Restoule Provincial Park Review

Review Date: August 2017

General Information / Location / Address

Restoule Provincial Park is located West of Highway 11, and North of Highway 522, and just North of the town Restoule.  It’s located on the shores of Restoule Lake.  It’s a fairly remote area, and wildlife is abundant!

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

Phone:
705-729-2010

8818 Highway 534
Restoule
P0H 2R0

Entry / Layout

After a long, winding, and beautiful ride around Restoule Lake on Highway 534, you arrive at the front gates.  Park your rig and go inside to register.  After the front gates, you turn LEFT at the intersection to get to the 3 campgrounds.  Kettle Point, Putts Point, and Bells Point.  Each campsite has it’s own bathroom, and the primary beach is at Putts Point.

General Discussion

The campground is deep in the Ontario forest.  Trees are large, and the forest is thick.  The ground cover is basically forest floor, with pine needles.  I didn’t see many grass campsites, which is good IMO.

We stayed in Kettle Point Campground, on site 440.  This campground is sloped towards the lake, so the closer you camp to the lake, the closer you are to water level.  Which also means there is a bit of run off from higher up sites.  Our site, 440, had a path to the water, but we didn’t go swimming here as there was lots of seaweed sticking up. It was ALMOST swampy, but not exactly.  I suspect the majority of other sites right on the water here have similar seaweedy waterfront.  We picked this site because according to the map, the beach and swimming area was directly beside us.  This is NOT the case.  Beside 440 is a small parking lot, with a path that goes over to Putts Point, where the beach is.  I would say the edge of the beach / swimming area is still about 400 meters away from the campsite.  As well, the path crosses over this small stream, and there’s no bridge.  However, the campsites right on the water are still neat, as you can see a bit of the water from the campsite, which is always a great.

Except the beach path, there are no other paths connecting Kettle Point to Putts Point, so you’ll need to head back to the main road, then over to Putts Point if you want to walk around there.  We walked through the other two campgrounds, but I don’t know enough to really talk about them.  If you want to be near the beach, camp at Putts Point.  According to the map, the boat launch is in Bells Point, as well as the dog beach.

All three campgrounds have a small parking area right on the water, with a couple of docks at each.  It’s nice to walk down to the docks, and see the lake.

As I mentioned above, the beach is on Putts Point.  The beach area is fairly large, and there is some parking right down at the beach.  It’s a little bit rocky getting into the water, and there was quite the breeze when we were there.  I think I remember seeing a volley ball net at the beach.

Best Campsites

  • The campsites down by the water, on Kettle Point are good.  Fairly large, and right on the water.  There is about 8-14 meters of forest between you and the water.  Some sites the forest is too thick to even see the water

Hiking / Biking

  • We went on the Fire Trail.  It goes up to the bluffs on the lake, and has an amazing view!  As you get on the trail, stick to the LEFT to get to the bluffs.  It’s a fairly easy trail, but there is a steep climb towards the end.  It took about 1 hour to get in, and out.

Pro’s

  • Water sites
  • Beautiful area, and very remote
  • Sites in Kettle are nice and large

Con’s

  • Not sure there are many activities here?

Conclusion

This is a really remote park, which is really neat.  Camping in Northern Ontario is awesome, because of the fresh air, and abundant wildlife.  I wish that the campsites were closer to the water.  The fire trail is great because the view is awesome!  I enjoyed this park, but because of how far it is, may not return for a while.

Grundy Lake Provincial Park Review

Review Date: June 2017

General Information / Location / Address

Grundy Lake Provincial Park is located just East of Highway 69, and north of Highway 522. It’s located between Gurd Lake, Grundy Lake, and Clear lake.

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

Entry / Layout

You enter the park off of Highway 522. The park gate comes up after about 2-300 meters. If you have registered already, you can keep RIGHT, if you are there to register, keep LEFT. There is lots of large parking for your rig. After the front gates, the road goes past the garbage area and the the dumping station on your left. If you are looking for fresh water for your trailer, you can turn left at the dumping area, or just keep going straight and the fresh water will be on your right. After that, you’ll get the road to White Birch, Jack Pine, and Balsam on your left. If you keep straight, you’ll get to the main beach, and the visitor center. After that, the road continues on to White Spruce, Hemlock, Trailer, Red Maple, and Poplar campgrounds.

