A Day Trip to Fabulous Algonquin Park, Canada

By NURIN AND MALIK MERCHANT

Note: The trip was done on Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Photos are followed by a short textual summary of an ideal day trip to Algonquin Park from Ottawa or Toronto. Our trip started in Ottawa, and we made the entry into the park at the East Gate on Highway 60. Vehicles from the west or Toronto in south would enter from the West Gate on Highway 60. The Highway 60 corridor in the Park runs for 56 kilometres (kms), and distances noted in this post as well as in the official guide map are measured from the West Gate. 

Algonquin Park visitor centre, Malik and Nurin Merchant

Nurin and Malik Merchant at lookout area of the excellent Algonquin Visitor Centre. Photo: © Nurin and Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Early morning fog on way to Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Early morning fog on a lake on way to Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Totem pole at West Gate Entrance of Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A perfect Canadian welcome to Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Along the scenic Beaver Pond Trail. © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Canadian identity on Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

On Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A dam engineered by beavers at Beaver Pond Trail. Algonquin Park is home to hundreds of beaver built dams. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Amazing feat – a close up of beaver constructed dam at Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Lake in Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Contrasts along Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A view from lookout point close to end of Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Evergreen! Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 autumn colours, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Fall colours, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours, Highway 60 corridor, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A mushroom growth on a tree along Beaver Pond Trail, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Visitor Centre, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Visitors pass along lifesize wildlife and other nature exhibits at the highly educational and informative Algonquin Visitor Centre. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Visitor Centre, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Amazing lifesize First Nations exhibit at the highly educational and informative Algonquin Visitor Centre. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park Fall Colours, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A view of 2019 fall colours from lookout at Algonquin Visitor Centre. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin and Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Portage Store beside Canow Lake, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019.

The Portage Store beside Canoe Lake. Fast efficient service and good food! Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours at Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park. © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park Day Trip from Ottawa

Fall colours and reflections on Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin and Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

An oversized truck carrying a war machine on the Highway 60 corridor of Algonquin Park! Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Fall colours against a blue sky on gravel road leading to Arowhon Pines Lodge. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Fall colours, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A magnificent portrait of leaves at Algonquin Park! Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Fall colours against a blue sky on gravel road leading to Arowhon Pines Lodge. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Algonquin Art Centre, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

An artistic canoe outside the superb and must visit Algonquin Art Centre. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Animal footprints on easy and relaxing Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Campground Highway 60 corridor Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours from beach area at campground adjacent to Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Brewer Lake Fall colours Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Fall colours at Brewer Lake lookout site on Highway 60 corridor, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

Chipmunk, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park,

Chipmunk, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Fruit, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

Blueberries, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Spruce Bog Boardwalk Algonquin Park, Ontario, Simergphotos, Canada, Autumn 2019

2019 fall colours, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin and Malik Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Olympus E-M10.

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Spruce Bog Boardwalk Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019

A falling leaf latches onto silk thread, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, Autumn 2019.

Algonquin Outfitter canoes for rent at Lake Opeongo Store, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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Canoes on Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park, Simergphotos, Nurin Merchant Sony Alpha A7

Lake Opeongo, Algonquin Park. Photo: © Nurin Merchant/Simergphotos. Camera: Sony Alpha A7/III.

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SUMMARY: DAY TRIP FROM OTTAWA TO ALGONQUIN PARK AND SUGGESTED ITINERARY

  1. Day Trip from Ottawa to Algonquin. Back to Ottawa by 9 PM for important duty!
  2. Departed Ottawa at 06:10 AM. Heavy foggy patches along the way.
  3. Arrived at East Entrance at 09:40 AM, Paid $18.00 vehicle fee and obtained a very informative map of the Park.
  4. Highway 60 corridor from West Gate of Park to East Gate is 56 kms (distances shown below are measured from West Gate). Our trip began at the East Gate, since it’s closest from Ottawa.
  5. Proceeded to Beaver Pond Trail (at 45 KM mark, from West entrance).
  6. Completed Beaver Pond Trail (2.1 KM). A MUST DO! Level of difficulty, near moderate but certainly not difficult! Doable by anyone who is able to walk; average level of fitness is fine! Good walking footwear with grip, please!

