Home Canada 6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

by Valerie Vanr

Algonquin Park, Ontario’s oldest and largest Provincial Park, has lots of hiking opportunities to choose from. It’s easy to get to great hiking with the trailheads for 15 trails on the main Highway 60 Parkway Corridor.

We highlight the 6 best hiking trails. Each hike explores a different natural environment in Algonquin Park. Enjoy a great hiking trip on these great trails.

Best Trails in Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park Hiking Trails Map

Click on the map for an interactive version.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk

This 1.5-kilometre, barrier-free loop has several sections of boardwalk. It is a nice, easy, 45-minute walk across two spruce bogs. Learn what a bog is, how it changes over time and how plants and animals are responsible for the changes.

Meandering creek through bog mats
See a spruce bog’s main features at Sunday Creek Bog: a meandering creek, 2 broad mats of Leatherleaf at the sides of the creek and Black Spruce on the far side.

Watch for the carnivorous Pitcher Plant.  This plant overcomes the lack of nutrients in the bog by luring insects into its “pitchers”. The pitcher holds a small amount of water and enzymes. The insects drown in the liquid and are broken down into proteins. The plant converts these proteins to plant proteins useful for its survival.

Spruce Bog’s trailhead is 42.5 kilometres from the west gate.

Person on boardwalk through Spruce Bog Algonquin Park
Creek foreground trail to forest background

Whiskey Rapids Trail

Enjoy a walk along the Oxtongue River on this 2.1-kilometre loop. The hike is good for all skill levels and takes about 1.5 hours. Walk along the river for most of the trail and see great views of Whiskey Rapids.

There are 7 kinds of fish in this section of the Oxtongue. Fifty-four different species of fish have been recorded in Algonquin Park. Note: Fishing requires a license. The park is in Fisheries Management Zone 15 (FMZ 15). Review the Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations summary before arrival to confirm open seasons, catch and possession limits and exception details.

The trailhead is 7.2 kilometres from the west gate. The trail is prone to flooding and may be closed during the spring.

Whiskey Rapids through Algonquin Park forest
Whiskey Rapids
Oxtonque River with trees on all sides
Oxtonque River from the Whiskey Rapids Trail

Two Rivers Trail

The trail is a 2.3 kilometre loop for all skill levels. Enjoy the 1.5-hour walk through a young forest with an easy climb to the top of a cliff overlooking the North Madawaska River.

This section of forest has two different generations of tree species: the quicker growing aspen and birch, and the slower pine and spruce. Each tree species bring different wildlife to the forest. While this forest may be young, its mix of trees provides for a wealth of wildlife.

The trailhead is 31 kilometres from the west gate. Groups with small children and/or pets should take care at the cliff edge.

Person with camera on North Madawaska River and forest
View from clifftop to North Madawaska River
Person on clifftop Two Rivers Trail
Walking the clifftop on the Two Rivers Trail

Hemlock Bluff Trail

Walk a 3.5-kilometre loop through mixed forest with large stands of hemlock. See beautiful views of Jack Lake on this hilly, 2-hour hike. The trail is good for all skill levels.

Many research programs have been carried out in the park over the years. Learn about their important results and how Algonquin Park continues to be an active field study area for scientists. Canada’s first nature interpretation program started in the park in the 1930’s and is ongoing.

The trailhead is 27.2 kilometres from the west gate.

Foreground Jack Lake with trees in distance
Jack Lake from Hemlock Bluff Trail
Person on Hemlock Bluff Trail

Centennial Ridges Trail

Enjoy a strenuous, but rewarding, 10.4-kilometre loop to spectacular panoramic views from two high ridges. A fit hiker can complete the trail in 4 hours. Many enjoy the trail as a more leisurely day-hike in about 6 hours. If tight on time, as we were, walk only the last 2 kilometres (between posts 13a and 9) as an “out and back” 4-kilometre trail. It took about 2 hours and the views of Whitefish Lake were incredible.

Couple on ridge overlooking Whitefish Lake Algonquin Park
Whitefish Lake from Centennial Ridges Trail

Learn about the planners, superintendents, rangers, researchers and summer employees who have made their mark in the world because of their interaction with Algonquin Park. The trail is named “centennial, as it opened in 1993 as part of the park’s centennial celebrations.

The trailhead is 37.6 kilometres from the west gate. Be sure to wear sturdy, ankle-supporting footwear. Take care at cliff tops. There are no fences keeping people from a fatal fall.

