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South Algonquin's 
Seven Seasons

From rustic adventures to tranquil, restorative retreats, South Algonquin offers everything you need for an unforgettable travel experience in every season - especially in the seasons you didn't know exist.

1. Winter Wonderland

December to March 

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!

a winter scene with water and trees covered in snow and a blue sky background
Woman in pick jacket cross country skis through snow covered pine trees

Nordic Skiing

A man skates by himself on a frozen pound


A man and women snowshow across the snow with trees in the background


A person in an orange jacket swings an ice pick as they climb a wall of ice

Ice Climbing

Four people with snow shoes hike along a snow covered path with snow covered trees surrounding them

Ice Hiking

A person in a black helmet drives a snowmobile



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.

A smiling older couple skate down a frozen river holding hands
A brown and white dog looks at the camera with a person wearing skis is shown from the waist down

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.

Ice Climbing

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.

A close up person wearing a red jacket and white helmet holds ice picks into ice
A person in all black clothing and black helmet drives a snowmobile


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

2. Ice Out

April to May

Experience the other-worldly view of South Algonquin's lakes as winter lets go its icy hold and the swirling waters start to warm 

Bark Lake 1_aerial_web_Dash8_Apr22.jpg

3. Spring Awakening

May to June

Warmer days and more sunshine bring on the unmistakable signs of spring renewal. The sound of trickling water, the buds on the trees, and the earliest of seasonal forest flowers show their heads for the first time after a long slumber. If you've never seen the forest in spring, now is your chance. Listen to the hum as flights of dragonflies chase their final meal before your eyes. Or let the glowing dance of fireflies in the forest at night delight your senses as you warm yourself by the campfire. 

4. Summer Adventures

July to August

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 women looks to her left while in the front of a canoe with trees and blue sky with some clouds in the background
A group of friends hikes a small hill


A father and son stand on rocks in a lake and hold fishing rods


A single child's head sticks out of the water with trees and the sky behind him


A person driving an ATV towards the photographer in a forest


A women in a baseball cap sits at the front of a canoe on a sunny day


A woman looks through binoculars with the sun beaming through her arms

Bird Watching

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 across all seasons. 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.

Wrap up your visit in Algonquin Provincial Park by walking the Logging Museum Trail, or take your camera along to Beaver Pond Trail


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 young man hikes down a forst trail wearing a backpack
A yellow-orange sunset over a still lake

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!

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Robinson Lake High Res.jpg

5. Leaf Season

September to October

From steady greens to vibrant reds, yellows and rusty browns, each leaf in the forest is an individual masterpiece of colour, and for a limited time each year, together they perform a symphony for the eyes. You don't want to miss the show!

6. The Silver Encore

October to November

Like Easter eggs in the credits at the end of your favourite movie, South Algonquin's silver encore carries with it a thousand shades of grey, set against the backdrop of the rusty oak leaves and yellow tamaracks. Long after the crowds have been replaced by calm and quiet, a strikingly different performance of colour remains, delighting your senses to the fullest. 


7. Winter Prelude

November to December

Just after the busy tourist season ends, and just before the snow falls in earnest, there is a season of quiet. The animals are cozied up in their warm homes for the winter and have begun their rest, and the only noise in the forest is the hum of the wind. We take our cues from nature and look forward to slowing down, resting and restorative activities. We invite you to explore this season mindfully too!

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