Home Canada 6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

by Valerie Vanr

Algonquin Park is Ontario’s oldest and largest Provincial Park.  There’s an abundance of hiking opportunities to choose from. Trailheads for 15 trails are on the main Highway 60 Parkway Corridor making it easy to get to great hiking.

Here are the 6 best hikes.  These trails cover all of the different environments of Algonquin providing you with a great hiking itinerary.

Best Trails in Algonquin Park

  • Spruce Bog Boardwalk
  • Whiskey Rapids Trail
  • Two Rivers Trail
  • Hemlock Bluff Trail
  • Centennial Ridges Trail
  • Mizzy Lake Trail

Spruce Bog Boardwalk

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

This 1.5 km barrier-free loop has several sections of boardwalk and is a nice, easy 45-minute walk. You’ll cross two spruce bogs along the way. This is a great way to learn about what a bog is, how it changes over time and how plants and animals are responsible for the changes.

You may even see a 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 water and are broken down into proteins which the plant converts to plant proteins to survive.

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

The trailhead is 42.5 km from the west gate.

Whiskey Rapids Trail

Enjoy a walk along the river on this 2.1 km loop. The hike is good for all skill levels and will take about 1.5 hours. You’ll walk along the Oxtongue River for much of the trail and see great views of Whiskey Rapids.

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

There are 7 kinds of fish in this part of the Oxtongue River. In total 54 different species of fish have been recorded in Algonquin Park. Fishing does require a license. The park is in Fisheries Management Zone 15 (FMZ 15). Check for specific regulations by reviewing the Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations summary before your trip to confirm open seasons, catch and possession limits and exception details.

The trailhead is 7.2 km from the west gate. The trail is prone to flooding and may be closed in the spring months.

Two Rivers Trail

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

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

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 km from the west gate. Groups with small children and/or pets should take care at the cliff edge.

Hemlock Bluff Trail

Walk a 3.5 km loop through mixed forest with large stands of hemlock and see beautiful views of Jack Lake. It is hilly and takes about 2 hours. The trail is good for all skill levels.

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

Learn about the important findings of the many research programs carried out here. The park continues to provide scientists a field study area. Canada’s first nature interpretation program started here in the 1930’s and is still operating today.

The trailhead is 27.2 km from the west gate.

Centennial Ridges Trail

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

This is a strenuous but rewarding 10.4 km loop. You’ll see spectacular views from two high ridges. A fit walker can cover it in 4 hours but many will enjoy a more leisurely day hike of about 6 hours. If that is more time than you can spare, try walking only the last 2 km (between posts 13a and 9) as an “out and back” trail of 4 km. Our walk was about 2 hours and the views of Whitefish Lake were incredible.

You’ll 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. By the way, the trail was opened in 1993 as part of the park’s centennial celebrations.

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

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

Mizzy Lake Trail

The l0.8 km loop trail is level for the most part but the trail 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. You will visit 9 ponds and small lakes and park wildlife is often seen here.

Person on Mizzy Lake Trail

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

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

Algonquin Park Map

This Algonquin Park Trails Map shows all of the 15 trails along the highway corridor.

Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

In total 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 introduces you to some feature of the park. The following chart provides information about all of these corridor trails. The trailhead locations are noted as kilometres from the west gate. There are also trails in the northern and eastern sides of Algonquin.

 TrailLength (km)DifficultyTime (hr)At km
1Whiskey Rapids2.1Moderate1.57.2
2Hardwood Lookout1.0Moderate0.7513.8
3Mizzy Lake10.8Difficult615.4
4Peck Lake2.3Moderate1.519.2
5Track & Tower7.5Difficult424
6Hemlock Bluff3.5Moderate227.2
7Bat Lake5.8Moderate3.530.8
8Two Rivers2.3Moderate1.531
9Centennial Ridges10.4Difficult637.6
10Booth’s Rock5.1Difficult340.3
12Big Pines2.9Moderate240.3
13Spruce Bog Boardwalk1.5Easy0.7542.5
14Beaver Pond2.0Moderate1.545.2
15Algonquin Logging Museum1.3Easy154.5
Person beside signpost on Whiskey River Trail
Sign post on the Whiskey River Trail

Algonquin Park Itinerary

Enjoy a 1, 2 or even a 3-day trip hiking in Algonquin Park.

Day 1.  Start your morning at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk.  This is a nice easy trail, especially for families.  Later, head over to Centennial Ridges Trail to hike the loop.  Remember, you can shorten this loop by just hiking up to the ridge viewpoint and back.

Day 2.   Begin your day hiking the river loop at Whiskey Rapids.  After that, hike up through the cliffs and forests of either Two Rivers Trail or Hemlock Bluff Trail.  If you have the energy, do both!

Day 3.  With an additional day, dedicate this entire day to hiking the challenging Mizzy Lake Trail where you’ll be sure to spot wildlife.

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 and 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 campsites. 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 and one of the larger campgrounds with 241 sites. Mew has 131 and has a section which is radio/pet free.

Are there bike trails in Algonquin Park?

The Old Railway Bike Trail is 16 km 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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