Algonquin Park

Top Things to do in Algonquin Park

Algonquin Provincial Park is located in South Eastern Ontario nearby Whitney, ON and is known for its beautiful landscape of rocky ridges, lakes, and dense forest making it the perfect environment to enjoy outdoors, engage in adventure activities and view some amazing wildlife all in one visit.  Algonquin Provincial Park offers breathtaking wilderness, fresh air, secluded forests, clear water, and a blanket of stars at night. Algonquin park offers Canadians an accessible wilderness adventure as you can accomplish many of the Things to do in Algonquin Park during a day trip or even better is to make it a weekend trip. Algonquin Park is 7,630 square kilometres of forests, lakes, and rivers and is home to 30 species of mammals, such as bear, deer, moose, and loons. 

Why Spring is the Perfect Season to Visit Algonquin Park?

While we cannot promise you will see wildlife, tons of animals live in the park and can be spotted if you look carefully – checkout the wildlife log at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre. While we unfortunately did not see any moose as I hoped we were lucky enough to see a snapping turtle, and deer. I was hoping to see a moose as in early Spring when we visited it is quite common to see moose along Highway 60 as they are attracted to the salt from the winter sanding, the visitor log had over 8 sightings the day we visited. The spring is also a perfect time to enjoy some fishing as May is an excellent time to catch trout. Algonquin Park is well known for having the best Brook Trout and Lake Trout fishing in Ontario. The Spring offers an excellent time to enjoy one of the many hiking trails before it gets too hot and unbearable in the summer or busy with tourists. We enjoyed multiple hikes over the weekend and got to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature with no distractions as there were not many other hikers.

However one thing to note about Spring in Algonquin National Park is that although the snow may have melted at home, Algonquin Park remains very wintry late into the Spring Season due to this Park’s higher elevations. Many of the trails we visited still has snow during the first weekend of May and Beaver Lake still had a fair amount of ice on the lake despite the sunny skies, so just make sure you pack hiking boots and gear that is appropriate.

Thing to do in Algonquin Park

Below is a list of Algonquin Park things to do, this list is based on the recent trip my husband and I took in early Spring at the beginning of May.

  1. Checkout the Visitor’s CentreAlgonquin Park Visitor Centre
    The Algonquin Visitor Centre is a perfect place to visit if it is raining and you need to escape the weather or if you are looking to learn more about the wildlife and history of the park. The Visitor Centre is home to many unique exhibits that teach about the Park’s natural and human history, as well as wildlife. There is a log of all the different wildlife sightings which is cool to see what has been spotted in the park each day. If your interested in history sit down and watch the theatre presentation that tells the story of the park and how logging was involved in its history. If you are looking for a spectacular view then checkout the viewing deck where you can admire a breathtaking panorama of wild Algonquin landscape. From the viewing deck you can see four of the five major habitats of Algonquin park: hardwood forests, coniferous forests, spruce bogs and lakes and rivers. The last final habitat is beaver dams which can be seen on the Beaver Creek Trail.

    Algonquin Park Visitor Centre 
  2. ATV Tours with Valley Adventure Tours

    Valley Tour ATV
    Enjoy the road less traveled and get out and explore the natural environment that our own backyard in Ontario has to offer. Valley Adventure Tours offer amazing ATV tours that allow you to enjoy the dense forested areas near Algonquin Park and to explore deep into the Madawaska Valley and in and around Barry’s Bay. Valley Adventure Tours give you a whole new view and perspective as you can travel so much further on ATV than hiking and can get really deep into the forested areas and view areas that are not seen by most visitors to the area. ATV tours allow you to experience a natural environment that is rather untouched as its so deep into wilderness.We met up with Steve at his place in Barry’s Bay on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and set out on an amazing adventure that was once in a lifetime. The tour was exhilarating, adventurous and super fun as we traveled for about 2 hours by ATV. We began our tour with a comprehensive safety orientation as Steve instructed by husband on all the different gears and when to use 4 wheel drive and 2 wheel drive and just overall how to maneuver the ATV in a safe way. Steve outfitted us with all the proper safety gear including helmets that fit properly and then he outlined the safety features on the ATV such as the mesh side gating. After our safety briefing we set out to explore and enjoy the natural environments.

