Home Canada 6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

6 Best Hiking Trails in Algonquin Park

by Valerie Vanr

Hike the best trails in Algonquin Park, Ontario’s oldest and largest Provincial Park. We highlight the 6 BEST hikes along the Highway 60 corridor. Each hike explores a different natural environment in Algonquin Park.

Enjoy a great hiking trip on these best trails!

Best Trails in Algonquin Park

Here are the best hikes in Algonquin Park:

Algonquin Park Trails Map

Here are our favourite hiking trails along the Highway 60 corridor.

Click on the Algonquin Park hiking trails 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, hour-long 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
Andy walking the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail.
Creek foreground trail to forest background
One of the Spruce Bogs along the trail.

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
The Oxtongue River does not seem so quiet at Whiskey Rapids
Oxtonque River with trees on all sides
A quiet stretch of the Oxtonque River from the trail high above the river.

Two Rivers Trail

The trail is a 2.1 kilometre loop for all skill levels. Enjoy the 1 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
I am trying to capture the incredible view from the clifftop of the North Madawaska River
Person on clifftop Two Rivers Trail
The trail heads out to the cliff edge in a couple sections.

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 is visible from a number of spots along the Hemlock Bluff Trail
Person on Hemlock Bluff Trail
Andy is about to step onto a raised portion of the Hemlock Bluff Trail. The trail was quite wet so the walkway was welcome.

Centennial Ridges Trail

Centennial was my favourite Algonquin hiking trail!

Enjoy a strenuous, but rewarding, 10 kilometre loop to spectacular panoramic views from two high ridges. A fit hiker can complete the trail in 3 to 4 hours. Many enjoy the trail as a more leisurely day-hike. 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
We were stunned by this incredible view of 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
The reflections on quiet Rutter Lake were beautiful.
Cove on Whitefish Lake, Algonquin Park from Centennial Ridges Trail
Cove on Whitefish Lake

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 from a moderate hike into a challenging hike. Expect a 4 to 5 hour hike, possibly longer 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
A wide section of the Mizzy Lake Trail and no mud!

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)0.8 / Moderate1
Mizzy Lake (15.4)10.8 / Moderate4 – 5
Peck Lake (19.2)1.9 / Moderate1
Track & Tower (25)7.7 / Moderate3
Hemlock Bluff (27.2)3.5 / Moderate2
Bat Lake (30)5.6 / Moderate2.5
Two Rivers (31)2.1 / Moderate1
Centennial Ridges (37.6)10 / Difficult3 – 4
Booth’s Rock (40.5)5.1 / Moderate2
Lookout (39.7)1.9 / Moderate1
Big Pines (40.3)2.9 / Moderate2
Spruce Bog Boardwalk (42.5)1.5 / Easy1
Beaver Pond (45.2)2.0 / Moderate1
Algonquin Logging Museum (54.5)1.3 / Easy1
Val beside signpost on Whiskey River Trail
Sign posts, like the one beside me on the Whiskey River Trail, are found on all of the Algonquin Trails. Be sure to pick up trail guides to find out more.

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
We enjoyed camping at Lake of Two Rivers Campground
Couple in canoe on North Madawaska River
Hunting for fish on the North Madawaska River

Algonquin Park Car Camping

Along Highway 60 there are eight campgrounds, each unique in size and services.  Roofed accommodation is available in several campgrounds.

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).

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.

Algonquin Park Day Use

Not staying in the park overnight?  Be sure to get your Daily Vehicle Permit.  Visit the Ontario Parks Day Use webpage for full details. 

Algonquin Park Biking

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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