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7 ways to camp and hike responsibly
Find out how to keep the outdoors awesome from our Leave No Trace expert.
Algonquin Provincial Park, ON, Canada
Driving time from Barrie
Lakes in Algonquin
Kearney Lake Campground has more than 100 sites in two loops on either side of Kearney Creek. Try to book a site between 201–243 – they have beautiful views of the lake. You may have more foot traffic here than other sites, but this campground tends to fill up slower than others in the park so you may not have to deal with a busy campground anyway, depending on when you choose to go.
Bike the Old Railway Bike Trail
When you wake up at camp, head out for a morning run or bike ride on the Old Railway Bike Trail, which stretches from Rock Lake to Cache Lake and the Track and Tower Trail. From Kearney Campground, you’ll hop on the trail at kilometre six and head north towards Pog Lake.
The trail is easy with gentle inclines, but if you’re planning on cycling all the way to the Track and Tower Trail, you’ll be riding a total of 20km round trip. Give yourself enough time to take some breaks to soak in the scenery, snap some photos and refuel on water and snacks – it should take approximately four hours.
Hike the Track and Tower Trail
Whether you’ve pedaled or driven your way to the Track and Tower Trail, this 7.5km loop gives you a rewarding lookout over Cache Lake. The footing here can be tricky, especially after it’s rained, so make sure you’re wearing a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots. As you follow the river, you’ll pass by a waterfall and be faced with a decision: you can either climb the staircase that leads to the top of the ridge (and stellar views of Cache Lake) or you can follow the old railbed back to your starting point.
Wanna hear some wolves?
Public wolf howls are popular events at Algonquin Park, and happen on Thursdays in August or in September before Labour Day weekend from 8pm to 11pm. If you stay at Kearney Campground, you’re close to the Outdoor Theatre, where the events kick off. You get to learn about wolves at the theatre before participants drive off to certain areas on Highway 60, where parks staff will howl out to the wolves and the whole group will listen for a response from the pack.
Make sure to check the visitor centre to make sure the expedition you’re interested in will be taking place that night.