    • Time 2.0 hours, medium pace, benches to sit on, beautiful photo ops throughout trail and especially at lookout point near end of trail.
    • Admire the engineering feats of beavers who have constructed dams across  lakes throughout Algonquin Park.
  7. Proceeded to the Algonquin Visitor Centre (at 43 KM mark). MUST DO! Outstanding history of first nations people, wonderful animal exhibits that reminded us of the Museum of Natural History in Ottawa. Spacious restaurant, great gift store and bookshop, great lookout area just outside the building. One can easily spend 1-2 hours at the visitor centre. We spent only 30 minutes!
  8. Proceeded to Two Rivers Store for lunch (at 33 KM mark). Service exceedingly slow and, after 15 minutes, left queue.
  9. Proceeded to the Portage Store by Canoe Lake (14 KM mark). Fast efficient service, good food and a great view of  Canoe Lake surrounded by great autumn colours. Time spent 1 hour including lunch.
  10. DID NOT PROCEED WESTWARDS TO WEST GATE AND DECIDED TO DRIVE BACK EAST.
  11. Going East, at 16 KM drove on gravel road leading to Arowhon Pines Lodge for 2 kms to view some superb foliage. Distance of 8 kms to the lodge was a lot. Made way back to Hwy 60 after 2 kms of slow gravel driving.
  12. Proceeded to Algonquin Art Centre (at 20 KMS). MUST STOP. Spent 30 minutes.
    • Superb art work on display and purchase. One can easily end up  spending 1-2 hours at this fabulous art centre.
  13. Proceeded to a camp ground with a beautiful beach, adjacent to Lake of Two Rivers. Spent 30 minutes at the beach. Great photo op of foliage at distant, watched canoeists.
  14. Bypassed the famous Lookout trail. Next trip in a year! It would have taken 2-3 hours. Would have done Lookout if we had not done the Beaver Pond Trail earlier. However, Beaver Pond Trail was worth every step!
  15. Instead, proceeded to Spruce Bog Boardwalk (at 44 KM)! A very pleasant and easy 1.5 km boardwalk with lake views, bog forests and fantastic foliage scenery. Total 1 hour. Some might find this boardwalk a little bit boring, but we found it extremely relaxing.
  16. Proceeded to Lake Opeongo Store, off 47 KM mark. It is 8 kms of driving on a paved road leading to the store and the largest lake in Algonquin Park. The store offers canoes to rent, and Algonquin Outfitters offer guided tours of the region. Total time spent, including driving to Lake Opeongo from Hwy 60, 1 hour. Had hoped to see wildlife, because this road really feels like a wildlife road with so many ponds by the road.
  17. Left Park at 5:45 PM. Arrived Ottawa 9 PM to serve bunny, Pistachio!

Date posted: October 13, 2019.

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Nurin Merchant, Photos Algonquin Park

Nurin Merchant

Dr. Nurin Merchant received her veterinary medicine degree with distinction from the Ontario Veterinary College (University of Guelph) in 2019, and now works as a veterinarian in the Ottawa region. Born and raised in Ottawa, Nurin completed her international baccalaureate (IB) program at Colonel By Secondary School before proceeding to the University of Guelph for an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences which she passed with Honours. She then pursued veterinary medicine in the same school. Nurin enjoys hiking, loves nature and, of course, animals. She is also an artist. She paints, sculpts as well as designs and makes greeting cards during her spare time. She has a beautiful bunny named Pistachio, which she acquired from an animal care and rescue facility a few years after the death of her first rabbit, Wobbles.

Nurin’s dad Malik is founding publisher and editor of three blogs/websites, Simerg  (2009),  Simergphotos (2012) and Barakah (2017). He tweets at http://www.twitter.com/simerg and has a facebook page for Barakah at https://www.facebook.com/1000Fold/.

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