Algonquin Park is Canada's oldest provincial park. Founded in 1893, at over 7,653 square kilometres, it is about one quarter the size of Belgium. This vast park allows users to really get away from urban life and connect with nature. Unfortunately, it's proximity to Ottawa, Toronto and the Muskoka region, makes Algonquin Park the busiest provincial park in Ontario. So, it is important that visitors plan, and make reservations, many months in advance.
The following is a summary of everything visitors needs to know for their first visit to Algonquin Provincial Park:
Algonquin Park Seasons - When to Visit
How To Get Here & Get Around
In a perfect world, where everyone has unlimited time to travel, bicycle is the best way to slowly explore this beautiful area. Unfortunately, for most travellers, car remains the most practical and cost effective way to get around. There is 4-5x daily bus service from Toronto to/from Huntsville on Ontario Northland. Expensive ($120-140 each way) taxis are available from Huntsville to Algonquin Park. If you are registered on an Algonquin Adventure Tours guided multiday Algonquin Park canoe trip, a private shuttle ($40 each way, only for safaris) from Huntsville, can be arranged.
Remember, it is illegal to stop, unnecessarily, on the side of a highway, or impede traffic in any way. And, that includes even when there is a moose on the roadside. Never block traffic to take a photo. Try to park on a nearby side road, or attraction parking lot, and then walk back on the highway shoulder.
Algonquin Park's highway 60 corridor has little brown 'km' marker signs along the roadside. These signs are useful in locating park attractions. The west gate entrance is km 0. The east gate entrance is km 55.8. The following article lists the km location of many attractions.
Algonquin Park Entry Fees
If you plan on stopping anywhere along the highway 60 corridor, a vehicle permit is required. They can be purchased at either park entrance or access point offices. Vehicle permits are included when camping in park. Current cost, for a day use permit, is $17-20 per car/motorcycle/camper. Bicycles do not require a vehicle permit. Outside office hours, there are automated vehicle permit machines at either entrance office building.
Top 20 Things To Do In Algonquin Park
These are the best activities in Algonquin Provincial Park:
Algonquin Park Accommodations
Whichever accommodations style you choose, most important is that you make your reservations early, sometimes 5 months to the day before your desired arrival date. Options include:
Algonquin Park Restaurants
Algonquin Park dining options are available between mid-May and mid-October. Don't expect any bargains in the middle of nowhere
Algonquin Park Outfitters For Equipment Rental
Algonquin Park Guided Tours
Tourist oriented educational adventures are run mid-May to mid-October and February to March. Corporate and academic support can be provided year round. Algonquin Adventure Tours has been guiding Algonquin Park since 1996.
What to Bring
What Not To Bring