Algonquin Provincial Park Hiking
Algonquin Provincial Park

hikes in Algonquin Provincial Park

Region in Ontario, Canada
Algonquin Provincial Park Trail Map

Nestled snugly between the waters of Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Central Ontario, Algonquin Provincial Park is a beautiful stretch of wilderness set within the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield. Considered by many to be the informal border between Northern and Southern Ontario, the park was established in 1893 and is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Additions to the park have, over time, increased its area to roughly 7,653km², which is larger than Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island.

Such a vast stretch of land with a diversity of terrain makes for an amazing playground that can be enjoyed by a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. Coursing rivers, pristine lakes, sprawling forests, and rocky outcrops all characterize the landscape here, making it perfectly suitable for exploration by foot or boat. If you are looking for a fairly remote, yet easily-accessible location to experience the wild landscapes of Ontario, then a trip to Algonquin Provincial Park should definitely make it onto your list of upcoming adventures.

10 Great Hikes In Algonquin Provincial Park

With a number of trails that are easily accessible from ON-60, the convenient highway that cuts right through the park, hiking in Algonquin couldn’t be more easy. Short interpretive trails through the forest, challenging hikes along the rocky terrain of the Canadian Shield, and lengthy multi-day treks through the backcountry are all ways in which you can get out to experience the natural beauty of this special place. Whether you are a beginner hiker looking to get acquainted with the beautiful landscapes of Ontario, or an experienced outdoor enthusiast trying to escape the chaos of everyday life on a yearly backpacking trip, there is something for everyone in the breathtaking expanse of Algonquin Provincial Park. Check out this awesome list of hiking routes that we’ve put together to get you started:

  • Centennial Ridges Trail: This 6.1mi trail is a fantastic hike that will lead you uphill through the forest for views overlooking the Canadian Shield. After climbing atop a ridge, you will have a spectacular sightline overlooking the forests and lakes that characterize the terrain of the park. This is a great adventure for experienced hikers and beginners looking for a challenge.
  • Track and Tower Trail: The Track and Tower Trail will take you through a lovely stretch of forest for views of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls in the region. While this hike isn’t necessarily challenging, it does feature some rugged terrain to keep it interesting for experienced hikers and beginners alike. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as moose and black bears that are often sighted here.
  • Hemlock Bluff Trail: This quick adventure in Algonquin will lead you through a beautiful forest for views of Jack Lake. Well-maintained paths and fairly easy terrain make this a great option for a family excursion in the park that won’t tire everyone out completely.
  • Mizzy Lake Trail: A moderate length route within Algonquin, the Mizzy Lake Trail is a fun hike that will lead you through some wetland areas set within the forest. Scenic lakes, charming ponds, and stretches of marsh can all be viewed from the well-maintained trails along this route.
  • Bat Lake Trail: For a short hike, the Bat Lake Trail features a good amount of variety in terms of terrain, making it a fun adventure for the whole family. While out on the trail, you will traverse wooden boardwalks and forested paths that feature some small climbs to keep you on your toes. Beautiful views of the surrounding forest landscape await on this nice and easy hike.
  • Booth's Rock Trail: Featuring some truly beautiful views of Algonquin Park, the Booth’s Rock Trail is an amazing hike that will take you uphill to a vantage point overlooking Rock Lake. Easily-accessible from the highway, this trail is well-maintained and not overly difficult, making it another great option for a fun family hike.
  • Lookout Trail: This short trail is a spectacular experience in Algonquin, taking you on a quick loop through the forest to reach a rocky lookout with views over the stunning forest and nearby lakes. This route is particularly beautiful in autumn, when the sea of trees shifts colour to a range of warm yellows, oranges, and reds.
  • Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail: Another quick hike in the park, the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail is great for a short adventure or as a means to stretch your legs when passing through on ON-60. Beautiful views of the surrounding forest landscape can be experienced from a well-maintained wooden boardwalk and informational leaflets at the start of the hike provide interesting facts about the ecology of the landscape.
  • Beaver Pond Trail: This trail is a fun loop around several small lakes that will provide a great insight into the effect that beavers have on the local environment. While out hiking, you will traverse some uphill sections of trail through the forest to view the felled trees and dams along the edge of the water that are the result of the beaver’s busy work. Generally suitable for families, less-mobile hikers might struggle with the uphill portions.
  • Whiskey Rapids Trail: Providing lovely views of the Oxtongue River, the Whiskey Rapids Trail will take you through a charming stretch of forest to view the rippling water of the rapids. Make sure to bring bug spray for this hike, as the trail’s proximity to the water means that you will likely encounter a fairly large number of the critters.

