At 19 kms in length with countless steep elevation changes and rough terrain composed of exposed tree roots, rocks, mud and slippery granite bedrock, the signs warning of difficulty and possible unplanned overnighting are not wrong. Sign at the parking lot for the Highland Backpacking Trail. As a true backpacking trail with overnight camping incorporated, either the full loop of 34 kms, or the Provoking Lake Loop of 19 kms can be done at a leisurely pace spread out over two to four days, but day hikers should stick to the shorter Provoking Lake Loop, which we completed in just under eight hours. This was more than enough time to enjoy the trail. At the name suggests, the Highland Backpacking Trail is located in the Algonquin Highlands where average elevations are over m above sea level. With occasional vistas of far off hills of maple, and a smattering of maples interspersed throughout the trail, there was just enough colour to make every photograph more interesting.
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Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations. Originally added by Alex Trudeau Viriato. This backpacking loop is filled with amazing blue lakes and perfectly secluded backpacking sites, many of which are right next to the water.
This was my first experience in the Canadian backcountry and it was remarkable. Algonquin Provincial Park is beautiful with it's range of hardwood forest trees, lakes, and overall terrain. It's popular for portaging but it also has three official backpacking trails inside the park. Unfortunately I only had my iPhone 6 to take pictures, which don't always do the scenery justice. There are two possible loops along the Highland Backpacking Trail these are marked 1st Loop and 2nd Loop.
This write up is for a three day trip along the longer 21 mile loop, which incorporates both the 1st and 2nd loops. It was May, and the majority of ground snow had melted but not completely. Though we had to hike through a bit of snow, the lakes were completely unfrozen. This time of year was enjoyable because it also meant we would have no mosquitos or bug issues. Two months before our trip I reserved camping spots online for both nights. When you book online you choose an area, not a specific campsite number.
We drove from Montreal to the Mew Lake Campground Office to obtain our backpacking and parking permits, and confirm the areas that I had reserved online in the winter you need to obtain these from the West Gate. Our adventure began hiking through American Beech, Yellow Birch, and Eastern Hemlock trees, crossing bridges over creeks and passing small lakes.
Though beautiful, these don't compare to the pristine lakes to come. We booked a spot on Provoking East, so we hiked another 2 miles along the east side of the lake until we arrived in the area where there are four camp sites to chose from if you book on the west side, there are six sites to choose from.
All the spots are a significant distance from each other, so you wont be able to see other campers. After checking out all the sites, we chose one right on the water. It was the prefect spot to enjoy the sunset over the water, eat some food and relax by the fire which was only about 15 feet from the lake.
We left Provoking Lake that morning knowing that the snow patches were slowing us down slightly; though we weren't constantly maneuvering over ice or hiking in ankle deep snow, it did hinder our predicted pace. This is where we had lunch and even took a small nap on a rock overlooking the magnificent body of water.
Note: although we didn't stay at Harness Lake, there are a couple of great camping spots to choose from. From Harness Lake we hiked 2. Head Lake was my favorite area to camp. As the sun set behind trees, it created this purple illumination on the clouds in the sky; the water stood completely still, and we ate dinner only a couple of feet from the water.
When the sun rose in the morning, the fog settled on top of the lake--so calm and peaceful. We didn't hike particularly fast on the last day. I was in no hurry to get out of the park, but in the back of my mind I knew we had a long drive back to Montreal. From Head Lake we hiked 4 miles to Faya Lake, and took a quick detour to check out the area.
I originally wanted to stay here, but had no luck with reservations as it had already been booked and I could see why ; it's completely secluded with only one camping spot!
Shortly after, we spotted a moose with it's calf walking along the trail. We kept our distance and watched them roam through the forest, it truly toped off our trip. We returned to the trail and hiked along the west side of Provoking Lake for 3. With all the amazing views and lakes, it's obvious to see why Algonquin is famous for portages.
But I wouldn't discredit the backpacking trails; hearing loons in the evening while enjoying a quiet dinner next to the lake was incredibly relaxing and one of my favorite memories.
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The Outbound Collective. Find Adventures, Tours, Lodging. Get Directions 11 Photos. Save Review Upload. Originally added by Alex Trudeau Viriato This backpacking loop is filled with amazing blue lakes and perfectly secluded backpacking sites, many of which are right next to the water. Stay Nearby. Nearby Adventures.
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Highland Backpacking Trail
Nice long trail on the east side of Algonquin park. Can be done in one long day, or broken into 2 or 3 days. As of late May the road into Achray was closed, so in total the walk to the trailhead and loop was about 23km which took us hours. The NE side of the trail near Bucholtz lake has some fun boulders to hop over, and a small but acceptable campsite.
Highland Backpacking Trail – Algonquin Park
We will have everything to be self sufficient. Which are the best trails and where would everyone recommend going for those few days? We're up for challenging trails. Any ideas? I have not backpacked only hiked. I like Mizzy Lake especially with an early start because it can be busy, Track and Tower is also good as a hike.
Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations. Originally added by Alex Trudeau Viriato. This backpacking loop is filled with amazing blue lakes and perfectly secluded backpacking sites, many of which are right next to the water. This was my first experience in the Canadian backcountry and it was remarkable. Algonquin Provincial Park is beautiful with it's range of hardwood forest trees, lakes, and overall terrain.
Best back country backpacking / hiking trails? - Algonquin Provincial Park Forum
Just a few hours north of Toronto , Algonquin Provincial Park is Ontario's most popular park, with beautiful lakes, rivers, and unspoiled wilderness teeming with wildlife. Excellent hiking trails, ranging from less than a kilometer to multi-day treks, allow access to some of this wild terrain. These range from easy, flat trails along boardwalks to more difficult routes that climb over ridges to outstanding lookouts. If you are camping, you'll find hiking trails that leave directly from some of the campgrounds in Algonquin. Hiking trails lead through marshes and bogs, around beaver ponds and lakes, through stands of old pines, along rock outcrops, and past remnants of historic logging camps. In the spring, you can often see moose and other animals along the roadside or trails. Summer is the busy season, but there are enough hikes in the park that trails are not overly congested.