Balsam, Jack Pine and White Birch share one comfort station in the middle of all three campgrounds.  Those campgrounds also have vault toilets throughout.  There are two other comfort stations.  One is near the main beach, accessible to White Spruce, Hemlock, and White Pine, the other one is slightly north, accessible to Trailer, Red Maple, and Poplar.  Each campground here also has vault toilets throughout.  Trailer and poplar has their own beach, as does Balsam.  Note – You can see a beach area in White Pine, but when standing on the main beach, I don’t see any beach sand beside White Pine.  I’m wondering if the high water washed away the beach there? Someone else needs to confirm in the comments.  As well, I didn’t go into Jack Pine, or White Birch, so I don’t know of the condition of the beach there.  There is also a main beach on the side of the road between Gut Lake, and Grundy Lake.  More on the beaches below.

 

General Discussion

This park is located on 4 lakes.  The forest here is fairly thick, so privacy on each site should be decent.  The shores of each lake are mainly grassy and in some areas rocky.

We stayed in Trailer Campground.  It has it’s own beach, and has a grassy area beside the water.  The majority of the sites are pull through trailer sites.  Privacy is OK but not great on all the sites.  The floor of the sites closest to the water are typical forest floor, bare, and pine needles, where as the sites away from the water have a grass floor.  There is a comfort station within walking distance.  Note that the beach doesn’t extend all the way across Trailer as seen in the parks map.  The beach is only in front of sites 236 and 235.  The rest is just grassy area, with some trees.  This grassy area is still nice to sit on, and view the lake, etc.  Note that trailer campground floods really bad when there is rain.  50% of the sites are completely under water, and there are HUGE puddles in the road that even some people wouldn’t drive through.  It’s wet, and soggy here.

We moved from Trailer to Hemlock half way through our stay as it is a lot dryer.  Hemlock is a bit of a maze to get through.  Sites 106 108 are the low spots, and there is some water running through the forest in this area.  But majority of the other spots are fairly dry.  Right beside site 113 is a nice rocky open area right on the water.  This is a nice area to site, and look across the lake.  115 116 117 118 120 are right across the road from the water.  There are some trees between you and the water, but it’s still a nice area.  Rain water WILL flow through your site to get to the water.  These sites are a bit slanted.  I don’t think you’ll be swimming in the lake here, but it’s more of a spot to put your canoe in.

I drove through Poplar, and didn’t like it very much.  The floor of the sites seemed to be mostly grass.  The forest didn’t seem very thick here.  White Spruce was mainly small tent camping sites, some of them with great views of Gut Lake.  I didn’t drive through any other campground.

Lot’s of people like to jump off the rocks into Gut lake.  The entrance to do this is between sites 22 and 24.  Follow the trail, and stick to the right.  I wasn’t sure which rocks to jump off of, as nobody was there.  But I found a rock that looked pretty worn down, and jumped.  There is a spot to climb up also.  I talked to the front desk about this, and they said they don’t recommend it, as people have gotten hurt.  But I don’t think they actively patrol it, and kick people off.

On the main road coming in, there is a beach on your left.  There are about 4-5 parking spots, and more parking spots across the road.  It’s obviously a man made beach, but still decent to sit on during the day.  There were a few kids that had leaches on them from swimming in the water, so just be careful about that.  Same with the beach in Trailer.  In between White Sprice and Hemlock, is where the dog beach is.  I don’t think there is actually a beach here, but the dogs can run around, and in the water.  There is parking here, and a turn around spot.

The main road coming into the site is really bumpy.  Lots of roots sticking through, and pot holes.  The camp roads seem to be bumpy as well, and when it rains, they all fill with water.

The park wardens do their typical drive-by’s twice in the evening.  They never seemed to concerned about anything as they drive by.

Dumping stations are on your right as you leave the park, and so are the garbage bins.

Outside the park, right across the road is a large store.  It has gas, and small groceries etc.  They also rent canoes here, and the canoes can be delivered, and picked up right to your campsite.

Grundy also rents cabins.  One of the cabins is right beside the main beach, up on a hill.  Seems like a cool place to rent!

