Skip to main content Skip to footer

Adventure Begins Here

Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower

About the Tower

Owned and operated by the Township of Algonquin Highlands, the Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower is located off Highway 35 just north of the village of Dorset.

The original tower was built in 1922, was 25 metres high (82 feet) and used as a fire lookout tower until 1961. The current tower was built in 1967 and is 30 metres high (100 feet) and was erected for visitors to enjoy the view.

Annually, more than 10,000 vehicles (60,000 visitors) will pass through the gates. In the peak Autumn season, it is not unusual for more than 600 vehicles to visit the tower in a single day.

Tower Live Cam

Visitors are welcome to climb to the observation deck, which is 142 metres (465 feet) above Lake of Bays, and enjoy the view from the tree-top lookout as well as ground level lookouts

Facilities include picnic sites, restrooms, a tourist information kiosk, a gift shop and a hiking trail.

Dogs, when leashed, are welcome at the Tower Park and on the Trail, but are not allowed on the actual Tower.  

The Tower is a "use at own risk" attraction. High risk use of the Tower and mountain is not permitted.  


Walk-up $2.13 per person

Car $10.64

Motorcycle $5.33

Commercial coach/van - up to 9 passengers $19.19

Large vehicle needing two parking spaces. (Camper/RV/Towable or a 10 to 15 passenger mini-bus) $31.98

Mini-bus and/or 16 to 29 passengers $61.83

Coach bus and/or 30 passengers or more $117.27

Season Pass. Two vehicles per household. Not for shared or commercial use. $26.59

10 pass package (vehicle) $26.59

* All prices subject to applicable taxes and are in effect from Victoria Day through the first Friday after Labour Day.


May 17 to July 1 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)

July 2 to Sept. 15 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last entry at 5 p.m.)

Sept. 16 to Oct. 14 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last entry at 5 p.m.)

Sept. 16 to Oct 14 (Weekends Thanksgiving Monday) 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Last entry at 5 p.m.)

Oct. 15 to 27 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Last entry at 4 p.m.)

* Final entrance to the Tower park property is one hour prior to closing. Please note the gift shop also closes one hour before the park each day. 

Tips for Visiting

Algonquin Highlands is a great place to experience the spectacular show as leaves change colours and visitors come from all over the world to see it. Here are a few tips to help you plan and enjoy your visit to the area:

  • The view can make you stop in your tracks ... but if you're driving, please don't! Always find a safe place to pull off and if you see a line-up of traffic behind you, consider pulling off to let others move along.
  • Have patience! As the fall colours get better, more people come to see them. Plan ahead, leave plenty of time, and make sure you have drinks and snacks to get you through the inevitable line-ups.
  • Be respectful of private property: most land adjacent to the roadways you'll be travelling is privately owned and unless you have been specifically invited by the property owner to visit, please don't do so.
  • Keep our lands and waters clean and free of litter and waste.  
    • Waste containers are not readily available in many locations throughout the area due to wildlife concerns, so be prepared to take your garbage home with you.  
    • Consider packing a "litterless lunch" - what's better than a picnic anyway?
    • Please leave only footprints and take only memories.
  • Public washrooms tend to be privy-style facilities, meaning they're fancy outhouses. They aren't abundant so it's best to freshen up when you can. If you wait to find indoor, flush-style facilities, you're likely to be disappointed.
  • Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)  and / or Municipal Bylaw Officers will sometimes be helping guide visitors and ensure that everyone stays safe. Feel free to ask for information and directions.

Sign up for News and Notices!

Keep up to date with everything happening in Algonquin Highlands by receiving regular updates to your inbox!

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.