5 Reasons to Visit Algonquin Park

photo by  Steve Giampa

photo by Steve Giampa

To experience Canada’s unspoiled natural landscapes, you don’t need to head too far. One of its prime examples of the great outdoors lies in the Algonquin Provincial Park, a 7,653 km² area of forests, rivers and lakes, all only about a 3 hour drive from Toronto.

A trip to Algonquin for a weekend or even just the day is the perfect opportunity for a digital detox; to retreat from the bustle of the city and reconnect with the wild.

The best time to visit the Algonquin National Park is just around the corner—here’s why you should make the trip this spring.

Experience Prime Moose-viewing Season

Spring is the best time of year to have a chance encounter with one of Canada’s most enigmatic creatures: the majestic moose.

On Highway 60 (also known as the Frank McDougall Parkway), which runs between Huntsville and Renfrew through the southern part of the park, the salt that was used to melt ice during the winter attracts the moose, who have become deficient of the mineral during their winter diets.

Cruise along this route during May in the morning or at dusk to increase your odds of seeing one roadside. You’ll be astounded by how huge they are.

Fall for the Charms of Cottage Country

Not too far from the Algonquin Provincial Park is Ontario's Cottage Country. Muskoka, as it’s called, combines the same stunning landscapes you’ll find the park with stylish waterside resorts and charming small cities.

The largest of them is Huntsville, a pretty town dotted with lakes and greenery abound. Here, you can take on a few trails that are perfect for day trippers, like the hikes around Fairy Lake, with stunning views from the Lions Lookout as your reward. Don’t forget to pack your camera!

You’ll also find some great shopping here, with outfitter stores selling adventure gear and home decor, including the region’s famous ‘Muskoka chair’—a cottage staple!

photo by  Gary J. Wood

photo by Gary J. Wood

Experience the Landscapes of Algonquin Park

Whether you like to stick to your two feet or make your way around with two paddles, there’s no shortage of activities for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. And no matter what option you choose, a stunning backdrop will accompany you along the way.

For novice hikers (or simply for those short on time), opt for the Lookout or Beaver Pond Trail. Both come in at two kilometres long, with the Lookout taking on a gradual incline to—you guessed it—a gorgeous lookout point over the park’s pine-covered ridge.

Beaver Pond also lives up to its name. Teeming with a variety of wildlife, here’s where you’re mostly like to spot beavers — especially during springtime—busily moving tree branches through the ponds.

If weather permits, why not get your feet (a little) wet and hop in a canoe to take in the sights from a different perspective and see what other wildlife you’ll spot from the water.


Discover World-class Art at the Algonquin Art Centre

Even culture is on the menu at the Algonquin Provincial Park at the Algonquin Art Centre. This year is particularly special at the gallery, where they’re celebrating the park’s 125th birthday with a special exhibit titled: “Landmarks: A Portrait of Algonquin”.

The exhibit will feature works from some of the country’s most celebrated natural landscape artists, like pieces from the Group of Seven (whose work can also be seen at the AGO in Toronto) and portraits of landmarks like Turtle Island and Barron Canyon.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the images in their painted form, you can venture out into the park and witness the scenes that inspired these artists for yourself.


Refuel and Relax at Elegant Rustic Lodges

Extend your visit in the Algonquin area with a stay in one of its rustic-chic lodges, like the Killarney Lodge or the Bartlett Lodge. Seated in the heart of the action, you’ll still be able to get an up-close look at the local wildlife from either location while settling into cozy cabin-style accommodations.

If you can’t spend the night, both have restaurants when you can grab a hearty lunch. You’ll have deserved it after your hike!

Want to make sure you do a day in Algonquin Provincial Park right? Let us take care of the details with our private guided Algonquin Park day trip, or we can help you arrange a weekend getaway. Spring is almost here—let’s get outside!