Best Campsites

  • The sites on the water in Trailer are decent, because you can walk across the road and be right on the water.  But it’s very wet here when it rains
  • We liked sites 158, 114, 113 and 111 in Hemlock.  They are near a big clear rock area right on the side of the river.
  • The water sites in White Spruce have great views of the lake.
  • There are other nice sites, but I didn’t drive around and tally them.

Hiking / Biking

  • Check out the Swan Lake Trail.  It’s a shorter trail, and has some cool board walks.  There is also a spot where you climb up on a large rock, and overlook the trail. Very neat.
  • Beside the Poplar Lake comfort station, is a road that continues North.  It goes to a remote lake, where people put their canoes in.  Take a hike, or bike up here.  Actually, there is nothing much to see once you get there, but it’s a nice hike or bike.

 

Pro’s

  • All the lakes are cool. Great scenary, etc
  • Up north, lots of wildlife, thick forests
  • Lots of sites right on the water
  • Good canoeing
  • Comfort stations are great, and accessible
  • Lot’s of activities at the visitor center in the park

Con’s

  • It’s wet.  When it rains, lots of sites flood
  • Beaches are meh.  But, who goes here for the beaches really?
  • Roads are in rough shape

Surrounding Area Activities

  • Check out the French River Visitor Center.  It has a cool museum, which is free with your Parks reservation. There is also a really neat suspension bridge.  As well, take a hike down to Recollet Falls.  A 2.7km hike each way down to a neat water falls.
  • Check out the French River Trading Post. It’s a souvenir store north of the French River.
  • East of the park entrance, is a logging road that goes right up to the Pickerel River.  It’s a cool drive. And the river is really neat to see.  There is a bridge, and water falls.  You don’t need 4×4.  Below is a video I made of this logging road:

Conclusion

  • I like this park because of how north, and remote it is.  Being in the middle of 4 lakes provides great canoeing, and views of the water.  The hiking trails are neat, but there are no cliff views, etc.  We went up when it rained for weeks straight, and it was like camping in a rain forest. Very moist, wet and soggy.  The swimming and beaches aren’t great, but the kids still enjoyed it!

Trip Advisor Reviews

Sibbald Point Provincial Park – Review

Review Date: Sept 2016

General Information / Location / Address

Sibbald Point Provincial Park is located on the south east side of Lake Simcoe.

26071 York Rd 18 (Park Road)
Sutton West
L0E 1R0

Click here to reserve, or view campsites

SP.Overview

Entry / Layout

As you turn East into the park, you are faced with a fork in the road.  Keep LEFT if you are buying a day pass, and keep RIGHT if you are registering your campsite.  As you can see from the pic below, there is TONS of room to park your rig, as you head into the office.  There is a center booth for day passes, and a large office for registering.  Sibbald is split into quite a few areas, and I’m not going to list them here.  You can see those areas in the above map.  Each site does have their own bathrooms, so I think you can rely on the fact that there is a running water bathroom near by.  Some of the area’s are electric, and some are not, as you can see above.  As you drive through the campground area, you get into the beach/park area, and the historical areas.

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General Discussion

The park is made up of fairly thick forest.  Some campsites have thick brush, and other sites have larger trees and a brushless forest.  It’s really spotty, but if you look at the campsite pictures on the Ontario Parks website, you’ll get a good idea of the kind of bush you’ll see around your site.  Most of the sites are typical forest floor, and not grassy.

We stayed in Beavermeade, so I’ll talk about that area first.  As you enter, the bathrooms on are the right, along with a small play ground and sand box.  Across the road from the area, is a large grassy field.  The road going into Beavermeade is gravel, and the sites are mainly forested, with light brush.  Some of the inner sites have far less brush, making them slightly less private. The sites along the outside are fairly private. Don’t fear camping along the east side of Beavermeade, along the main road, as there is a line of pine bushes that create great privacy.  There is one path on the north side of Beavermeade that cuts through to the beach and park area.  As well, there a couple of holes in the pine bushes that head to the main road.  The sites here are a medium size.  The bathrooms at Beavermeade were large, and clean, so I can expect the rest of the bathrooms to be the same.

The campsites in Horseshoe line the grassy playing field, and some of them have a path into the playing field.  I took a bike ride through Hardwoods, and the majority of the sites seemed kinda small.  Not sure what else to say about this area. Same for the CedarGrove and Meadowlands.  Across the main road is the non electric sites, and I only briefly drove through this area.  Can’t really comment here.

