Explore the Seasons Unique to South Algonquin
From rustic adventures to tranquil retreats, South Algonquin offers everything you need for an unforgettable travel experience in every season.
Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating and ice fishing - locals know the magic that can be found in the winter months, and now you can enjoy it too!
Pack some skates and head out onto the ice while you’re warming your soul with a winter visit to beautiful South Algonquin. You can find information on renting ice or attending events at Madawaska Recreation Centre, or the Lester B Smith Recreation Centre in Whitney. Learn more about both at the South Algonquin municipal website under Recreation. Mew Lake Campground in Algonquin Park is also open for winter skating.
Skiing & Snowshoeing
Cross-country ski or snowshoe down snow swept trails and amongst some of Canada’s oldest and most majestic canopies. When our trails are covered with snow, they offer a truly magical and unforgettable experience. Rent an affordable pair of skis or snowshoes from Bongopix Outfitting and hit the Old Rail Trail in town, or the award winning Leaf Lake ski trail in Algonquin.
Eager for action and in love with a good adrenaline rush while being surrounded by natural beauty? South Algonquin, one of the most beautiful places in Ontario for ice climbing, is one winter activity thrill seekers will not want to miss. If you’re not up for the thrill of actually climbing at McCauley Lake or along Algonquin Park’s JR Booth trail, take a drive through the highway 60 corridor of Algonquin Park and be prepared to be impressed by the massive ice walls along the roadside.
If you’re looking for snow…we have it! Snowmobiling in South Algonquin is an incredible experience with reliable snow conditions averaging half a metre or more through the winter months along with wide and wonderful trails. Here’s where you can take a ride if you’re looking for one-of-a-kind snowmobiling experiences: Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs - Snow Country Region 6
From backcountry expeditions to relaxing day trips, we’ve got the beaches, the vistas and the trails to make your summer travel dreams come true!
A Hiker’s Paradise
Is outdoor sport and recreation more your wheelhouse? South Algonquin’s 800 km2 region gives you access to more than a hundred kilometres of walking and hiking trails through Canadian Shield forests. Located in ecoregion 5E, birds, moose, coyotes and more critters large and small find solace between trees that paint the soul with colour all year long: from rich hues of leaf-green, to evergreen, to the golds and reds of autumn, to a thousand dazzling shades of brown and grey, the forest of trees invite you to walk among them. Watch for upgrades to these trails over the next few seasons. We’ll be widening the trails, re-grading them, and making them available for multi-use and multi-season.
Hike the trails of the Spectacle Lake/Bear and Burnetts Mountain system and stop at the Lookout to appreciate the beauty of the world you’re wandering through.
Or hike the Old Rail Trail which runs from Whitney all the way to Madawaska and beyond - over 25km of mostly flat groomed trail. Cross the trestle bridges in Whitney and at Rapid Lake. Pass by the infamous turtle crossing - the section of trail that’s closed to ATV’rs and Snowmobilers to preserve the ability of turtles to reach the Madawaska River safely during breeding season.
There are so many trails to choose from that you can fill whole days with hiking if that’s your wish. Discover loops that will connect you to multiple trails and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way!
A Great Lake Escape
If you’re more of a water lover, our lakes are sparkling and serene for swimming and teaming with fish to catch. Our cotton candy sunsets in the summer can only be outdone by the snow crunching beneath your boots as you cast your lines down through holes in the ice in winter. A thermos of your favourite beverage will be your best friend no matter the season.
With beaches and parks in Whitney on Galeairy Lake, in Madawaska on the river and at Bark Lake’s Millennium Park, there is no need to go elsewhere for safe, swimming fun and sandy beaches. The bonus? Our beaches are rarely as busy as the ones in the Park.
On-lake and on-shore fishing is also a must whether you’re seriously looking for a local stocked lake or just playing around with your kids. You can borrow fishing gear for free through nearby Tackleshare sites, or rent canoes at Opeongo Outfitters or Bound Outdoor.
The Best Place for Stargazing
For those with stars in their eyes, South Algonquin has minimal light pollution, which means you get gorgeous views of the night skies all year long, weather permitting. Come watch meteors flash across the black backdrop of space and the surreal glow of the Northern Lights. If you’ve been waiting on a falling star to cast a wish into the universe, those who keep their eyes on the skies will have their chance here.
Great places to view the night sky, complete with parking and bathrooms, include Galeairy Beach in Whitney, or either JR Booth Park in Madawaska or Tom & Mick Murray Park on Bark Lake.
Or, venture over to Four Corners Algonquin in Whitney - a dark-sky friendly glamping campground designed for stargazer activities. Follow their site for updates on weather and anticipated guided tours, space events like meteor showers or planetary activity!