Hiking in Algonquin Park

Hikes and views from our long weekend away

My husband and I love to hike. I think we often feel most fulfilled when we’re a little dirty, sweaty, and tired from a day outside. Something about the fresh air, warm breeze, and the feeling of accomplishment when we reach another lookout⁠—like I’ve earned the elevation and I don’t ever want to leave.

I know this blog is a lot about marketing and writing lately, but this hobby of ours is important too. I often talk about balancing life and love and work as a creative entrepreneur. Scheduling long weekends in wild places is part of that balance. I love my work, but I recharge in nature. The quiet is good for my soul.

Anyways, these views were too good for me to not share a bit about each of these hikes. If you’re planning a trip to Algonquin Provincial Park or just want to scroll through some pretty photos, keep reading!

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Camping at Kearney Lake

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and pitched our tent at Kearney Lake Campground⁠—one of the quieter ones that doesn’t have it’s own office. We checked in at Pog Lake and backtracked to the Kearney Lake entrance. Kearney isn’t attached to any other lakes, so the still water is perfect for a quiet evening swim.

Kearney Lake, Algonquin Park
Champ at Kearney Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario
Swimming in Kearney Lake
Swimming in Kearney Lake, Ontario
Champ on the beach in Algonquin Park
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Lookout Trail

Friday morning, we set out to hike. The weather forecast predicted rain throughout the day, so we chose a shorter hike to get started in case we needed to run back to the car. We had breakfast at the viewpoint of Lookout Trail. Just try to tell me a better way to start your Friday!

Length of trail: 2.1km
Difficulty: 3/3
Time: 1 hour (it was quick!)

"Lookout" hike in Algonquin Park
Lookout hike in Algonquin Park
View from Lookout in Algonquin Park

Hemlock Bluff

This is sort of how the entire Friday went: Hike, check the weather again to see the rain’s still delayed, hike. Hemlock Bluff Trail in Algonquin Park overlooks Jack Lake—probably one of my favourite photos from the weekend is in this spot. Can you guess which one? Hint: The first photo on this blog is from the same spot!

Length of trail: 3.5km
Difficulty: 2/3
Time: 2 hours

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Peck Lake

One of the easiest hikes: Peck Lake Trail. We actually found all the trails relatively easy because we’re still used to the elevation in the Rockies! I’m so happy we got to experience places like Fernie and hikes like Prairie View Trail while we lived in Calgary. Hiking in Ontario is still amazing, just different.

This trail followed along the shore of Peck Lake with lots of small clearings in the trees to stop and check out the view to the other side.

Length of trail: 2.3km
Difficulty: 2/3
Time: 1.5 hours

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Two Rivers Trail

Two Rivers Trail is described as a “pine-clad cliff” and it lived up to the image. Amazing views! I’m not one to push the limits, so I always stay back from the edges of tall cliffs while Nate goes ahead (carefully). After four short hikes in a row, we drove back to our campsite to make lunch and relax for the rest of the day.

Length of trail: 2.3km
Difficulty: 2/3
Time: 1.5 hours

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Two Rivers Trail Algonquin Park

Canoeing Pog Lake + Whitefish Lake

On Saturday we canoed! I hadn’t canoed since I was a kid and I remembered being a little scared despite having basically grown up on a boat. We rented a canoe at Pog Lake, packed a lunch, and set out for the day. Full disclosure: We both misread the map and ended up paddling in the wrong direction—towards the portage we wanted to avoid because we hadn’t packed everything for ease. It’s a bit tricky to portage (even just 50 metres) with a dog.

Nate carried the canoe while I walked Champ and we continued on our way to Whitefish Lake. We had lunch on a remote rocky shore and worked our way around a quiet island before heading back to the beach. In total, we spent 4-5 hours on the canoe.

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Centennial Ridges Trail

On Sunday we started slow with a campfire breakfast: instant coffee, oatmeal, fruit cups, and juice. We read our books while we waited for water to boil and revelled in the fact that most of our camping neighbours were packing up to drive home. We still had one more night!

This hike was my favourite. Centennial Ridges Trail offered what I imagine to be a quintessential Ontario view. We completed the loop in 3.75 hours (with multiple snack and view stops), despite the estimated 6-hour time needed. The trail winds in and out of the forest, sometimes narrow between the trees before climbing onto the edges of rocky hills above the trees. We passed a couple lakes as well as an area that looked like a legitimate jungle.

The coolest part of this trail: Marker number 11 overlooks Whitefish Lake and we could see Saturday’s lunch spot from the top! The day before we watched hikers reach this peak and wondered which trail it was.

Length of trail: 10.4km
Difficulty: 3/3
Time: 6 hours, completed in 3.75 hours

Centennial Ridges
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The bittersweet end

We drove home Monday morning: a bittersweet departure. Bitter because it’s always sad to leave a beautiful place like this; sweet because we were looking forward to clean clothes, air conditioning, and our own bed.

I hope you guys enjoyed your photo tour of our long weekend in Algonquin Park! I share these more for my own memories and creativity, so thanks for sticking around.

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