Algonquin is the essence of what one may think of Canada - or at least Canada outside of the majestic Rockies out in the West. Algonquin Provincial Park is made up of maple hills, thousands of lakes, forests, bogs, and rocky ridges. Most of Algonquin can only be explored by foot or paddling along in kayak etc.
This is one of the premier retreats for holidaymakers from Toronto and all around Ontario. For those living in Ontario or in the neighboring parks of America like Michigan, Ohio, and Upstate New York, it is very easy to access this beautiful part of Canada, instead of British Columbia on the other side of the continent.
About Algonquin Provincial Park
- Campgrounds: 8 Campgrounds In The Park
- Trails: 14 Interpretive Trails
- Open: Year-round But Options Vary By Season
- Fishing: Superb Trout Fishing
- Established: 1893
- Number of Lakes: 2,400
- Size: 7,653 Sq Kilometers or 2,955 Sq Miles
Algonquin Provincial Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada having been established way back in 1893. It also borders other smaller provincial parks - so like the stunning Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, others in BC and Alberta, it is part of a larger protected area.
Algonquin is one of the most popular provincial parks. Partly this is down to its large size and partly its close proximity to the largest Canadian city of Toronto and the capital of Ottawa. The park is a wonderland filled with some 2,400 lakes - with Canoe Lake being a notable example. The features of the park have been shaped by the glaciers that covered the region during the previous ice ages.
The park is also in the transitional zone between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario. Southern Ontario is a lot like its neighboring American states like Michigan and Upstate New York and is dominated by deciduous forest. Northern Ontario is perhaps more of what people think of Canada to be like and is dominated by the northern coniferous forests. The park is a mixture of both forest types and there are numerous different environments within the park. This gives rise to a large diversity of plants and animals within the park.
Activities in the Canadian winter months include skiing, camping in cozy yurts, snowshoeing, and skating.
Animals Of The Park
Algonquin includes a wide variety of animals. These include 53 species of mammals, 54 species of fish, and 272 species of birds. Notable animals include moose, beavers, great grey owls, Eastern wolves, black bears, and white-tailed deer.
Lodging Inside The Park
For those looking to stay within the park, there are only three lodges available.
Arowhon Pines Resort
This is off the beaten track around 5 miles or 8 kilometers off Highway 60. It is nestled in amongst the forest and has 50 rooms available for rent. Some of the activities to do here include canoeing or kayaking across a chain of lakes, hiking the pristine trails, swimming in the lake, or relaxing in the sauna. Three meals are included in the guest's stay including packed lunches and impromptu barbecues on the lakeside. The resort is also open as a restaurant for those not staying there.
- Opening Season: Spring, Summer, And Fall
- Open: 29 May To 12 October
- Dining Times: Breakfast 8.00 am to 10.00 am, Lunch 2.30 pm, Dinner 6.30 pm
The second option is the Barlett Lodge. This is the smallest historic resort and it takes a short boat ride to get there. This rustic and stunning lodge is located on Cache Lake and the power for this lodge is completely off the grid. Accommodation options include lakeside cottages and log cabins. There are also deluxe platform tents and the Artists Studios. The lodge is also renowned for its great cuisine boasting perfect five-course dinners.
- Open: 14 May to 24 October
- Dining Times: Breakfast 8.00 am to 9.30, Dinner 6.00 pm and 8.00 pm
- Reservations: Preferred But Not Always Needed
The last option for lodging is the Killarney Lodge. This lodge was built in 1935 and is located on a private peninsula on the Lake of Two Rivers. It offers private lakeside cabins, fine dining, and a restful ambiance. Killarney is the mid-sized lodge of the three lodges and the restaurant is also open to visitors.
- Open: 14 May to 17 October
- Dining Times: Lunch 11.50 am to 1.45 pm, Dinner 5.40 pm to 7.30 pm
- Note: Bring Your Own Wine
For more information about these lodges, pricing, and booking the accommodation here, see the official Algonquin Provincial Park website.
There is much more to Canada than the dazzling Rockies out in the West. Canada is a country that is very different. In Ontario, one will not find the massive mountains but one will find a stunning and wild landscape just waiting to be discovered.