Established in 1893, Algonquin is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Spreading across 2,955 square miles (7,650 square kilometers), this vast wilderness encompasses maple-carpeted hills, thick pine forest, and thousands upon thousands of lakes. The abundant wildlife here includes black bears, moose, and packs of Algonquin wolves.
Though Algonquin presents many opportunities for day trips, including hikes along trailheads just off Highway 60, you’ll need several days to explore more remote parts of the park’s interior. The park offers countless opportunities for swimming, wildlife-viewing, fishing, stargazing, and relaxing in nature.
Much of the interior is accessible only via the vast Algonquin Park canoe routes network, which can be explored as part of multi-day tours. Visitors can get an introduction to wilderness camping on guided multi-day canoe trips that include canoe rentals, meals, permits, and equipment. For a more comfortable park tour option, choose a multi-day adventure tour that includes accommodation in a lodge or forest cabin.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Algonquin Provincial Park is a must for wildlife lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- For information and tips, stop by the Algonquin Visitor Centre, situated along Highway 60.
- Algonquin Provincial Park has wheelchair-accessible campgrounds, trails (Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail and Fire Tower Trail), and visitor facilities, including the Algonquin Visitor Centre and Algonquin Logging Museum.
How to Get There
Algonquin Provincial Park is situated between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in central Ontario, about 185 miles (300 kilometers) north of Toronto. The park is accessible via Highway 60, which cuts through part of the southern section.
When to Get There
Algonquin offers different activities in different seasons. Spring is good for birding, lake trout fishing, and moose watching; mid-September to mid-October is best for fall colors; and winter offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and dog-sledding opportunities. Watch out for black flies and mosquitoes, which are out in full force between late May and late June.
Algonquin Park Wildlife
Algonquin Provincial Park is known for its abundance of wildlife. While black bears, white-tailed deer, and moose are all commonly spotted, the most famous inhabitants of the park are the Algonquin wolves. About 35 wolf packs are believed to roam the park, and public wolf howls are held at the park every August. During these events, naturalist staff intimate the calls of wolves, encouraging them to respond. Those camping in Algonquin are bound to hear the distinctive call of the loon, which is most vocal during May and June.