Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Park spreads across 7,600 square km and is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Visitors come to the park to fish, animal and bird watch, hike or backpack, camp and to visit the park’s museums. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied for days. Whatever your reason for visiting, there are so many things to do in Algonquin Park.
Algonquin Provincial Park is an outdoor lover's dream, with 20 hiking trails and three bike trails. There are over 54 species of fish in the 1,200 km of streams and 1,500 lakes. You can go fishing, swimming and bird watching. Love more adventure? Try whitewater canoeing in the park. And don't miss the guided tours by park wardens from June to Labour Day.
If you're spending the night in the park, look up once the sun goes down. Thanks to limited light pollution, visitors get a clear view of the stars and planets in the Ontario sky. And don't let winter stop you from enjoying Algonquin Park. There are cross-country ski trails, a skating/hockey rink and even opportunities to go dog sledding.
Located near the city of Whitney in south-central Ontario, Algonquin Park is easily accessible by car. Highway 60, which runs through the south portion of the park, is open all year round. You can also reach the park through the West Gate from Whitney and through the East Gate from the city of Dwight. Other roads that provide access are Highway 11 and Highway 17 just north of Algonquin Park.
Algonquin Park requires permits to enter for the day or camping.
For up-to-date information on Algonquin Park, we recommend visiting the Algonquin Provincial Park page on the Ontario Park website. For information about activities and places of interest within the park, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about Algonquin Provincial Park
After enjoying the outdoors, you'll need a place to sleep. Algonquin has many camping options. The sites are all different. You can camp in the developed campgrounds (reachable by car) that have flush toilets, electricity, and laundry facilities. Or maybe try yurt camping — with heat, electricity, sleeping for six and a firepit, it's a unique way to sleep in the great outdoors. Jump off campsites are for short term use by backcountry campers who weren't able to start their hike because it was too late or the weather.
The paddle-in campsites are a level between developed sites and backcountry sites. They give you a chance to venture a little deeper into the park's interior while still being close to developed land. These sites are perfect for anyone who wants to improve their skills or have children who might not be able to paddle far.
If it’s a big adventure you’re after, go backcountry camping. You'll have your choice of ranger cabins or sleeping in your tent. None of the backcountry camping sites have access to electricity or running water. When backcountry camping, know that cans and bottles are banned. Remember, don't leave a trace that you've been there, so pack out everything you brought in, including toilet paper. Leave only footprints when you're gone.
You might not expect it, but Algonquin Provincial Park has several arts and cultural experiences within its borders. The Algonquin Visitor Centre gives you a chance to learn more about the park's history, the Indigenous Peoples who are the original inhabitants of the area, special exhibits, a theatre and an observation deck to take in the views of the park. The visitor centre also has a bookstore and restaurant.
The Algonquin Logging Museum tells the story of the area from its early logging days to creating the current management of the forests. You can watch a film and then walk to a recreated logging camp where there are examples of logging machines. Art lovers should visit the Algonquin Art Centre. The centre features works by wildlife and nature artists. There are also yearly exhibits that connect art and the Canadian wilderness.
The park has several stores in its borders to pick up food, get fishing and camping supplies or rent bicycles. The weather in winter can be cold and snowy, though, and not all of the park roads get plowed, so some areas might not be accessible during winter. Highway 60 is plowed and has sand and salt put down through the winter. The average high in January is -8 degrees Celsius and the average low is -21 degrees Celsius.
Spring comes a little late in Algonquin Provincial Park because of its high elevation. The most popular season is summer, when the average high temperatures in July are 22 degrees Celsius and the average low is 10 degrees. Fall is mild and perfect for watching the leaves change colors. But we’re sure you’ll have a perfect, memorable trip whenever you visit.
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