"Algonquin Park" Algonquin Provincial Park by Bobsy
Algonquin Provincial Park Travel Guide: 282 reviews and 388 photos
My first visit to Algonquin was at the start of August 2005, and I was suprised that it only took us 3 hours from downtown Toronto to our campsite at the eastern end of the highway corridor. I really enjoyed my visit, and now that I'm a permanent resident of Canada I plan on going back. A lot.
We have family in Eganville so we've always driven by the southern edge of the Park on the way up there, and the scenery is very similar to what you would see in and around the Wilno area of our route, the main exception being that you see no man-made structures in Algonquin. I can't emphasise how refreshing this is. No advertising billboards, no busy roads, and no cottages breaking up the waterfront of every lake. I've nothing againts cottages (and god willing I'll have one one day), but it is nice to feel that you are surrounded by nature and nature only.
So here's what I did on my first short visit, and what you can expect of the Park if you plan it as a part of a wider trip to Canada. To stay overnight you have to reserve a campsite with the warden's office. This can be done in advance, or if you are willing to try your luck, on the day at the offices in the larger camping areas. All sites seem to have a firepit and some sort of toilet. Wood can be bought from the warden's office, and ,if memory serves me right, costs $6. You'll need an axe to chop the wood, but its all good. After arrival I hiked along the Centennial Ridges Trail, which starts at Coon Lake. I think this is a great way to immerse yourself in Algonquin, and because the trail was quite strenuous at times it didn't feel like I was walking along a well-used path carved into the landscape. I had the feeling that I was actually picking my own way through the woods. In light of this bring a compass incase you accidentally wander off the path. The views are breathtaking and there's a good chance you'll see some sort of wildlife. In the evening we fished off a bridge and ate some wonderful burgers cooked on our open fire. A cloudless sky and a blanket of stars.
On the second day of our stay in Algonquin we hired a canoe from Opeongo Oufitters, which you'll find at the bottom of Opeongo Lake. The day rates are good and if you are renting for more than 3 days they can also deliver the canoe to your campsite. I cannot reccommend paddling through the morning mist too highly. It felt as if we had gone back to a primeval wilderness, but you have to do all that early before the sun burns away the murk. We spent the rest of the day paddling and fishing whitefish lake, where you'll find small-mouthed bass and lake trout. I caught two bass and roasted one whole the other day as reccommended by Anthony Bourdain's French cooking book. Just remember you licence!
It was a great trip and I can't wait to go back and explore othe parts of the Park. The interior is a lot quieter than the Parkway Corridor, but of course the highway makes this area a lot more accessible for daytrips and short breaks. I hope you have as much fun there as I did!
- Pros:Quiet and stunning scenery
- Cons:Bugs in Summer
Boats can be rented from Opeongo outfitters, which is at the southern tip of opeongo lake. I think ours came to about... more travel advice
I don't want to let you into a secret...but good fishing! A rod, reel, line, hook and worm. more travel advice
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