Trails | Hiking Trails | Township of Algonquin Highlands

Hiking Trails

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Discover and explore some of the region’s best hiking trails right here in the Township of Algonquin Highlands!

There are over 38 kilometres of back-country hiking and walking trails in the area. They journey through mystical forests, meander along scenic rivers, ascend to amazing lookouts and arrive at one-of-a-kind heritage sites. You’ll find hiking trails that suit all levels of skill and ability.

Come out and enjoy the Algonquin Highlands hiking experience!

Algonquin Highlands Hiking Trails

(Maps are also available for download in the “Documents” section at the bottom of this page.)

Alven Ferguson Trail

  • Map: AlgonquinTrails.pdf
  • Length: 0.7 km linear
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Address: 1317 McPhail Road – From Highway 35 just north of the Town of Carnarvon, turn east onto North Shore Road, follow to McPhail Road, turn north and proceed to the trailhead.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0681035E 4996165N
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  • Description: A short, 700-metre hike to connect to the Ridge Trail, James Cooper Lookout Trail or Circuit of 5 Viewpoints Trail from McPhail Road.

Beech River Trail

  • Map: AlgonquinTrails.pdf
  • Length: 1.3 km loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Address: 1053 Dominion Road – from Highway 35 just north of the Town of Carnarvon, turn east onto North Shore Road, follow to Dominion Road, turn south and proceed to the trailhead.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0680302E 4993689N
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  • Description: A casual, semi-wilderness loop around 1.3 km of varied terrain, residential roads and the scenic Beech River. This trail is considered to be the easiest trail that Algonquin Highlands has to offer and is perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Beetle Lake Trail

  • Map: BeetleLakeTrail.pdf
  • Length: 5 km loop
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trailhead Address: 1035 Algonquin Outfitters Road, Dwight – This road goes north off of Highway 60 just west of the Algonquin Park West Gate.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0662459E 5027454N
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  • Description: This is a 5 km hike through an active beaver pond, bog, hardwood hills and primary growth forest to a stunning lookout of Oxtongue Lake. Because of the varied and open forest types, this area provides one of the best opportunities in the Highlands for spotting many of Central Ontario’s best known bird and wildlife species such as moose, deer, otter, beaver, snowshoe hair, red tailed hawk, barred owl and ruffed grouse, just to name a few!

Circuit of 5 Viewpoints

  • Map: AlgonquinTrails.pdf
  • Length: 5 km loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate - challenging
  • Trailhead Address: 2029 Little Hawk Road (County Road 13) – From Highway 35 North in Halls Lake, travel east on Little Hawk Road and proceed to the trailhead.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0679034E 50000120N
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  • Description: Hike 5 km along classic Canadian Shield country overlooking rugged valleys, placid rivers and amazing fall colours!

Crests of Kennisis

  • Map: AlgonquinTrails.pdf
  • Length: 6 km linear
  • Difficulty: Moderate - challenging
  • Trailhead Address: 1584 Big Hawk Road – This trail begins at the Log Chute Trail and Interpretive Site (see directions below) and ends at the Circuit of 5 Viewpoints trailhead (see above).
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0677468E 5001267N
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  • Description: Hike 6 km on towering ridgelines to stunning cliff-top views. This trail has some of the best views the Highlands has to offer. Please be aware that this trail is linear and the distance is 6 km in one direction ending at the Circuit of 5 Viewpoints trailhead (see above). Ensure you have a trail guide map with you on this trail and pay close attention to trail junction signs so as not to mistakenly end up hiking onto a longer trail to a different access point. A car shuttle or some other form of return trip to the trail head is required to complete this trail in one direction, but the extra work is well worth it. This trail has some of the best, most varied terrain in the area and offers hikers an opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true wilderness experience.

Dorset Scenic Tower

  • Map: DorsetTower.pdf
  • Length: 1.5 km loop
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trailhead Address: From the bottom: 1038 Main Street, Dorset. From the top: 1154 Dorset Scenic Tower Road (off of Highway 35 North, just north of the Town of Dorset).
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. 0665302E 5012916N
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  • Description: A challenging hike from the Dorset Museum to the top of the ‘Dorset Mountain’ where one can climb the steps up the 25m Fire Tower and view a panorama of 800km2 of forest and numerous lakes. This is a must-see for anyone wanting to truly experience the Highlands. This trail can also be hiked from the top of the ‘Dorset Mountain’ down to the museum. If you want to start at the top (option available May to October), a fee to drive up to the access point/picnic area is applicable. During the open season there’s also a gift shop/visitor information centre, washrooms and numerous photo opportunities at the top of Dorset Mountain. Please see the Dorset Tower page for more information.

Frost Centre Hiking Trails

  • Map: FrostCentre.pdf
  • Length: 1-11 km stacked loop
  • Difficulty: Easy-moderate-challenging
  • Trailhead Address: 20130 Highway 35 North – 12km south of the Town of Dorset.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. 0669383E 5002819N
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  • Description: A number of stacked loops totaling 11km meander through the forest adjacent to St. Nora Lake. This trail system offers a little bit of everything, from millennia old geological formations which give insight into the last significant ice age, to large bogs, towering cliff faces, mixed forests, challenging climbs and spectacular lookouts. Be sure to pack lunch and your camera because you can spend an entire day exploring these trails.

James Cooper Lookout Trail

  • Map: Algonquin Trails.pdf
    Length: 1.5 km loop
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead Address: This access is located across from #1242 North Shore Road – From Highway 35 just north of the Town of Carnarvon, head east onto North Shore Road and proceed to the trailhead.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0680558E 4994116N
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  • Description: This is a short but very satisfying hike to a lookout over Maple, Beech, Boshkung and Twelve Mile Lakes.

Log Chute Trail and Interpretive Site

  • Map: LogChuteTrail.pdf
  • Length: 500 m loop
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead Address: 1584 Big Hawk Road in the town of Halls Lake – From Highway 35 North head east on Little Hawk Lake Road then turn north onto Big Hawk Road and proceed to the trailhead.
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0677409E 50000120N
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  • Description: A leisurely and scenic stroll which passes by Ontario’s ‘one of a kind’ historic log chute heritage site. This site features a real, full-size, operating historic log chute, picnic area, washrooms and interpretive displays.

Ridge Trail

  • Map: Algonquin Trails.pdf
  • Length: 8 km linear
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Trailhead Address: #1242 North Shore Road. Can also be accessed from the Alven Ferguson Trail access point (above).
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  • GPS Location: UTM Zone 17. T 0680558/4994116
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  • Description: Hike 8 km of challenging back-country forest and hillsides. Considered the ‘backbone’ of Algonquin Highlands, this trail connects many of the above hiking trails which can be linked to provide the experienced hiker with a lengthy and challenging trek. This is a true back-country trail experience. Please be aware that this trail is linear and the distance is 8km in one direction ending at the Circuit of 5 Viewpoints trailhead (see above). Ensure you have a trail guide map with you on this trail and pay close attention to trail junction signs so as not to mistakenly end up hiking onto a longer trail to a different access point. A car shuttle or some other form of return trip to the trail head is required to complete this trail in one direction.

Documents