In 2009 we went to Algonquin Park for an end of summer camping trip. We stayed at the Rock Lake Campground, which is a great spot if you are canoeing or planning on hiking Booth’s Rock Trail several times. Otherwise it seemed really out of the way since the drive from the highway is quite long. We were camping with another family and they picked the campground so we stayed there too.
Beaver Pond Trail is along Highway 60 at kilometre 45.2. It is a 2 kilometre loop that takes you past two separate beaver ponds. This trail is an excellent example of the ecological benefits and effects that beavers have on an ecosystem.
The trail takes you through a variety of landscapes and gives you a taste of the Algonquin and Canadian Shield experience.
You will have to find a balance between looking around and keeping an eye on the ground for possible trip hazards. This is true of almost any trail you will hike in the Canadian Shield or northern Ontario. Between rocks, boulders and tree roots, hiking in this part of the province can be challenging but definitely worth the extra work.
Many of the trees have shallow roots since the soil is very thin in the Shield, with bedrock lying beneath.
This is a common scene in Algonquin park – winding trails that have to go around large outcroppings of rocks covered in moss and topped with vegetation.
Late in the summer we still found some wildflowers blooming. These asters, Daisy Fleabane, are a native plant and can be easily found from late spring straight through to fall.
Beautiful Algonquin scenery and reflections behind an active beaver’s dam on one of the rivers along the Beaver Pond trail.
Trees grow on top of the bedrock in the most impressive ways. Look how deep the pine needles are under this tree.
Ferns, moss, rocks and trees make up many areas in Algonquin Park. Many of the old growth trees were either logged long ago or succumbed to forest fires.
There are plenty of opportunities to climb rocks along this trail. These are some of the smaller ones. A few members of our hiking group climbed a two story outcropping that we found along the trail.
The top of the trail offers excellent views of the beaver meadow we hiked through earlier. There is a boardwalk through the meadow where we saw several dragonflies and frogs.
Along many trails in northern Ontario you will often walk right on the bedrock known as the Canadian Shield. It is a surreal experience to know that you are witnessing the effects of erosion caused by glacial movement billions of years ago. The Canadian Shield is among the oldest on earth and was once made up of very large mountains that have since eroded. The bedrock stretches from the northern part of the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean and covers more than half of Canada.