Algonquin Park: Wikis

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Algonquin Provincial Park
IUCN Category IV (Habitat/Species Management Area)

Autumn Scene in Algonquin Park.
Location Ontario, Canada
Nearest city Huntsville, Ontario, Pembroke, Ontario
Coordinates 45°35′03″N 78°21′30″W / 45.58417°N 78.35833°W / 45.58417; -78.35833Coordinates: 45°35′03″N 78°21′30″W / 45.58417°N 78.35833°W / 45.58417; -78.35833
Area 7,653.45 km2 (2,955.01 sq mi)
Established 1893
Visitors 800,000 to 1 million persons per year (in )
Governing body Ontario Parks

Algonquin Provincial Park is a provincial park located between Georgian Bay and the Ottawa River in Central Ontario, Canada, mostly within the Unorganized South Part of Nipissing District. It is the oldest provincial park in Canada having been established in 1893. Additions since its creation have increased the park to its current size of about 7653 square kilometres. For comparison purposes, this is about one and a half times the size of Prince Edward Island or the US state of Delaware and about a quarter the size of Belgium. (In fact, the park is contiguous with a number of smaller, administratively separate provincial parks that protect important rivers in the area. As a result the total protected area is somewhat larger yet.)

Its size, combined with its proximity to the major urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa, make Algonquin one of the most popular provincial parks in the province and the entire country. Highway 60 runs through the south of the park, while the Trans-Canada Highway bypasses it to the north.

Over 2,400 lakes and 1,200 kilometres of streams and rivers are located within the park. Some notable examples include Canoe Lake and the Petawawa, Nipissing, Amable du Fond, Madawaska, and Tim rivers. These were formed by the retreat of the glaciers during the last ice age.

The park is considered part of the "border" between northern Ontario and southern Ontario. The park is in an area of transition between northern coniferous forest and southern deciduous forest. This unique mixture of forest types, and the wide variety of environments in the park, allows the park to support an uncommon diversity of plant and animal species. It is also an important site for wildlife research.

Algonquin Park was named a national historic site in 1992 in recognition of several heritage values, including: its role in the development of park management; pioneering visitor interpretation programs later adopted by national and provincial parks across the country; its role in inspiring artists, which in turn gave Canadians a greater sense of their country; and historic structures such as lodges, hotels, cottages, camps, entrance gates, a railway station, and administration and museum buildings.

As well, Algonquin Park is the only designated park within the province of Ontario to allow industrial logging to take place within its borders.

History

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Dark Day fire

Researchers believe that smoke from a forest fire in Algonquin Park was responsible for New England's Dark Day of May 19, 1780.[1] This is based on investigations into scar marks which are left in the growth rings of trees that survive forest fires.[2] Data obtained from such scar marks makes it possible to approximate the date of a past fire.

Early logging

In the 19th century, the logging industry harvested the large white pine and red pine trees, to produce lumber for domestic and American markets, as well as square timber for export to Great Britain. The loggers were followed by small numbers of homesteaders and farmers. Even at that time, however, the area's beauty was recognized by nature preservationists.

To manage these conflicting interests, the Ontario Government appointed a commission to enquire into and report on the matter. The act to establish Algonquin Park was drawn up in 1892 by this five member Royal Commission, made up of Alexander Kirkwood (the chairman and Commissioner of Crown Lands), James Dickson (Ontario Land Surveyor), Archibald Blue (director of mines), Robert Phipps (head of the Forestry Branch), and Aubrey White (Assistant Commissioner of Crown Lands). Their report recommended the establishment of a park in the territory lying near and enclosing the headwaters of five major rivers, those being: the Muskoka, Madawaska (including Opeongo), Amable du Fond, Petawawa and South rivers.

The commissioners remarked in their report: "the experience of older countries had everywhere shown that the wholesale and indiscriminate slaughter of forests brings a host of evils in its train. Wide tracts are converted from fertile plains into arid desert, springs and streams are dried up, and the rainfall, instead of percolating gently through the forest floor and finding its way by easy stages by brook and river to the lower levels, now descends the valley in hurrying torrents, carrying before it tempestuous floods."

