5 of the Best Things to Do in Algonquin Provincial Park
Canada is a huge country with so many beautiful natural sights for every outdoor adventure lover. However, it’s so big that making travel plans can be a little intimidating. Where should you start? That’s a good question and I’ve got the perfect answer – Algonquin Provincial Park. This park has everything that really reflects what the perfect adventure looks like – rivers, lakes, bike and hike trails, and so much more.
Another great thing about Algonquin Provincial Park is that it’s relatively close to the big cities. It’s in South Central Ontario, approximately 300 kilometers from Toronto and 260 kilometers from Ottawa. With just a few hour drive, you’ll reach the park, which is park is around 7,630 square kilometers large.
As you plan your visit to Algonquin Provincial Park, keep in mind the fun things you can do while you’re there.
Though you can do a lot in a day trip, camping in the Algonquin is an experience you shouldn’t miss. That way, you can be closer to the attractions and do more activities. There are many opportunities for camping, whether it’s in an RV, a cabin, a yurt, or a tent. No matter what type of camping, you might still need to make reservations, especially in peak seasons.
The many campsites are grouped into two categories: campsites accessible by vehicle and backcountry campsites. The services and facilities vary per campground and may include electrical access, flush toilets, laundry, and comfort stations with hot and cold water.
As you plan for your camp, make sure you pack for the weather: Cabin tents, sleeping bags, and clothing should match the weather you’re camping in. You should also bring enough food and supplies for your stay. Finally, if you have an inflatable lounger, I highly recommend you bring it too. I know it may seem silly, but it’s very relaxing just to float around.
Another thing you need to do in the park is go canoeing. Algonquin Park is a top notch canoeing destination, with pristine waters views all around. There are many routes ideal for day trips, which you should familiarize yourself with beforehand. However, most visitors often opt for backcountry canoe camping. There are multiple campsites accessible via boat, and the experience is just amazing.
You can also mix up your canoe camping with hiking, wildlife watching, and fishing. Make sure you bring your camping gear with you. You should also bring enough food and supplies for the duration of your stay. Many canoe camping sites are far from stores and other convenient facilities.
Biking is such a fun way to explore, and it’s also a great form of exercise. The Algonquin Provincial Park has three trails that you can use. These are Old Railway Bike Trail, Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail, and Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail.
- Old Railway Bike Trail is an easy trail suitable for families. However, during winter, it becomes a multipurpose trail for fat biking, skijoring, tobogganing, and sledding. The trail is 16 kilometers one way, from Rock Lake Campground all the way to around Cache Lake.
- The Minnesing Mountain Bike Trail is more steep and rough, which might require a certain level of fitness and experience. The terrain is rocky, with areas that are muddy or soft soiled. There are also many roots coming out of the ground. I would only recommend this trail to seasoned mountain bikers.
- Byers Lake Mountain Bike Trail is the shortest trail among the three. It’s around 6.5 kilometers one way and is moderate in difficulty. There are still areas that are steep, rocky, rooty, and muddy, so take the necessary precaution to avoid accidents. Along the trail, there is a side trail that leads to the Gut Rapids, York River, and Byers Lake.
#4 Skiing/Dog sledding
During winter, you can still do many things around the park. There’s skiing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, tobogganing, skijoring, and more. Algonquin Park offers some of the best cross-country skiing in Ontario. Three trails are maintained on a regular basis and one trail that is “wild” or not trackset.
#5 Wildlife watching
Algonquin is a habitat for over 40 kinds of mammals, 130 species of birds, and 30 kinds of reptiles and amphibians. It’s a wildlife watcher’s candy store! However, don’t expect to see them in a single visit. You should read about where and when they usually make an appearance. Birds, for example, are easier to spot during the early hours of the day.
Algonquin Provincial Park offers a lot of recreational activities for its visitors. These are just some of the many that I recommend. You can also go fishing, hunting, boating, picnicking, swimming, and more. For more information, visit the Algonquin Provincial Park website. They have everything you need to know from rules, regulations, reservations, activities, events, fees, and more.
About The Author: Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associate’s blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow her on Twitter @adventure_howdy