and airglows, you can check Space Weather.
9. Enjoy Camping
In Algonquin Park, you can camp anywhere you like. You need to choose your ideal type of camping. If you are very much into it, you can also preferably get a map and then make your plan.
Have a look at Jeff’s Map of Algonquin and check the required essentials. For a better option, you can also rent one of the 15 tidy, rustic former ranger patrol cabins, which are available from April to October months. Although there is no running water and electricity, bunk beds and wood stoves are present in most of them.
You can get there by car. Some of the cabins have private docks, gas-run lights, and screened verandas. Try and start planning at the earliest possible. You should be able to reserve your spot five months in advance on the Ontario Parks website, and then you can enjoy the solitude.
10. Rejuvenate Yourself at Northern Edge Algonquin
Feel like disconnecting from the busy world for some time? Northern Edge Algonquin Nature Retreat and Awareness Centre is just the right place for you. It is a sanctuary that will not only help you recharge but also connect with nature around.
Do yoga, go for an unplugged concert or canoeing, take a naturalist-guided hike, ski, snowshoe, paddle, dog sled, biking excursion, or just simply relax. The choice is yours. You may also visit the solar-powered lodge, which serves organic, local fare and also has a wood-fired sauna for adventure.
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You should be really visiting Algonquin Park if you are in Ontario, Canada. Its size, as well as the fact that it is near to urban centers of Ottawa and Toronto, make it one of the most popular parks of the province and the country. Which of the activities of Algonquin Park mentioned above intrigued you the most? Let us know in the comments section below!