5 Reasons to Add Algonquin Park to Your Next Canadian Road Trip
Algonquin Park is located in South Eastern Ontario and is the perfect addition for your road trip between Ottawa and Toronto in Canada. I discovered the existence of this park whilst looking to extend my drive down to Niagara Falls into more of an adventure rather than just looking at highways for a few hours and boy, am I glad I did.
This park is the oldest provincial park in Ontario and is super popular with all kinds of outdoor-sy people (probably because it’s close to two major cities – Ottawa and Toronto). You can go camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and whatever else tickles your fancy in the Great Canadian Outdoors. It’s got a ton of wildlife too and as I was super excited to find out, it’s also a great location to spot a moose or two during the spring months. So of course we had to go!
And because I loved my time in this park so much I decided to write up my top five reasons for adding Algonquin Provincial Park to your next Canadian road trip. It’s worth it, promise!
Five Reasons to Add Algonquin Park to Your Next Canadian Road Trip
1 // The Boardwalks
I’m a big fan of boardwalks and always have been – I’m thinking childhood memories of walking my dog in the woods here! I think boardwalks add to the landscape and they make for beautiful photos. I love coming across an unexpected boardwalk in the middle of a trail and can never resist stopping for a snap or two… or ten.
The first photo was taken on the Bat Lake Trail and the second was taken on the Beaver Pond Trail. Both trails are great for boardwalks but if you’re short on time or just want a quick walk on your drive through the park, I’d go for the Beaver Pond trail as it’s a shorter walk – just a 2km loop compared to the 5.8km loop of the Bat Lake Trail. The boardwalk is also at the beginning on this trail – happy photographing!
2 // The Lakes
Because you can’t go to Canada and not check out a Canadian Lake. And Algonquin does not disappoint!
The two photos below were both taken on trails that we hiked but on your drive through the park you will spot many a lake worth photographing. (FYI, there are approx. 2400 lakes in Algonquin Park – say whaaaat). If we had more time I would definitely have liked to hang out by a lake for a while and I’m sure it would be amazing during the summer months to camp nearby.
But if you fancy checking out these two specific lakes, the first photo was taken on the Beaver Pond Trail and the second was taken on the Bat Lake Trail. I absolutely loved the colours of these lakes and the remaining ice around the edges just added to the beauty for me. Get out there and see for yourself!
3 // The Viewpoints
You know you read about views that will ‘take your breath away’ but are never quite sure how true that is? Well, Algonquin has views that will do just that! I couldn’t get enough of these views (and have way too many selfies as a result) and could have spent hours just sat drinking in my surroundings.
Beaver Pond Trail
If you’re short on time and just want to catch a glimpse of this incredible view, start the trail backwards as this lookout is very near the end of the walk – you can just follow the white circles instead of the blue circle trail markers. I do recommend doing the whole walk though of course. This lookout is definitely not the only gorgeous spot on this 2km trail!
Bizarrely this trail has the simplest name of them all but the most spectacular of lookouts. It’s a bit of an uphill slog to get there so be prepared for some achy legs but I promise you, the view is definitely worthwhile. I was lucky enough to be up here when there was no one else around and it was amazing to just overlook the world like that.
Bat Lake Trail
Probably the least impressive of the three views we saw but still impressive. Not an easy one to reach though – this viewpoint is right in the middle of the trail so whichever end you start at you might as well commit to the whole thing! It does make for a great rest point after that uphill trek though. It’s really amazing what nature can do to remind you just how small you are in the world.
4 // The Wildlife
After seeing some excellent road signs of angry moose and prancing deer as you drive through the park (I loved the contrast), you might be desperately searching out of your car window to try and spot a moose by the roadside just as I was.
Top tip: Look for the areas of road where loads of cars have pulled over. It’s highly likely that someone has spotted a moose!
Be careful of stopping though, cars do still need to get through and we heard some pretty angry horns being blasted as a result of some bad tourist parking. Be careful of the moose too – keep your distance as you never know how they may react next. They are absolutely huge creatures and you wouldn’t want your road trip ruined by a moose…
If you are keen to see a moose though, the end of April/early May is said to be a good time of year to spot them in Algonquin Park. Apparently the moose tend to hang out near the highway after winter as they like the salt that is left over when the ice/snow melts. However, there’s also a chance of spotting other animals, such as beavers, plenty of birds, fish and even a few snakes too.
5 // To Take The Scenic Route
And number five… Well, number five is something that I love to do. If there is a more scenic route to take to where I am going and I have the time to take it then I will most certainly be taking it. Because why wouldn’t you want to drink in more of that beautiful Canadian scenery?
Visiting Algonquin Park
How to get there:
Whilst most of Algonquin Park can only be visited on foot or by water, there is a section of it that can be visited by driving – the bit that you will most likely be visiting too! Highway 60 runs through the south end of the park and makes it super easy to visit by car. There are 14 different trails to explore on this section of the highway (pick up your map from the visitors centre) so you’ll still have plenty to see and do. There’s also a few more access roads too as detailed on the park’s website.
How much does it cost?
If you are just looking to visit for the odd day or two then a one day parking permit will probably suit you best. This will set you back around $17 per day and each permit is valid until 10pm on the day of issue. This may change throughout the year depending on what’s going on though, so I recommend checking out the park’s website before your trip. Obviously if you want to camp in the area then you will pay extra camping fees :)
(It’s still a super cheap day out though!)
Where can I stay?
If, like me, you fancy more than one day to check out this beautiful place then I highly recommend staying in the area to give you easy access to the park to make the most of your day(s). As mentioned above, you can camp in the park itself or it you fancy a hotel instead try checking out Huntsville which is just a short drive from the park.
Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring the Great Canadian Outdoors!
If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it! Because sharing is caring <3
Other Canadian Adventures you may be interested in:
More links coming soon!
Still interested in Canada?
What was your favourite thing about the last national park you visited?
I’d love to know! Leave your thoughts in the comments below :)
Lots of love,
Pin this post for inspiration for your next road trip!