    Valley Adventures ATV Tour
    Steve was a great guide as he knew the area very well and had backup plans in place in case any of the traditional trails had issues and required us to take a detour he was prepared as he had pre-checked the route the day before. Steve went out of his way to ensure we had the best adventure and was an excellent guide. Steve allowed us to go at our own pace, as he simply acted as a guide to navigate us through the sometimes tricky and tight turns and uphill sections of trails. Steve allowed us to stop whenever we liked on the tour to take photos, stop and enjoy the scenery, or to have a snack. In the summer you can even stop for some swimming in the remote lakes in the area and have a swimming hole all to yourself.

    Valley Adventures ATV Tour
    The ATV tours offers something new and exciting as you get to view the Canadian shield in a way that otherwise would not be possible. We enjoyed secluded forests, muddy water crossing – some as high as the floor of the ATV so make sure you lift your feet if your the passenger, climbed to the top of the Canadian shield and took in breathtaking views from Toms Lookout. Tom’s Lookout allowed us to see the entire Madawaska Valley from up above and enjoy the beautiful views of spring as all the plants and trees were just beginning to bloom, you could clearly see the differences in types of trees from up above.

    Valley Adventures ATV Tour

    Now every ATV tour offers a different adventure and different experience as you never know what you may see as there is always a chance of spotting local wild life, including deer, moose, bob cats, owls, eagles, bears, wolves, & many other inhabitants of the Valley. We were lucky enough to see a deer along our tour which was spectacular and on our way back Steve even pointed out bear claw marks on a tree and explained some other signs of bears.Steve was knowledgeable, professional and experienced as he made following him super easy and stopped to ensure we were always in the right gear and gave us tips and directions on how to conquer some of the difficult terrain. We stopped at one point in a panic as we thought my husband lost his phone as it was in his pocket, Steve handled the situation like a PRO as he offered to double back and look for it, but first simply lifted the seats of the ATV and luckily found the phone, apparently this is a common occurrence.

    Valley Adventures ATV Tour

    The ride was bumpy and loads of fun – a trip we will never forget and was an awesome way to celebrate our 5th year wedding anniversary as we believe couples who play together, stay together! My husband and I love experiencing and trying new adventures so ATV tours was the perfect fit to add to our list of adventures together. Steve likes to keep his groups small so that he can get to know his guests as well as truly give them a unique experience.

    Valley Adventure Tours offer both a 2HR and 4HR ATV tour option depending on how much time you have and what you want to see and discover. The ATV’s were well maintained and were not your typical ATV but instead were a side by side ATV vehicle that allows one drive and one passenger to sit side by side and enjoy the adventure together. The ATV tour is perfect for couples and families with children over age 8 years old. Valley Adventure Tours also offer snowmobiling tours is the winter, which I am sure would be amazing and I hope to go back and try out one day!

     

    If your ready to take an Adventure on the Wild side then Book Valley Adventure Tours.

  3. Hiking in Algonquin ParkBeaver Lake Trail Algonquin Park
    Algonquin Park is full of beautiful Interpretive Walking Trails that offer the perfect escape from busy life and can easily be done in a full day or half day depending on the length of trail you choose. The trails are designed to show all the different aspects of Algonquin Park’s wildlife, and environment and each trail has a trail guide booklet. Trail guide booklets are found at the trail head in the summer season, but if you are hiking in the Spring, Fall or Winter just stop in at the Visitor Centre and they can be purchased for $0.50. The trails are open year round and require a Park permit to park in the parking lots. We were lucky to have a park permit for FREE as we stayed at Couple’s Resort. Algonquin Park is home to 17 unique trails to teach about Algonquins human and natural history. Each trail guide contains a map of the trail and numbered locations and descriptions of the area that correspond with posts on the trails. The posts were easy to find and we enjoyed taking turns reading the descriptions out loud at each post.  We would have loved to do more of the hikes and hope to return soon but we did have the time to check out 3 of the trails on our weekend exploring Algonquin Park. To learn more about all of the trails in the park checkout the Interpretive Walking Trails.

     

    Board Walk Trail Algonquin Park

    1. Spruce Bog Trail: This was the perfect trail to start the weekend as it was an easy 1.5km stroll that is mainly on boardwalk walking through the marsh. This trail gives you a close up look at northern spruce bogs and you get to learn all about the ecology. This trail is wheelchair friendly and goes through two different bogs (Sunday Creek and Small Kettle Bog).

      Beaver Lake Trail Algonquin Park
    2. Algonquin Beaver Ecology: This was my favourite trail of the three as we got to see a large beaver dam up close which was really neat and the hike also had an amazing view from a lookout point towards the end of the hike. The trail visits a pond and Amikeus Lake which were both created by beavers.  The Beaver pond trail is a winds through 2 km of Algonquin Park rugged terrain and allows you to learn all about beavers and how they live and why they do what they do. While there is no guarantee of seeing a beaver during the hike you can learn about the signs of beaver life and how they influence lakes and waterways. This hike is moderate in difficulty as there are so elevations involved. If you are looking for landscape views and to enjoy nature and wildlife this is the trail for you!