Although much of the area within Algonquin had been under licence for some time, it was intended to make the park an example of good forestry practices. Only licences to cut pine would be issued. The commissioners had recommended that when the hardwood was mature, it too should be cut.

Current logging

1893 Survey of Park Lands

Industrial logging continues in the park's interior. Numerous methods of timber harvesting take place throughout the park including clear cutting, selection cutting and shelterwood cutting.

The Algonquin Forestry Authority is currently reviewing an application that would allow for expansion of current logging roads and the addition of new ones.[3]

Park formation

An Act to establish "Algonquin National Park of Ontario" was passed by the Liberal government of Oliver Mowat in the Ontario Legislature, May 23, 1893(56 Vic.,c.8). Although called a "national park", Algonquin has always been under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. No provincial parks existed until Algonquin, but there was a new movement to create national parks since Banff's establishment in 1885. The name was changed to Algonquin Provincial Park in 1913.

The boundaries of the park included 18 townships within the District of Nipissing, covering an area of 3797 km² (1,466 square miles) of which 10% was under water. The tract of land was to be set apart, as a public park, health resort and pleasure ground for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of all the people of the province. The year following the park's creation saw portions of six new townships added to the existing park's boundaries (Paxton, McCroney, Finlayson, Butt, Ballantyne, and Boyd). The first four were put up for auction that same year. The production of the lumber companies operating in the park at the time increased from 680,000 m³ (288 million board feet) in 1886 to 809,000 m³ (343 million board feet) in 1896.

Peter Thomson, the first chief ranger of Algonquin Park, was responsible for establishing park boundaries, constructing buildings, and posting notices to warn hunters and trappers against trespass. He liaised with timber operators, oversaw the removal of settlers and their homes, and notified local Algonquin natives that they could no longer hunt or trap in the area.[4]

Park rangers began patrolling the park, the game protected, and forest fires were suppressed. By 1910 wildlife numbers were increasing. Thousands of people had visited the great pleasure resort and it was said to be undeniably one of the most beautiful natural parks in the Dominion, if not on this continent." All this had entailed a large expenditure by the government, which was recovered chiefly through the maintenance of timber licences. There was no fee for camping permits, though a nominal charge was introduced for fishing and guides' licences when "An Act to establish the Algonquin National Park of Ontario" was again passed by the legislature, March 19, 1910. This new legislation included the original area as well as portions of ten townships annexed into the park since 1893, and allowed for further expansion by the addition of adjacent townships, should it become necessary.

Another notable figure in park management was Frank MacDougall, the park's chief ranger from 1931 to 1941. He was the first ranger to supervise the park by airplane, flying a Fairchild KR-34. He eventually became deputy minister for the provincial Ministry of Lands and Forests, and the portion of Highway 60 which passes through Algonquin Park has been named the Frank A. MacDougall Parkway in his honour.[5]

The railway, settlement, and the beginning of tourism

A hand-coloured photograph of canoeists in Algonquin Park in the 1920s

Construction of the Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway (O. A. & P. S.) through the park in 1896 provided the first easy access to the area. While the park’s purpose was to control settlement within its boundaries, the families of railway workers as well as those of the lumbermen took up residence in the park. The village of Mowat on the west side of Canoe Lake was first established in 1893 as a logging camp for the Gilmour Lumber Company. From there, logs were driven down the Oxtongue River towards Lake of Bays and eventually on to Trenton. In the same year the park headquarters was established near the logging camp. The arrival of the railway had provided easy access for the lumbermen as well. The Gilmour firm decided to put up a sawmill closer to their source of timber. By 1897 the village of Mowat had grown to 500 residents and there were eighteen km of railway siding.

The same year saw the official opening of the railway between Ottawa and Depot Harbour. Park headquarters were also relocated in 1897 from Mowat to a point of land on the north shore of Cache Lake, adjacent to the railway. The O. A. & P. S. put up a station there it named Algonquin Park. The railway, taken over by the Canada Atlantic Railway in 1899, was in turn sold to the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in 1905.