The beach!  It’s LONG, and the water is fairly shallow, which is great for the kids.  It’s also roped off, and has a couple rock points that jet out (you’ll see what I mean in the pictures).  There is TONS of parking for the beach area, but the one thing I’ve heard is during the summer, people use this beach as a day use beach, and it gets VERY busy (you can see those type of comments in the tripadvisor area below).  There is two parking lots for the beach, so if one is busy, try the other lot.  The beach area has grassy areas with a ton of picnic tables, and bbq’s and even a few picnis shelters that are reservable.  It’s really neat that it’s not only a beach, but a park as well.  There is a main bathroom on the east side of the beach.  The beach sand does have golf ball sized rocks in it, and that continues for the first 5 feet of water, where the rocks disappear, and it’s sandy again.  There is also a lot of natural shade on the beach, from the nearby tall trees.  We didn’t have to take out our beach umbrella’s at all.  The dog area is on the east side of the beach, and is basically a large grassy area right up against the water.  Easy for dogs to walk in and out.  Still a great area for people to relax as their dogs play in the water.  The beach is really nice here!

Here’s a good panoramic view of the beach and picnic area. (click below pic)

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There is a really large playground at the beach.  It also has swings.  Kids will love it here!

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There is a boat launch, and docks as well.

There is an amphitheater, where they do activities for kids.  We camped in September and didn’t get to see anything, but I’d guess they have great events here.

The park officers do drive by on a regular schedule.

I didn’t get to the park store, but across the road is a store that sells variety type stuff, and firewood.  Kinda smells in there tho.

Heritage / Historical areas – This isn’t really my forte, but I hear there is great history here, with historical buildings, and churches, which are now museums.  The main museum was closed when we camped, but make sure you check out the main museum, and church. I hear it’s worth walking through

Best Campsites

For trailer sites, we liked the campsites in Beavermeade.

Here’s a panoramic photo of our site 927. (click photo)

pano_20160908_182937

 

It’s the closest to the beach for electric sites.  If you are not in an electric site, I would suggest the northern most sites in Lakeside and Butternut.  There are foot paths that lead to the parking lot, and would be a quick walk to the water.

Hiking / Biking

I didn’t hike any of the trails, but looking at the trail guide, this isn’t really a hiking or biking park.

Pro’s

BEACH and Picnic areas!

Historical buildings

Playground at the beach is awesome! and huge!

Con’s

Hiking trails, and biking trails are at a minimum

Surrounding Area Activities

I would suggest driving Hedge Road (right from the park) and other Lakeshore roads, all the way to Keswick.  It’s such a beautiful drive, and the road follows the lake almost the whole way there.  Check it out!

Conclusion

A good park!  The beach area is great, and am still really amazed but the amount of picnic area in front of the beach.  As well, there is an abundance of full water bathrooms, with one right at the beach.  The campsites were OK, with a lot of them electric.  I’m a little weary about how busy this place would be in the midst of summer tho.

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img_20160909_153251 img_20160910_161145

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proshot_20160909_102916 proshot_20160909_104227 proshot_20160909_104231 proshot_20160909_104239 proshot_20160909_104246
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Pinery Provincial Park Review – Dunes

Review Date: Coming May 2016

General Information / Location / Address

Pinery Provincial Park is located in Southwestern Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron. It is a fairly large park, and also fairly popular. It’s my GO-TO park, as it’s one of the closest to me. We usually go here for a weekend at the very start of the season, to make sure our camping gear is all IN-CHECK. This review will focus on the Dunes section of Pinery only.

The Pinery Provincial Park
R.R.# 2
Grand Bend, Ontario
N0M 1T0
(519) 243-2220

Click here to reserve, or view campsites


View Larger Map

 PI.DuneOverview

Entry / Layout

General Discussion

Best Campsites

Hiking / Biking

Pro’s

Con’s

Surrounding Area Activities

Conclusion

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.

IMG_20150705_094951 IMG_20150705_094956 IMG_20150705_095002 IMG_20150705_100420 IMG_20150705_100426 IMG_20150705_101019 IMG_20150705_111836

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