Algonquin Park. It’s an icon of the Ontario wilderness. It’s a place to escape urban life and reconnect with all that nature has to offer.
|An abandoned train trestle. Slowly being reclaimed by Algonquin Park, only a small piece of the area’s history is left for us to see while hiking the Old Railway Trail from Pog Lake to Whitefish Lake.|
Algonquin is more than a park. It’s an experience.
It’s a place to paddle….
To savour a taste of true Ontario goodness – Kawartha Dairy ice cream….
|A great way to get involved is through an organized beach clean-up through the Children’s Park Helper Program. Pick up garbage, get a free button and an entry into a contest for cool prizes!|
To soothe your soul.
Before you go, do a bit more research than reading my blog! There are two essential websites you must check out. The Friends of Algonquin Park and Ontario Parks sites are your absolute go-to guides to help you plan your trip.
Algonquin Park is only a few hours away from our province’s most populated areas. This means it can be really busy – especially on long weekends.
Since Algonquin is a provincial park, it is run by Ontario Parks. Check out their website here: http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/reservations.html to make a campground reservation.
If you’re into car camping you’ll probably have neighbours on the campground. And there is a really good chance that you’ll hear other people’s radios, dogs, kids and possibly even their conversations. Yes, Algonquin is a park known for it’s wilderness. But it also has numerous campgrounds specifically for car camping and RV’s that line the Hwy 60 corridor running through the park. These campgrounds have flush toilets, laundry facilities and showers. Sure, you are still have to think about things like bears and raccoons getting into your food in these campgrounds but they definitely aren’t the backcountry experience.
If you’re looking for the close to nature, peace and quiet, car camping experience, consider booking a site in a radio-free campground. There are also areas that are radio AND dog free.
Sorry, so far kids are allowed everywhere. So if hearing the sounds of other people’s kids isn’t your thing, you’ll just have to take your chances.
Algonquin Park has so much to offer for hiking, biking and canoeing for all experience levels. There are several outfitters located right inside the park, including Algonquin Outfitters and the The Portage Store. These outfitters will set you up with everything you need to enjoy the park, including canoe and equipment rentals by the hour or by the day(s).
I strongly recommend a stop at the Visitor Centre and at the Logging Museum. Both are interesting, well presented and give a great overview of the park’s natural and social history.
As a side note, there is a cafeteria-style restaurant at the Visitor Centre that serves awesome burgers and onion rings! You can also grab something to eat at the restaurant in The Portage Store – the fries and ice cream are really, really good.
Be prepared to use your vehicle. Algonquin Park is huge. Trailheads are spread throughout the park, as are the Visitor Centre and Logging Museum. If you want to experience Algonquin beyond your campground you’ll probably need to drive to the various events, venues and trailheads.
Have a great experience at Algonquin Park. Take a lot of pictures. And when you get home come on back to this post and share your stories and tips!