In 1898 George W. Bartlett was appointed as the second superintendent of Algonquin Park, replacing the late Peter Thompson. Placed under the direction of the Premier of Ontario to make the park self-sufficient, Bartlett worked to make the park more attractive to tourists by encouraging short-term leases for cottages, lodges and camps. Changes came about in 1908, when Hotel Algonquin was opened at Joe Lake. The Grand Trunk Railway opened its first hotel, the Highland Inn, near Park Headquarters. Built on a hill behind Algonquin Park station, the two-storey year-round resort was an immediate success. Soon other guest lodges were established in the park. To the west side of Highland Inn, land was cleared and raised wooden platforms erected, on which tents (supplied by the hotel), were put up to meet the requirements the rapidly growing tourist trade.

At the village of Mowat, abandoned by Gilmour Lumber Co. in 1900, the mill’s former boarding house became Mowat Lodge in 1913. The Highland Inn was enlarged, and new camps were built. Nominigan Camp, consisting of a main lodge with six cabins of log construction, was established on Smoke Lake. Camp Minnesing on Burnt Island Lake was created as a wilderness lodge. Both, only open in July and August, were built by the GTR as affiliates of the Highland Inn.

A second railway, the Canadian Northern (CNoR), was built across the northern portion of the park, opening in 1915. Both lines later became part of Canadian National Railways. The beginning of the end of rail service in the park happened in 1933 when a flood damaged an old Ottawa, Arnprior and Parry Sound Railway trestle on Cache lake. The trestle was deemed too dangerous to use and too expensive to fix, ending through service on the southern line (old O.A. & P.S.). Service from the west ended in 1952, and from the east in 1959. Service on the old Canadian Northern (CNoR) line through the north end of the park ended in 1995. Many of the trails in the park still make use of portions of the old railway rights-of-way.

Administration and management

As recreational use of the park increased during the 1950’s and 60’s, it became clear that a long-term plan to manage the park was required. Six years of consultation with the various users of the park resulted in the 1974 publication of the Algonquin Master Plan, a management plan that sought to ensure that the park could continue indefinitely to serve all of the competing park interests. Three major changes came about as a result of the plan. One, the park was divided into zones with different specified purposes and uses: Nature Reserve and Historic (5.7% of land area), Wilderness (12%), Development (4.3%) and Recreation-Utilization (78%) zones. Logging in the park is limited to the Recreation-Utilization zones, but is separated as much as possible from users of the park interior in order to maintain the park's natural environment. Each year only a small percentage of the park is being actively logged. Two, all existing timber licenses were cancelled, and all logging in the park is now done by the Algonquin Forestry Authority, which supplies timber to 10 private mills outside the park. Three, rules were put in place to limit the impact of recreational use of the park. Almost all cans and bottles are banned in the interior, and limits are placed on the number of people per campsite, and the number of people who can enter the park interior per day at each access point. Also the use of boat motors is limited, both in power and to a few of the larger and more accessible lakes. The master plan has been reviewed and updated four times since 1974, with the latest version being published in 1998.

Legacy of landscapes

Because of the area's beauty, it became recognized by nature preservationists. It quickly became popular with anglers, though hunting was prohibited. The beauty of Algonquin Park attracted artists such as Tom Thomson along with members of the Group of Seven, who found the landscape inspiring. Thomson served as a guide in the park, often working from Mowat Lodge. He did much of his painting at Canoe Lake, a favourite campsite was behind Hayhurst Point, a peninsula overlooking the central portion of the lake. He died under mysterious circumstances at Canoe Lake in 1917. A plaque recognizing his national historic significance stands at the Visitor Centre dock on Canoe Lake, erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A cairn and totem pole memorial erected by friends of the painter, stands on Hayhurst Point, near the north end of the lake.

