Algonquin Adventures: Into the wild


Who, what, where, why.

In this blog we'll get cracking into what Algonquin Park is and why it is so great. To get started though, let's look at the word Algonquin. The word "Algonquin" is derived from the Algonquian language family, a group of indigenous languages spoken by various Native American tribes in North America. The Algonquin people were one of the numerous Native American groups that spoke languages from this family.

The term "Algonquin" was later used by European settlers to refer to both the Algonquin people and the language they spoke. The Algonquin people primarily inhabited the northeastern woodlands of North America, in areas that are now parts of Canada and the northeastern United States.

Today, the Algonquin people are still present in various communities in Canada, particularly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. They have a rich cultural heritage and continue to maintain their languages and traditions. Algonquin Provincial Park is named after the Algonquin people. The park is located in the traditional territory of the Algonquin First Nations and was named in recognition of their historical presence in the region.

Algonquin Park is a breathtakingly beautiful provincial park spanning over 7,600 square kilometers, it is one of the largest and most popular parks in Canada. To put that into relative perspective, it is roughly a third the size of Wales. Algonquin Park is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and abundant recreational opportunities. From canoeing to hiking, it's a favorite with those who like the outdoors. 

Home to countless lakes, rivers, forests, and trails, Algonquin Park offers a true escape into nature. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply seeking tranquility, this park has something for everyone. Imagine there being over 2400 lakes and 1200 km of rivers. 

 Hammock in Algonquin


Exploring Algonquin Park


One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Algonquin Park is by hiking its scenic trails. The park offers a range of hiking options suitable for all levels of fitness and experience. From easy forest walks to challenging multi-day backcountry backpacking trips, there is a trail for every adventurer.

For those seeking a more serene experience, Algonquin Park offers picturesque lakes perfect for canoeing. Rent a canoe and paddle along the calm waters, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding wilderness. One popular spot is on Canoe lake, here you'll find the Portage Store who have canoe rentals in abundance. Canoeing in Algonquin Park provides a unique opportunity to spot wildlife, such as moose, beavers, and loons, in their natural habitat. That is, if you're lucky to see them - we must always remember that the park is not the zoo, but that's what makes it so special, that it's not artificial. There are certain times of the year you can increase your chances of seeing wildlife, for instance, when the snow melts in Spring, the likelihood of seeing Moose on highway 60 is increased as they like to lick the salt off the roads. 

Not far from Algonquin Park, you will find the stunning Ragged Falls. This powerful waterfall cascades down rugged rocks, creating a mesmerizing sight. The power of Ragged Falls is captivating when you're in it's company - It really is white water at velocity. Visiting Ragged Falls is a must for nature lovers and photographers alike. On our Algonquin Park and Ragged Falls trip, we will take a guided group canoe up to Ragged Falls. This is a highlight in our opinion. 

Colorful highway in Algonquin


Wildlife and Biodiversity


Algonquin Park is home to an incredible array of wildlife species. With its diverse ecosystems, the park provides a sanctuary for numerous animals, including moose, black bears, wolves, white-tailed deer, and many more. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the park's avian population, which includes bald eagles (less common), loons, and various migratory birds. Whilst it is not offered anymore, in the past, there used to be Thursday gatherings to Howl with the Wolves!

Aside from its charismatic wildlife, Algonquin Park boasts a rich biodiversity. The park is characterized by its old-growth forests, where ancient trees tower above you, creating a sense of awe and wonder. These forests are home to a variety of tree species, such as white pine, red maple, and yellow birch.

Algonquin Park also serves as an important research and conservation area. Scientists and researchers study the park's ecosystems to better understand and protect its natural resources, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

 Algonquin fall colors

Activities and Recreation 


Algonquin Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. In addition to hiking and canoeing, the park provides opportunities for camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and photography. The park has several campgrounds equipped with facilities for both tent and RV camping.
During the winter months, Algonquin Park transforms into a winter wonderland. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities during this time. The park's pristine snow-covered landscapes offer a serene and peaceful setting for winter adventurers. If you're heading up this way, check out the 1.3km Ice skating trail in Arrowhead Provincial Park. It's only a 10 minute detour from Huntsville to get to Arrowhead Provincial Park. 

Plan Your Visit


If you are planning a trip to Algonquin Park, it is important to come prepared. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing and footwear, as the weather can change quickly. Bring insect repellent, especially during the early summer months, as mosquitoes and black flies can be abundant. Whilst late May is a great time for spotting Moose who come to lick the salt off the roads, It's also the worst time for insects. They can easily ruin your day. This writer has spent far too long fighting insects when doing the La Cloche Silhouette trail once, that it's my duty to warn others. Deer fly are no joke!
It is also recommended to obtain a park map and familiarize yourself with the trails and facilities beforehand if you're travelling your own way. This will help you make the most of your visit and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Park maps can be found online or you can swing into the West Gate or East gate on the 60 highway.   
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, Algonquin Park is a destination that should not be missed whilst you're in south Ontario. Its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and range of recreational activities make it a truly special place.   
For those looking for a convenient and adventurous way to explore Algonquin Park, consider the Algonquin Park + Ragged Falls tour. This tour provides transportation from Toronto, entry passes to the park, a knowledgeable driver guide, and the opportunity to hike, canoe, and visit the 'Oxtongue river - Ragged Falls Provincial Park' too. It is a perfect option for a number of reasons: such as those who don't drive, who want to go as a group, who want to make new friends, who want to take the planning out of it or want to see the highlights. Reach out to us if you have any questions.