When is the Best Time to Hike in Algonquin Provincial Park?

As the park is open year-round, the best time to hike in Algonquin is largely based around the type of adventure that you are looking to have. If you are aiming to spend a few days in the area exploring the natural beauty of the park, you should take note that most park facilities are only open during the spring (April/May) to autumn (September/October) window. This also coincides with the time when weather and trail conditions are the most dry and favourable. If hiking in the shoulder seasons, you might enjoy milder temperatures; however, these will be counterbalanced by more inclement weather patterns, such as rain or even snow.

Other Outdoor Activities in Algonquin Provincial Park

In addition to the many hiking trails that can be found within Algonquin, there are a number of other activities that can be sought out by outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the natural landscape of the park. In the summer, popular activities include camping, backpacking, biking, boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and swimming; while winter activities on offer include dog sledding, skiing, and snowmobiling. No matter the season, there is always the opportunity for a new and exciting adventure in the vast expanse of Algonquin Provincial Park.

Frequently Asked Questions About Algonquin Provincial Park

How much does it cost to enter Algonquin Provincial Park?

As of 2021, the cost of a daily vehicle permit is $21 along ON-60 and $18 for other areas of the park. Overnight stays in the park will incur other fees based on duration and type of accommodation.

Are there wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park?

Yes. There is a core population of the Algonquin Wolf that inhabits the park and surrounding areas within Central Ontario.

Can you swim in Algonquin Provincial Park?

All of the campgrounds and picnic areas located along lakes within Algonquin feature unsupervised swimming areas, while the countless lakes in the backcountry offer endless opportunities for swimming.

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The best hikes in Algonquin Provincial Park

Track and Tower Trail

01. Track and Tower Trail

4.9mi 837ft 2-3h

Hiking the Track and Tower Trail is a great adventure in Algonquin Provincial Park that… Read More

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Centennial Ridges Trail Map

02. Centennial Ridges Trail

6.1mi 1,509ft 3-4h

The Centennial Ridges Trail is a 6.1mi lollipop hiking route in Algonquin Park… Read More

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Booth’s Rock Trail

03. Booth’s Rock Trail

3.2mi 604ft 1.5-2h

Hiking the Booth’s Rock Trail is a fantastic experience in Algonquin Provincial Park that will… Read More

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Hemlock Bluff Trail

04. Hemlock Bluff Trail

2.1mi 764ft 1-1.5h

The Hemlock Bluff Trail is a quick and easy hiking route in Algonquin Provincial Park… Read More

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Lookout Trail Map

05. Lookout Trail

1.2mi 233ft 0.5h

Hiking the Lookout Trail is a great outdoor experience in Algonquin Provincial Park, thanks to… Read More

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Bat Lake Trail

06. Bat Lake Trail

3.4mi 748ft 1.5-2h

The Bat Lake Trail is a nice and easy hiking route within Algonquin Provincial Park… Read More

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Beaver Pond Trail

07. Beaver Pond Trail

1.2mi 210ft 0.5h

The Beaver Pond Trail is a quick and easy adventure in Algonquin Provincial Park that… Read More

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Whiskey Rapids Trail

08. Whiskey Rapids Trail

1.4mi 262ft 0.5-1h

Hiking the Whiskey Rapids Trail is a great family-friendly experience in Algonquin Provincial Park that… Read More

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Mizzy Lake Trail

09. Mizzy Lake Trail

6.9mi 1,864ft 3.5-5h

Hiking the Mizzy Lake Trail is a great way to experience a variety of terrain… Read More

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Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail Map

10. Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail

0.9mi 190ft 0.5h

The Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail is a nice and easy roadside adventure in Algonquin Provincial… Read More

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