Visitor activities

The Algonquin Visitor Centre at km 43 of the Highway 60 corridor

Algonquin is popular for year-round outdoor activities. There are over 1,200 campsites in eight designated campgrounds along Highway 60 in the south end of the park, with almost 100 others in three other campgrounds across the northern and eastern edges. There is also the Whitefish Lake group campground with 18 sites of various sizes to accommodate groups of 20, 30, or 40 people. So called "interior camping" is possible further inside the park at sites accessible only by canoe or on foot.

The visitor centre features exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the park, and the Algonquin Room with changing exhibits of art related to the park. The centre also includes a video theater, a gift shop, and an outdoor viewing deck.

Other activities include fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and day hiking. The park has nineteen interpretive trails, ranging in length from 0.8 km to 13 km. Each trail comes with a trail guide and is meant to introduce visitors to a different aspect of the park's ecology or history.

Algonquin is home to a Natural Heritage Education program. The most most popular aspect of the program are the weekly wolf howls. These are held (weather and wolves permitting) on Thursdays in the month of August, and sometimes in the first week of September if there is a Thursday before Labour Day. Park staff attempt to locate a pack Wednesday evening and, if successful, they announce a public wolf howl the next day.

The park also publishes a visitor's newsletter, The Raven, twelve times a year between late April and early September.

Algonquin Logging Museum

Opened in 1992, the Algonquin Logging Museum is located by the park's east gate.[6] A 1.3 km trail features a recreated logging camp, a steam-powered amphibious tug called an "alligator", logging equipment and interpretive panels about logging industry activities in the park. Exhibits include a video presentation. The museum is open seasonally.

Interior camping

Although there are numerous drive-in campgrounds in Algonquin, the park is better known for its interior camping, that is, campsites which are only accessible by canoe or hiking in the summer, or ski or snowshoe in the winter. Algonquin Park provides some of Canada's best canoeing, with hundreds of navigable lakes and rivers forming a 2000 km long interconnected system of canoe routes. The further a camper progresses from access points, the more wild the park will become, and it is possible to spend several days in the interior with little or no sight of other campers. Park staff maintain portages between all major and even smaller lakes, and interior campsite reservations can be made through the main Ontario Parks reservation system. Potential interior campers should note that there are two types of portages in the park; those marked as red lines on the map are well-maintained and usually well-travelled, while those marked in black receive much less maintenance and can be considerably more difficult to follow. There are also three hiking trails, with loops ranging from 6 to 88 km long.

Interior campsites can vary widely, and aside from the historic ranger cabins none have any permanent shelter. Sufficient bad-weather gear (tents, tarps, etc) should be brought so the trip can remain enjoyable in the face of less-than-perfect weather. All campsites have prepared firepits, which should be the only location used for campfires. Fires made in non-prepared sites can cause underground roots to burn, allowing fire to slowly spread underground and making it very difficult to extinguish. Park rules and suggestions for gear can be found on the reverse of the official Algonquin Park map.

Interior camping can provide excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The eerie call of the common loon can be heard from every campground and loons can be seen on almost every lake. Moose, deer, and beaver can often be seen, especially along waterways, given sufficiently quiet campers. Black bears, although present in the park, are seldom seen, especially if appropriate precautions to avoid attracting them are taken. Wolves may be heard, but will likely remain distant from campers.

Fishing

Fishing is allowed in the Park for holders of valid Ontario fishing licences, with the purchase of a daily or seasonal vehicle permit as well available through the Ministry of Natural Resources. Fish such as bass, yellow perch, trout and pike can be found in the waterways of the park. The further an angler is willing to travel from an access point, the more likely that the fishing will be outstanding - those willing to make the effort to portage their gear to a more secluded interior lake will often be rewarded.

Services

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Weatheradio Canada operate a radio transmitter to broadcast emergency weather information to campers in the area. This transmitter, which uses the call sign CBPG-FM, broadcasts on 103.7 FM.[7] The Weather Radio Canadian Location Code (CLC) for Algonquin Park is 044300.

