Algonquin Provincial Park – Pog and Kearney Lakes

Review Date: July 2015

General Information / Location / Address

Algonquin Provincial Park is located… I don’t even think I need to state where this is located, as it’s the most popular park, and everyone knows where it is.  This review is about Pog and Kearney Lake campsites, which is located within Algonquin Park.  It’s located on the middle-eastern end of highway 60.

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

PG.Overview

Entry / Layout

Right off highway 60 (be careful because the turning lane is fairly short), is Pog and Kearney Lakes campground.  The park office is right at the front.  The parking lot is after the park office.  So stop at the stop sign, then continue on to the parking lot, where you park then walk back to the office.  There is no dogs allowed in the park office.  There is ample room to park in the parking lot.

Pog Lake is devided into 3 campgrounds.  Two of them are electric sites, and the one is non-electric.  Each campground has ample vault toilets, and one full service bathroom.  The campgrounds surround an area of Pog Lake, however, unfortunately it’s the worst area of the lake.  The best part of Pog Lake is the North.  It’s the largest, and the deepest.  The south side is ALMOST swampy like.  Although still a beauty.  The main beach is located on the north side of Campground A.

General Discussion

Obviously being in Algonquin Park, this campground is in the middle of a forest, surrounding Pog Lake.  All sites have a forest bed, mostly all covered in pine needles.  The majority of the tree’s here are pine tree’s.  The forest does have some decent shrubbery, but it still doesn’t have enough to make any of the sites private.  You can see through the bush, and for the most part, right into your neighbors site.  Not necessary a bad thing, as depending on what site you are on, you can position your gear to block neighbors.

Campground A  is where I stayed, and will commend most on it.  We booked this campground because it has a few sites that neighbor to the water.  We were thinking we could walk to the back of our site, and swim.  That’s not the case.  Campsites 140 to 128 have a good view of the water, but the water is not swimmable.  It’s fairly swampy here.  It’s great for a canoe or kayak landing.  Each site in this area has a path to the water, and there is a public path between sites 138 and 140.  The best site here for a view is site 130.  It has an amazing view of the lake.  It’s up fairly high from the lake, but there is a steep path to get down to the lake.

The road through Campground A has some up’s and downs (hills).  But nothing a large trailer couldn’t get through.  One thing to note.  There is no “one way” signs here, but the majority of the sites are catered to trucks travelling in the COUNTER CLOCKWISE direction.  The driveways to the sites are angled a bit, and if you’re not facing the proper direction, it’s harder to backup into the site.  When coming into Campground A, I suggest turning LEFT after campsite 157.  Then go down to the end, and turn left or right depending on where your site is.

Regarding sites 124 to 116.  There is a LARGE, and STEEP drop-off to the lake here.  It’s definitely passable tho.  These sites have a GREAT view of the water, but they aren’t very DEEP.  Any trailers would need to be parked parallel to the road.  124 is probably your best bet on this side of the lake.  Some of the sites here even have a fence because of how steep the drop-off is.

Some of the sites on the outer ring, 154 – 128 are fairly unlevel.  If the site is level overall, it may still have some unlevel dips, or holes in the middle of them.  I would suggesting bringing some boards, as you may need to prop a tire up on the trailer.  Another suggestion, if your site is fairly unlevel, I suggest disconnecting your Weight Distribution Hitch before maneuvering into the site.  That way if your truck and trailer are unlevel, it will be easier to disconnect the WDH.  As well, there are some sites that have tree’s in the middle of them, so be careful backing in, etc, etc

I also noticed that sounds carry throughout this park.  I can hear people talking a few sites down.  Could be because of the type of open forest.

The beach here is GREAT!  Nice and wide, deep, and all sandy.  I think they recently re-did the beach.  There is a roped off swimming area as well.  Sites 109 – 112 are right across from the beach.  These sites offer 0 privacy, but it’s really beautiful down here, especially right across from a beach.  See my photosphere below for a full 360 view of what it’s like.

There is a full service bathroom here, with a grass field beside it for any sports that want to be played.

The dumping station is off highway 60, just WEST of Pog Lake.

I didn’t see a park store here.

I noticed that the “Park Warden” says “W.P.S. Park Warden” on the truck.  Most Provincial Parks I’ve been to have Ontario Parks trucks.  I think this park is operated by another company, and just under contract by Ontario Parks.  I noticed this park seems to have some rules that other parks don’t have, including no dogs in the park office.  I also noticed that the W.P.S Park Warden drives by a lot.  Even during the day. They all seem to be friendly, and not trigger happy on violations, but do give warnings.  This place almost felt like a private campground, instead of an Ontario Parks campground. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.  Just want to mention it.

Algonquin Park is a very touristy park.  You will find new campers here, and old campers here.  It’s also a well used campground.  Not sure what that means, but keep it in mind.

They do rent out 30 amp electrical cords if you need them.  $50 holding fee, and $3 per night.  They are 25ft long.

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Below is site 130IMG_20150704_151020 IMG_20150704_135923

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Here is a photosphere of the water behind site 138

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150704_144938

Here is a photosphere of the beach area.

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150705_161740

Best Campsites

-Site 140 is really large, but has some tree’s at the entrance.  Not sure you can put a trailer through them into the back part of the site

-138 is kinda small, and have a moderate pad slope.

