Hiking the Lookout Trail is a great outdoor experience in Algonquin Provincial Park, thanks to its short overall distance and breathtaking views that sweep across the landscape. While out on the trail, you will make your way along a short loop that climbs uphill at a steady pace until you reach the lookout atop a bluff. Here, you will experience a great sightline across the countless trees and lakes that make the park such a beautiful place to visit. Try hiking this trail during the autumn, when the vast expanse of green trees shift to a myriad of yellow, orange, and red hues.
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Route Description for Lookout Trail
Thanks to a short overall distance of just 1.9 km and easy access from the highway, the Lookout Trail is a popular route with day-hikers and people that are looking to stretch their legs while passing through the area. Because of this, foot traffic along the route can be fairly heavy during peak times. Make sure to arrive early in order to secure parking and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet along the trail. Additionally, portions of the route are fairly steep, so be sure to wear proper hiking footwear when out on the trail. Bug spray is also a great idea, as late spring and summer will see mosquitoes and black flies make their presence known.
While the Lookout Trail may be a popular hiking route in Algonquin, it is for good reason, as the trail offers relatively easy access to some truly beautiful views overlooking the vast expanse of the park. The steep initial portion of the hike is more than manageable for hikers of all skill levels - so long as you take your time - and the well-maintained paths make trekking along this route a real pleasure. When paired with picturesque woodland views that are stunning no matter the season, this trail can likely be considered one of the best bang-for-your-buck options within Algonquin Provincial Park.
Setting out from the car park, make your way into the tree cover and follow the trail to the northwest for the next 295 m, as it climbs uphill to arrive at a junction. Take the path on the left to begin the short but steep climb up the hillside to arrive at the lookout atop a rocky bluff after 0.7 km.
Take some time to appreciate the stunning views that overlook a dense sea of trees that is interrupted only by the deep blue surface of nearby lakes and the odd rocky outcrop. After taking in the views, make your way to the east to complete the loop portion of the trail, descending the hillside over the remaining 1.1 km to return to the parking area having completed your adventure on the Lookout Trail.
Insider Hints for Lookout Trail
- Make sure to bring bug spray for this hike, as there can be a fair amount of mosquitoes and black flys on the trail.
- While short, this route is also fairly steep. Wear proper hiking footwear for this adventure.
- Arrive early or at off-peak times to secure parking and avoid the crowds.
Getting to the Lookout Trail Trailhead
To get from the west gate of Algonquin Provincial Park to the starting point of the Lookout Trail, make your way to the northeast for 40.6 km along ON-60E and turn left to enter the parking area.
Lookout Trail Elevation Graph
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Lookout Trail Reviews
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