The non-profit Friends of Algonquin Park also operate a tourist information station, CFOA-FM, on 102.7 FM.[8]

Research

Algonquin Park has been an important arena for research since the 1930’s. Four research facilities exist: Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research, Wildlife Research Station, Timber Research Station, and the Visitor Centre. Over 1800 scientific papers have been published on research done in the park, covering almost every aspect of the park: wildlife, geology, forestry, history, human impacts, etc.

Also, the remote location and reasonably easy access from the National Research Council's Ottawa base of operations made the Park a natural location for an eastern radio telescope, built in 1959 as the Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO). Although radio astronomy is not as active a field of research as it was in the 1950s and 60s, the ARO continues operation today.

Summer camps

Algonquin Park has been home to many historic summer camps, including:

Camps are members of the Ontario Camping Association.

Rivers

The park contains and protects the headwaters of these rivers:

Flora and fauna

Within the boundaries of the park, the following number of species are known to live: 53 species of mammals, 272 species of birds, 31 species of reptiles and amphibians, 54 species of fish, about 7000 species of insects, over 1000 species of plants, and over 1000 species of fungi.[9]

Trees[10]

Balsam Fir, Tamarack, White Spruce, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Jack Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, White Cedar, Eastern Hemlock, Balsam Poplar, Largetooth Aspen, Trembling Aspen, Speckled Alder, Yellow Birch, White Birch, Blue-beech, Ironwood, American Beech, Bur Oak, Red Oak, American Elm, Pin Cherry, Black Cherry, Choke Cherry, Striped Maple, Silver Maple, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Mountain Maple, Basswood, White Ash, Black Ash and Red Ash.

Mammals[11]

Female moose on the Amable du Fond River in Algonquin

Common Shrew, Smoky Shrew, Water Shrew, Pigmy Shrew, Short-tailed Shrew, Hairy-tailed Mole, Star-nosed Mole, Little Brown Bat, Northern Long-eared Bat, Silver-haired Bat, Hoary Bat, Snowshoe Hare, Eastern Chipmunk, Least Chipmunk, Woodchuck, Grey Squirrel, American Red Squirrel, Northern Flying Squirrel, American Beaver, Deer Mouse, White-footed Mouse, Gapper’s Red-backed Vole, Southern Bog Lemming, Muskrat, Meadow Vole, Rock Vole, House Mouse, Meadow Jumping Mouse, Woodland Jumping Mouse, Porcupine, Red Fox, American Black Bear, Raccoon, American Marten, Fisher, Ermine, Long-tailed Weasel, American Mink, Striped Skunk, Northern River Otter, Lynx, White-tailed Deer, Moose and Eastern Wolf

Fish[12]

Lake Sturgeon, Longnose Gar, Lake trout, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, Brook trout, Muskellunge, Lake Whitefish, Round whitefish, Northern Pike, Cisco, Shortjaw Cisco, Rock Bass, Pickerel, Pumpkinseed, Longnose sucker, White sucker, Shorthead redhorse, Brown Bullhead, Channel Catfish, Burbot, Brook Stickleback, Ninespine stickleback, Slimy Sculpin, Spoonhead Sculpin, Deepwater Sculpin, Trout-Perch and Yellow Perch.

Reptiles and amphibians[13]

Common snapping turtle, Spotted turtle, Wood turtle, Blanding's Turtle, Painted turtle, Common Water snake, Brown snake, Redbelly snake, Eastern Ribbon Snake, Common Garter snake, Eastern Hognose snake, Eastern Ringneck snake, Smooth Green snake, Milk snake, Mudpuppy, Blue-spotted Salamander, Yellow-spotted Salamander, Red-spotted newt, Red-backed salamander, Two-lined salamander, American toad, Spring Peeper, Eastern Gray Treefrog, Striped Chorus Frog, Bullfrog, Green frog, Mink Frog, Wood frog, Leopard frog and Pickerel frog.

