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Algonquin Park
Comfy camping in Ontario's largest provincial park

©Outdoor Adventure Canada

Every year I reserve some time to visit some of our countries provincial and national parks. It is nice to sit back, relax and do some comfy camping. I load up the car with the barbeque, cooler and all those other frivolities that I can't take when I'm backpacking.

One spot that has always had a place in my heart is Ontario's Algonquin Park. Algonquin Park is over 7700 square kilometers in size with canoe routes and backpacking trails set among hardwood and coniferous forests. Algonquin also offers a variety of car camping opportunities and many of them are situated on the Highway 60 corridor.

I have camped in most of the Algonquin campgrounds and each has its own unique qualities. The campsites are a good size and are well kept. There are a selection of sites within each campground ranging from private tree-covered sites to beach and lakeside sites. There are also a small handful of wheelchair accessible sites in each campground. The "Comfort Stations" have flush toilets and hot running water. They house warm showers and are kept quite clean. There are laundry facilities and firewood is readily available at most of the campgrounds.

The Lake of Two Rivers Store, Opeongo Outfitters and the Portage store are the only place within the park where you can restock your supplies. Dinner at Canoe Lake is enjoyable along and hand scooped ice cream can be had at the Lake of Two Rivers Restaurant. Enjoy the view of Sunday Creek as you have lunch in the restaurant at the Visitor's Center. For a more refined dining experience there is Killarney Lodge and Bartlett Lodge.

The Visitor's Center provides a great educational experience with dioramas that explain the diverse ecosystem and history of Algonquin Park. The trail and buildings at the Logging Museum give one insight into how logging shaped the park that we see today.

Autumn is a popular camping season and it the extraordinary colors bring thousands of visitors to the park each fall. Don't forget your camera. Wildlife is active at this time of year and if you are an artist or photographer Algonquin is definitely an inspiration.

Mew Lake, Pog Lake and Cannisbay Lake offer many private sites. Sites with electrical hookups are available and both Mew Lake and Lake of Two Rivers have sites that can accommodate larger trailers and motor homes.

For the more adventurous camper who doesn't want the work of an interior trip there are paddle-in site that take only 20 minutes to reach by canoe. These are offered at Rock and Cannisbay Lakes.

Algonquin Park offers interpretative day hiking trails which teach you about the park's ecology provide spectacular views and give you a glimpse into the park's history. More information can be found in the article entitled Fall Splendor.

Before you visit Algonquin Park it is advisable to make a site specific reservation. Reservations can be made 5 months in advance by visiting the Ontario Parks website. The Friends of Algonquin Park website has a great deal of information as well.

Written by Laurie March
Tent photo courtesy Laurie March

masthead photo courtesy




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