A touch of tranquility
Ouse Lake, Algonquin Park, Chip Hamblin, Ann Hamblin

Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park is nestled in an area of Canada between the Ottawa River and Georgian Bay about 150 miles north-northeast of Toronto. It was the first provincial park to be established in Ontario. Some regard the area as Ontario's "central" region, others use the term "mid-north." Whatever you call it, the park encompasses about 7653 square kilometers (about 2950 square miles) and includes more than 2400 lakes and 1200 kilometers (about 750 miles) of streams and rivers.

Little Madawaska River Algonquin Park
The Little Madawaska River after leaving Source Lake as seen from Highway 60

Algonquin Park is noted for being in an area where the coniferous forests of the north merge into the deciduous forests of the south.  The retreat of the glaciers from the last ice age is responsible for the many interconnected lakes and waterways. Estimates vary, but it is generally thought to be the full or part time home of about:


  • 45 species of mammals
  • 272 bird species
  • 54 species of fish
  • 30 species of reptiles and amphibians
  • 1,000 vascular plant species
  • 1,000 species of fungi
Running across the south-western corner of the park, the Highway 60 corridor provides access to the park for tens of thousands of visitors. Starting at the West Gate, among the notable stops are: The Portage Store at Canoe Lake, The Art Center at Found Lake, the Lake of Two Rivers store, the Vistor Center overlooking Sunday Creek, the Logging Museum, and the East Gate. There are over a dozen interpretive trails exploring aspects of the geology, wildlife, trees, rivers, history, and animals of the park. Trails set aside for bicycling and cross country skiing are accesible from the highway.
The "other" Algonquin, is the vast interior of the park. Accessible only be canoeing or hiking, the park interior provides over 2000 kilometers of intecoonected canoe routes and hiking trails. This is where the greatest beauty of the park can be best appreciated. The interior is reached by using one of the many Access Points located in the park. The Highway 60 corridor includes many of these Access Points.
As a youngster, Chip attended Camp Pathfinder as a camper and later as part of the staff. Located on Source Lake, Camp Pathfinder is one of several camps for boys and girls on the Highway 60 corridor. It specializes in providing a balanced camping experience emphasizing wilderness canoe tripping blended with an in-camp program of swimming, athletics, nature lore/ecology, and even rope challenges. Camp Pathfinder was a major developmental factor in Chip's life.
The Friends of Algonquin is a charitable organization founded in 1983 whose purpose is to enhance the educational and interpretive programs in the park. They sell and reprint the official park publications, provide staffing for the Visitor Center and Logging Museum, create and maintain the interpretive trails, support much of the scientific research performed in the park, fund a Naturalist training program, maintain the park archives preserving the cultural history of the park, and host the official park website. The Friends of Algonquin is composed of over 2300 members and is a most worthwhile organization. Your support of the Friends of Algonquin is both encouraged and greatly appreciated.



Clicking on any of the thumbnails below will pop-up the corresponding full size picture.
Smoke Lake Algonquin Park
Smoke Lake Algonquin Park
West Rose Lake Algonquin Park
Tea Lake Dam Algonquin Park
Tea Lake Dam Algonquin Park
Tea Lake Fall Colors Algonquin Park
Jake Lake Algonquin Park
Source Lake Algonquin Park
Little Madawaska River Algonquin Park
Moose Algonquin Park
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Algonquin Park
Pitcher Plant Spruce Bog Algonquin Park
Costello Creek Algonquin Park
Opeongo Lake Algonquin Park
Costello Lake Algonquin Park
Moose Algonquin Park