Birds[14]

A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) in the park

Over 230 different species of birds have been observed in the park. 128 have been know to breed there, and 89 are considered common. A partial list is: Common Loon, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, American Black Duck, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Broad-winged Hawk, Ruffed Grouse, American Woodcock, Common Snipe, Spotted Sandpiper, Herring Gull, Barred Owl, Saw-whet Owl, Whip-poor-will, Common Nighthawk, Chimney Swift, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Eastern Kingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Grey Jay, Blue Jay, Common Raven, Common Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Boreal Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, American Robin, Wood Thrush, Hermit Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Veery, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, Common Starling, Red-eyed Vireo, Warblers(15), Red-winged Blackbird, Rusty Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, , Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Song Sparrow

More information on the plants and animals of Algonquin Park is available from the The Friends of Algonquin Park.

Famous deaths

Maps

Gallery

See also

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Algonquin Provincial Park article)

From Wikitravel

North America : Canada : Ontario : Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Park [1] is in Eastern Ontario. It is the largest park in the Ontario Provincial Parks System [2]

View from the Barron River Canyon Trail
View from the Barron River Canyon Trail

Understand

History

Algonquin Park was formed in 1893. Its original primary purpose was as a timber reserve designed to keep forest-clearing settlers out of valuable timber lands. Preservation was only a secondary purpose. In 1896, lumber baron J.R. Booth completed the Ottawa, Arnpriror & Parry Sound railway (OA & PS) through the southern portion of the park. Though designed to haul timber logs out of the park, it allowed the vast expanse of Algonquin to be opened up for tourism. Highway 60 was completed in 1933, further opening the Park to visitors. The OA & PS railway was abandoned in 1947; logging was now becoming a tertiary purpose of the park.

Throughout the 1960s, the number of visitors to the park increased exponentially. Organized campgrounds were created and/or expanded. Today, Algonquin is primarily a nature reserve, although logging, including limited clearcutting, continues.

Landscape

Algonquin's landscape consists of numerous small lakes (with a couple large ones, such as Lake Opeongo), rock outcroppings and rolling hills. Marshes and large swamps are scattered throughout the park, and can provide excellent wildlife viewing.

Flora and fauna

The Algonquin forest is actually not boreal, as most believe, but a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. This means that an increased biodiversity occurs. Though deer were once prominent throughout the park, the moose has largely replaced them. Moose frequently stand by the side of provincial Highway 60, eating swamp grasses in spring and summer, and can be seen licking salt off the roads in winter. Moose are the only large animal most people are likely to encounter. Many people may stumble across a spruce grouse on a trail in the early morning. These birds believe their camouflage is invincible, and you could get as close as 30 centimetres. There are small wolf and lynx populations in the isolated portions of the park. Some bears are known in the park. Algonquin lakes have sizable fish populations, but fishing is regulated in all lakes.

Not all of Algonquin's plants and animals are one you would like to have around you. In the southern reaches of the park (Below Highway 60), poison ivy is widespread. Be careful when bushwacking. From late April to Early June, the dreaded Blackfly is very active. These small insects will bite a chunk of skin off in order to get to the blood. They are known for their tendency to bite around the eyes, and occasionally an unfortunate human has to deal with a blackfly that has gone into the eye. Once the blackflies die off, they are replaced by mosquitoes. Both blackflies and mosquitoes can be easily fended off with DEET insect repellent.

Climate

Algonquin is not quite part of Northern Ontario, but it shares the typical climate for its region. Springtime in Algonquin is likely to be cool and wet. The summer climate of Algonquin is not uniform. Daily highs could range from 16°C to over 30. In summer, it can be humid throughout June and July, yet the humidity tapers off around August. During autumn, it is cool and dry. The winters are guaranteed to be snowy, cold and harsh. Be sure to plan for the weather you are likely to face.

Get in

There are only a few ways to get into Algonquin Park. The most obvious is by vehicle, via Highway 60. There are numerous places where you can leave your car while you enjoy either Algonquin's back country or the Highway 60 corridor. Algonquin can also be accessed by canoe, from various access points around the park. A less common way to get into Algonquin is by aeroplane. The only airfield is in the northern community of Brent, so if you are getting in by air your vehicle will most likely be a float plane capable of landing on water.