Reflection of tree in Rutter Lake Algonquin Park
Rutter Lake from Centennial Ridges Trail
Cove on Whitefish Lake from Centennial Ridges Trail
Cove on Whitefish Lake from Centennial Ridges Trail

Mizzy Lake Trail

The l0.8-kilometre, loop trail is relatively level but its surface is uneven. It often becomes wet and muddy turning it into a challenging hike. Expect a 6-hour hike, especially if it is wet. Visit the 9 ponds and small lakes. Park wildlife is often seen on this hike.

Algonquin Park is home to many different species; over 50 mammals, 30 reptiles and amphibians, and 144 breeding bird species. More wildlife is seen each year along the Parkway Corridor than in the backcountry of the park. In May and June, moose viewing is best along the highway as the moose come to drink the slightly salty water in the roadside ditches.

The trailhead is 15.4 kilometres from the west gate. Pets are not allowed. Be sure to wear boots to help with the mud and. maybe, have a dry pair of socks waiting at the end of the hike.

Person on Mizzy Lake Trail

Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

There are 15 interpretive trails along the Parkway Corridor. Each trail has numbered posts along its length corresponding to sections in the trail guides found at each trailhead. Each trail highlights a feature of the park.

This table provides details of each corridor trail. The bracketed number beside each trail name is the trailhead location in kilometres from the west park gate.

Trail Name (Trailhead km)Length (km) / DifficultyTime (hr)
Whiskey Rapids (7.2)2.1 / Moderate1.5
Hardwood Lookout (13.8)1.0 / Moderate0.75
Mizzy Lake (15.4)10.8 / Difficult6
Peck Lake (19.2)2.3 / Moderate1.5
Track & Tower (24)7.5 / Difficult4
Hemlock Bluff (27.2)3.5 / Moderate2
Bat Lake (30.8)5.8 / Moderate3.5
Two Rivers (31)2.3 / Moderate1.5
Centennial Ridges (37.6)10.4 / Difficult6
Booth’s Rock (40.3)5.1 / Difficult3
Lookout (39.7)2.1 / Difficult1
Big Pines (40.3)2.9 / Moderate2
Spruce Bog Boardwalk (42.5)1.5 / Easy0.75
Beaver Pond (45.2)2.0 / Moderate1.5
Algonquin Logging Museum (54.5)1.3 / Easy1
Person beside signpost on Whiskey River Trail
Sign post on the Whiskey River Trail

There are also trails in the northern and eastern areas of Algonquin. For details stop at the visitor centre.

Algonquin Park Itinerary

Enjoy our Algonquin Park hiking itinerary for trips between 1 and 3 days.

Day 1

  • Get warmed up with Spruce Bog Boardwalk. 
  • Hike the Centennial Ridges Trail, shortening it as needed.

Day 2.

  • Enjoy the Whiskey Rapids loop.
  • Hike either Two Rivers Trail or Hemlock Bluff Trail.  (If you have the energy, do both!)

Day 3.

  • Dedicate the entire day to hiking the challenging Mizzy Lake Trail.
Jeep, camper picnic table Lake of Two Rivers Campground
Camping at Lake of Two Rivers Campground
Couple in canoe on North Madawaska River
Hunting for fish on the North Madawaska River

Algonquin Park Reservations

Algonquin Park is a busy, popular park in the summer. Even with over 1900 campsites, the park fills up quickly. Book early!

The Ontario Parks Reservation System accepts reservations up to 5 months in advance of your arrival date (meaning book February 1st to make a reservation for July 1st).

Know Before You Go

What is the best campground in Algonquin Park?

Lake of Two Rivers and Mew Lake Campgrounds are the best campgrounds. Each is adjacent to Highway 60 and in walking distance of Two Rivers Store. Both have beach access, flush toilets, laundry, showers, electrical and wheelchair accessible sites. Lake of Two Rivers is the oldest and best known. It is one of the larger campgrounds with over 200 campsites, over half of them have electrical hook ups. Mew Lake has 131 sites including several yurts. Half of the sites have electricity. One section is radio/pet free.

Are there bike trails in Algonquin Park?

The Old Railway Bike Trail is 16 kilometres and follows the bed of the historic Ottawa, Arnprior & Parry Sound Railway from Rock Lake to near Cache Lake. It is accessible from the campgrounds between 30 and 40 kilometres from the west gate. In the winter skiers, snowshoers and fat-bikers use the trail.
Minnesing Bike Trail is challenging with loops of 4.7 to 23.4 kilometres. This is rugged mountain biking with hilly, often muddy, rock, root and obstacle-filled terrain. The trailhead is 23 kilometres from the west gate.

Are there bike rentals in Algonquin Park?

Yes. Bikes are available to rent at Two Rivers Store.

Foreground Jack Lake with trees in distance
Eastern end of Jack Lake on Hemlock Bluff Trail

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