Algonquin: Nature's Playground
Algonquin Provincial Park is Ontario's oldest Provincial Park. In 1893, Algonquin National Park was created to establish a wildlife reserve. In 1913, Algonquin became the very first provincial park created in Ontario. As a nature getaway from the everyday it draws people of all ages and abilities in. There are over 1200 campsites along the HWY 60 corridor alone with thousands more in the interior. Algonquin has always been a place where visitors can become one with nature. Below is some information to make your visit the best!
When to Visit?
Algonquin is beautiful year round. Parkbus runs begin May 18 and operate weekly beginning June 21 until Thanksgiving. During the spring, there are a lot of bugs but if you have a bug jacket or bug spray, they are bearable. Weekends in the summer are extremely busy but weekenders leave on Sunday making the trails and campsites quieter during the week. The park is at it's best in the fall when the weather is cooler and the leaves are changing colours.
Where to Stay?
Parkbus stops at/near 3 campgrounds as well as a backpacking hostel for those who want the comforts of home. Campsites can be booked up to 5 months in advance through Ontario Parks.
Pog Lake (Pog Lake Stop) - a beautiful campground surrounded by beautiful pine trees. Located along the banks of the Madawaska river and the shores of Pog Lake, it's perfect for people who enjoy canoeing. Pog Lake has 3 sections of campsites available - Section C is one of the best, but also the hardest to get a reservation for during the summer.
Lake of Two Rivers (Two Rivers Store Stop) - this is one of the biggest campgrounds in the park. One of the perks of the campground is the close proximity to 3 hiking trails within a 20 minute walk/bike. The trails include Bat Lake, Two Rivers Trail, and the Highland Backpacking trail access point in Mew Lake. You can also easily access Two Rivers Store run by Algonquin Outfitters where you can rent bikes or pick up anything you've left at home.
Mew Lake (Two Rivers Store Stop) - Located to the right of the Two Rivers Store drop off point, Mew Lake is a smaller campground but offers the most when it comes to recreation options. Campers can access part of the Highland Backpacking trail or Track and Tower trail from the old airfield, bike the Old Railway Trail, or walk to either Bat Lake or Two Rivers Trail.
Wolf Den Backpackers Hostel (Wolf Den Stop) - Located along the banks of the Oxtongue River 9km outside of Algonquin Park. Wolf Den offers two types of accommodation - the traditional family friendly hostel which allows you to get to know other travellers from around the world, and the independent eco-cabins.
Passengers can also stay at one of the 3 lodges within the Park - Bartlett Lodge, Arrowhon Pines, and Killarney Lodge. There are also a number of lodges located in the Oxtongue Lake area that are easily accessible from our first stop at the Algonquin Outfitters. Passengers would be responsible for setting up their own shuttle to these accommodations.
What to do:
Hiking - 2 of the 3 campgrounds we stop at have easy access to various hiking trails within a 20 minute walk. Two Rivers Campground and Mew Lake can access the Two Rivers and Bat Lake Trails across from the entrance to Mew Lake. Passengers also have access to the Old Railway Trail from Pog Lake and Mew Lake (Passengers at Two Rivers will need to walk to Mew Lake to access the trail).
Biking - The Old Railway Trail is located along the old Ottawa, Arnprior, and Parry Sound Railway that was used for logging and bringing passengers into the park. The 16km trail runs from the Rock Lake campground to Cache Lake where the Highland Inn used to welcome passengers to Algonquin. The Two Rivers Store rents Fat Bikes which you can use on the Old Railway Trail.
Canoeing - probably the most popular activity in the park is canoeing. Algonquin Outfitters offers free campground deliveries with a canoe/kayak rental. If you are staying at Pog Lake you would contact the Opeongo Store (1-888-280-8886) and if you are staying at Lake of Two Rivers or Mew Lake you would contact the Oxtongue Lake Store (1-800-469-4948). While some campgrounds only have small lakes to paddle, others offer access to the Madawaska River which connects Lake of Two Rivers, Pog Lake, Whitefish Lake, and Rock Lake. It also meanders its way behind Mew Lake. Passengers who wish to complete a canoe trip during their visit can get off at either Canoe Lake or Opeongo Lake access points and rent canoes directly from the Portage Store (Canoe Lake) or the Algonquin Outfitters' Opeongo Store.
To see our schedule and book your seat, visit our website!