Fees/Permits

A permit is required to use the park's facilities. A daily permit costs $14, and it is good for only one day. An Ontario Parks season's pass costs $80, but can be used unlimited times at any provincial park in Ontario. If you plan on camping, either in an organized campground or a canoe/hike-in campsite, a campsite permit is required. These cost $22 for one day. For fishing, a fishing permit is required. These are issued by the Ontario Ministry of natural resources. They can be obtained at some locations in Algonquin. Costs for these permits fluctuate.

Get around

If you are exploring the Highway 60 corridor, the best way to get around is by vehicle. Some people use bicycles as well, and some even walk; but this is not recommended. Away from the corridor, the only way to get around most of the time is by canoe. Algonquin has an extensive canoe route system, with many portages and campsites. Be sure to obtain a canoe route map before you depart.

See

There are many natural and historic sites in the Park. No trip to Algonquin is complete without seeing the abandoned OA & PS railroad bed, which is not only fascinating in itself but also passes by some interesting sites (abandoned train stations, logging depots, bridges, even the remains of a train derailment from the 1930s). The Brent Crater and Barron Canyon are both off of provincial highway 17, which runs north of the park. They will provide a fascinating hike.

  • Rent a canoe, and explore the many canoe routes.
  • Go on one of the guided trails. You can pick up a booklet at the beginning of each trail, and numerous posts placed throughout will provide fascinating information. These trails range from easy, short and flat to extremely challenging, long and rugged.
  • Go to the Algonquin logging museum. There, an easy 1.3km loops takes you through numerous outdoor exhibits detailing the history of logging in Algonquin Park.

Buy

There is a gift shop in the Visitor's center, but beyond that there is not much to buy in Algonquin Park. The Portage, Two Rivers and Opeongo stores provide camping, canoeing and other outfitting equipment. All stores tend to be overpriced, but you can occasionally find a good deal.

Eat

There is a cafeteria in the Visitor's Center, but the food is expensive and not of amazing quality. The store at Lake of Two Rivers campground offers "fast food" type meals and ice cream. The Portage Store on canoe lake has dine-in and take out food as well as a small convenience store and ice cream retailer. If you are staying overnight in Algonquin, it is highly recommended (and often necessary) that you bring your own food. You can cook over a fire (a fire-pit is provided in every campsite) or a lightweight camping stove (which you must provide). Please remember that glass bottles and cans are prohibited in all parts of the park, except for organized campgrounds. This ban applies to day visitors as well. Several lodges within the park offer meals for visitors as well.

Drink

As always, remember that glass bottles and cans (soda cans as well) are banned in the park. Should drinks be packaged in such containers, pour them into a re-usable plastic bottle. It is highly recommended that you not drink straight out of the lakes. Bacteria and parasites are present. This is especially true for bogs and rivers. Prior to drinking the water, bring it to a full boil for 5 minutes or pass it through a filter.

  • Algonquin Motel, 81 Highway 11 Box 115 (45 minutes north of Huntsville on Hwy. 11), 705-386-2641, [3]. near the 2nd busiest entrance to the park.  edit

Camping

In the park, it is most likely that you will be staying on a campsite. Remember, camping requires a permit which can be obtained at any Park office.

Backcountry

A permit can be obtained at Park offices to travel in the backcountry.

Lodges

Several lodges are available for guests, offering rooms or small cottages for booking during the summer.

Stay safe

It is imperative that you obtain a canoe map prior to venturing out into Algonquin by canoe. Wandering into the Algonquin wilderness without a map is absolute suicide, unless you are very familiar with the park (i.e., you know Algonquin like the back of your hand). Be sure that when staying on a campsite, there are no dead trees in danger of falling. However, all campsites are dutifully maintained and the risk of being crushed by a falling tree is very, very low.

Remember also that logging still occurs in Algonquin. Logging trucks rumble up and down backcountry roads which are not shown on the map. If you come across a road that is not on the map, do not follow it unless you are hopelessly lost. Not only are they private, but they are narrow and a human will give way before a logging truck does.

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