Hemlock Bluff Trail
Hemlock Bluff Trail

Hemlock Bluff Trail

Algonquin Provincial Park
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Hemlock Bluff Trail

Hemlock Bluff Trail

Distance: 2.1mi
Elevation: 764ft
Time: 1-1.5h

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The Hemlock Bluff Trail is a quick and easy hiking route in Algonquin Provincial Park that will see you traverse a good variety of terrain along its short length, including a beautiful stretch of mixed forest. While out on the trail, you will make your way through a tranquil woodland setting in a clockwise direction before enjoying some amazing views overlooking the calm surface of Jack Lake. With easy-to-navigate paths and beautiful scenery - including the chance to spot wildlife - this route is perfectly suited for a fun family hike in Algonquin.

Hemlock Bluff Trail Map

Getting there

To reach the trailhead for the Hemlock Bluff Trail from the west gate of Algonquin Park, drive to the northeast along ON-60E for 17.0mi and turn right to enter the parking lot. From here, safely make your way across the road to reach the trailhead.

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Backcountry Campsites


Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


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Hemlock Bluff Trail
Elevation Graph

Hemlock Bluff Trail Description

The Hemlock Bluffs Trail may only be a short hike, but that doesn’t mean that it does not feature a decent variety of terrain along its length. When out on this trail, be sure to wear decent hiking footwear that is preferably water-resistant, as the spring/autumn seasons will see a fair amount of mud on the trail. Additionally, if you are looking to complete this hike in the winter, you should bring microspikes to gain better traction along the ice-covered slopes. As is the case with almost every trail in Algonquin Provincial Park, you will likely encounter bugs along the trail, so make sure to bring bug spray along to protect yourself.

All of these minor grievances aside, the Hemlock Bluff Trail is an amazing adventure that can be shared with family and friends alike. It isn’t the longest or most challenging hike in the world, but it provides just enough variation and scenic views to keep you – and more importantly any kids you may be travelling with – interested for the afternoon. The trail will lead you through a beautiful woodland setting that climbs gently uphill to the bluffs, where you will enjoy some lovely views overlooking Jack Lake. From here, you will skirt along the water’s edge before looping back through the forest to wrap up a successful day on the trails.

Setting out from the parking lot, carefully make your way over to the north side of the road to pick up the trail as it enters into the cover of the forest. Make sure to pick up one of the free trail guides here, so that you can learn a bit of info about the area at each of the nine stopping points along the trail. After grabbing your leaflet, take the path on the left and follow the blue markers to set out in a clockwise direction along the trail.

Climbing gently uphill through the forest for the initial 0.8mi of the hike, you will eventually arrive at the edge of the Hemlock Bluffs, where you will enjoy some beautiful views overlooking the calm waters of Jack Lake below. Be careful along the edge of the bluff, as there is actually quite a steep dropoff that could prove to be dangerous if mistreated.

After taking in the views, continue along the trail to the east as it leads you along the edge of the bluff and follow it downhill towards the edge of the water. After 0.3mi, the trail will begin to turn back to the south to skirt around the edge of a smaller body of water. Upon passing this by, you will only have a quick 0.7mi journey through the forest to return to the trailhead, so take your time and appreciate the tranquility and natural beauty of the woodland atmosphere before arriving back at the starting point of the Hemlock Bluff Trail.

Insider Hints

  • Make sure that you have a valid park permit in order to access the trail.

  • Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear for this adventure.

  • Bring bug spray in order to combat the bugs on the trail.

  • If planning to hike this route in the winter, make sure to bring microspikes for better traction along the icy trail.



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