-134 does NOT have a view of the lake.  Too many tree’s blocking it

-132 has a view of the lake, but kinda OPEN.

-130 is amazing. Large, great view of lake

-129 good lake view

-128 is kinda small. good view of lake

-124-117 see above.  not very deep. good view of lake

-127 not very good

-126 is HUGE.  but really open, no privacy.  Good view of lake.

-349-354 nice views of the lake.  Really big.  But right across from vault toilet

Hiking / Biking

Old Railway Trail – This is a FLAT, WIDE trail that goes between Rock Lake/Coon Lake, and Mew Lake.  It’s a VERY easy ride, with no hills.  The path is very smooth, and VERY easy to bike.  It’s such a nice trail.  We went from Pog lake, past Lake of Two Rivers, and almost to Mew Lake.  The section from Lake of Two Rivers, and Mew lake was kinda boring.  It was very hot and dry here.  But the rest of it goes through a nice forest, and behind Lake of Two Rivers.  We found a nice natural beach, right at the back of Lake of two Rivers.  So lookout for this path.

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Below is a photosphere of the beach area:

Click on the below picture to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150705_114025

Pro’s

-Algonquin Park.  It’s beautiful here, and the drive through highway 60 is awesome!

-I like the Pine Forest.  Tree’s are very tall

-Really nice beach area

-Old Railway Trail is a nice easy bikeride

Con’s

-W.P.S?  Kinda strange.  Seems like a private park?

-Forest is kinda open

-The lake is nice, but the area that the campsites surround is unswimmable.  Would be nice to swim right behind your campsite.

Surrounding Area Activities

Algonquin Logging Museum – This place is awesome.  Gives you a great perspective of what logging WAS like, and what it IS like.  And it’s all free!

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A couple photospheres of the logging museum.

Click on the below pictures to open a 360 PHOTOSPHERE in GOOGLE MAPSPANO_20150705_132348 PANO_20150705_135103 PANO_20150705_135320

 

 

Conclusion

It’s Algonquin Park.  It’s a must visit, at least once.  The park was nice.  We really enjoyed the beach area, and the Old Railway Trail.  The forest was neat, even tho it was open.  We enjoyed camping beside a lake.  The park was a bit noisy, and very busy.  I would suggest researching other activities to do in the park.  There are TONS of trail in Algonquin, so go research, and do some hiking during the day.  If you’re going to drive all the way to Algonquin, mise well see all the amazing sites.  Also keep your eyes open for Moose in the swamps nearby highway 60.

TripAdvisor Reviews

 

 

4 thoughts on “Algonquin Provincial Park – Pog and Kearney Lakes

  1. We camp across from the beach area in campground A pog lake every year. As mentioned the privacy is not good but great for a lot of reasons. If you have kids, they are always in view. The view to the lake is always there and bonus happens to be where the beautiful sunsets are. The area has a nice breeze off the lake making it a few degrees cooler than … anywhere! Easy beach/swimming access (and canoe access). This area has become less popular over the years, and with 5 non-reservables right in the area there are always open sites so you are not feeling crowded by the neighbours. WPS is contracted to run park operations, and they keep the park quiet, almost too quiet – we can’t play a guitar softly late at night without being shut down. On the other hand, they are friendly, the park is pleasant (no loud distractions) and they keep the sites and bathrooms very clean. We go with family/friends and book 4 sites so our neighbours are friends, but other campers are usually very friendly as well so the open concept is not that bad. During the week it is actually pretty empty. Excellent base camp for short canoe to other lakes for a beach day, biking the rail trail, lots of trail hiking options. On a hot day we love to bike out to the small waterfalls behind mew lake and sit right in the falls. Oh and pick blueberries in the old airfield and take them back to camp for cooking in pancakes. The park store/restaurant is not nearly as nice since contracted out – makes for us going to Whitney for supplies or a meal if we want. Ice cream is a staple but they have somehow managed to make it into a 45 minute wait – its faster to go for a nice drive to opeongo and get a scoop there. The visitor center is great to check out as well and the outdoor theater is popular and has some interesting events. So much to choose from and do around Algonquin – and its all beautiful – something for everyone if you like the outdoors.

  2. wps acronym for whiskey jack park services, they used to have pog lake, kearney, canisbay and tea lake…this year 2018 they lost pog/kearney contract to algonquin park services, who also have lake of two rivers campground…most campgrounds in algonquin contracted out to private companies to manage…exception is rock lake which is managed by ontario Parks…5 year contracts are the norm…11 pm is quiet time…so if you want to make more than normal campfire conversation after that i would suggest camping somewhere else….camped pog many years and have seen lots of cityidiots come in … jason and the gang at wps usually got rid of them quickly…june of this year seemed to be learning curve for aps group….some quite unfriendly front office staff with attitude, CHEAP!…one recycle bag per day of stay SIR…and only take one, come to office every day to pick up your allotment…oh, and the free can of bush beans, make sure you only take one can sir…thats all thats allowed….as if they are paying for the beans…CHEAP!…security needs to be tuned up….in june i heard one guy did not even have ticket book…need to get of of their vehicles and walk…long weekend cityidiots burning green trees from edge of campsite…overheard telling his kids get more trees from the beach area kids!!!

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