      Beaver Lake Trail Algonquin Park
    3. Algonquin Logging Museum Trail: This trail provides a wealth of knowledge and traces the story of logging from the 1830s to the present. The 1.3 km walk recreates what logging camps were like and the hard and strenuous process involved with logging back in the early days. Logging is an important part of the history of Algonquin Park. If your looking to learn about the history and creation of Algonquin park then I highly recommend this interpretive hiking trail.

      Logging Museum Trail Algonquin Park 
  4. Wildlife Viewing
    |Snapping turtle Algonquin Park
    If you think of the traditional animals known for being Canadian such as the moose, beaver, bear and loon you will definitely find all of these and more in Algonquin Park. According to Algonquin Outfitters there are about 3500 moose, 2000 black beavers, 272 bird species, 31 species of reptiles, and 7000 species of insects all thriving in the environment of Algonquin Park. You are likely to see a moose if you visit in the spring as they are attracted to the road salt and come up near Highway #60. Early morning or early evening are the best time to see wildlife as the temperature is cooler and there are less people moving throughout the park so animals are more likely to appear. When driving on Highway #60 keep your eyes out for wildlife that will come near the road and also for lots of cars parked in one area as this often means wildlife has been spotted and people are viewing it. Seeing wildlife in its one environment rather than a zoo is just so much more interesting. With such a large range in diversity of species it is no wonder that researchers love learning more about the ecology of animals and how they work together. Tourists are drawn to Algonquin park to catch a glimpse of animals in their natural habitat and to enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings.

  5.  FishingBeaver Lake Trail Algonquin Park
    Algonquin Park is known for fishing as it has over 1,500 lakes and 1200 kilometres of streams that allow 54 different species of fish to live within the park. Algonquin is known around the world for having the finest Brook and Lake Trout. Spring offers the best time to fish and lakes in the back country of the park offer great fishing because there are lakes deep in the park that are not over fished. It’s important to note that in order to ensure the future of fishing in Algonquin Park there are some restrictions including:– No live bait can be used when fishing
    – No Fishing from November to April
    – No Fishing within 100 meters of a beaver dam

Recommended Algonquin Park Accommodations

The following hotels near Algonquin Park are excellent hotels that are located near Algonquin Park.

Accommodations for Couples – Ontario Couples Resort

Couples Resort

Couples Resort is located in Whitney, ON which is a short drive from Algonquin Park as Ontario’s Couples Resort is located on the shores of Algonquin Park’s Galeairy Lake, which mostly is in Algonquin Park and the Madawaska River. Couples Resort is the only ALL INCLUSIVE resort located in Ontario that is designated for COUPLES ONLY! For more information and a Review checkout Our Guide to the Perfect Couples Weekend Getaway in Algonquin Park. Click to Book. There are lots of Weekend Getaways in Ontario to checkout with your partner.

Accommodations for Dog Lovers – Adventure Lodge

Adventure Lodge Algonquin Park

If you are a dog lover and want to bring your pooch along on your outdoor adventure in Algonquin Park then I suggest staying at the Adventure Lodge. Adventure Lodge offers pet friendly accommodations in authentic log cottages and cabins and also offer inclusive meals. For more information on the Pet Policy. Click to Book

Accommodations for Families – Spring Lake Resort

Spring Lake Algonquin Park

Spring Lake Resort is the best Muskoka Algonquin Park Family Vacation Resort with natural wonders and focuses on providing an escape from city life that is family friendly.  

Accommodations for Explorers and Adventurers – Ontario Parks

Algonquin Park

Sleep under the stars in one of many camping options that Ontario Parks has to offer in Algonquin Park. The Park offers back country camping, car camping, walk in camping, group camping, and roofed accommodation. To see all the different options and to make a reservation: Algonquin Park Camping. Don’t forget to checkout to checkout Campfire Foods and Easy Campfire Desserts.

We love exploring new Ontario Parks and Sharing our Adventures. You may also be interested in Things to do at Silent Lake Provincial Park, Winter Camping at MacGregor Point Provincial Park.

Disclosure: This blog was sponsored by Valley Adventures as Steve was kind enough to offer us a free ATV tour in exchange for a review of his tours.

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