Logging Museum Trail – An introduction to the history of Algonquin Park

I have been wanting to visit Algonquin Park for a long time! This park is THE must-visit provincial park in Ontario! It is the biggest and oldest of the parks in the province, and it is also arguably one of the most popular. When my partner and I went camping near the park a few weeks ago, there was no question of us leaving the region without exploring it a bit.

Algonquin Provincial Park also has miles and miles of hiking trails. In fact, there are so many hiking trails there that I wasn’t sure exactly where to start. As we arrived by the East Gate, we decided to stop at the first trail we came across: that of the Algonquin Logging Museum.

And it was fitting, because the Logging Museum trail retraces an important part of the park’s history: that of its logging industry. This short interpretive trail was therefore a perfect introduction to Algonquin Provincial Park for us!

Algonquin Logging Museum Trail
Learning about Algonquin Park history

It was in the 19th century that the lands of what is now Algonquin Park began to attract the attention of logging companies, in search of the great White Pines, whose wood was then in great demand. The loggers spent the winter in primitive camps, they felled the tall trees of the territory, and in the spring, the logs were thrown into the swollen rivers of the area, by which they eventually get to the Ottawa River.


This history is explained on a 1.3-kilometre trail at the Algonquin Logging Museum. As we arrived early, the museum pavilion was still closed, but that was no problem, since the main exhibit is along the trail in the beautiful forest of Algonquin Park.

Trail of the Logging Museum
A glimpse of the past along the trail

Along the trail, you can learn more about life in the days of logging camps, the tree felling techniques that were used, and the methods of transporting logs.


I liked how interactive this hike was. It is possible to visit the old cabooses and stables, as well as climb aboard an old steam-powered amphibious tug. I also liked that there were many interpretation panels along the trail, and that they were bilingual (as my first language is French, I always appreciate when I find a bit of French along a trail in Ontario!).

Inside a amphibious tug
Inside the amphibious tug

It is also fascinating to learn more about the evolution of the logging industry within Algonquin Park. The provincial park officially came into being in 1893, but this did not bring an end to the logging industry. In fact, at the time, it would have been inconceivable even to think of stopping logging activities within the park.

Over the decades, however, perceptions began to change and in the 1960s, under popular pressure, the government set up a new forest management plan for the park, limiting, among other things, the areas where logging activities would be permitted (today these areas make up about 50% of the park).

A cabin along the Logging Museum trail
A mix of nature and history

In short, some of the park’s precious ecosystems are now protected, so that future generations can also enjoy the beauty of its landscapes!

Logging Museum Trail in Algonquin Park
Algonquin Park, you are so beautiful

PS – I was hosted by Four Corners Algonquin during my visit to the region. This campground is located in Whitney, near the East Gate of Algonquin Park. Four Corners Algonquin has several ready-to-camp sites (including very popular bubble tents), and the tents come with a daily pass to Algonquin Park.


  1. I love, love, love this park, Vanessa! How perfect to combine a hike with an outdoor museum. One day, I would love to visit Algonquin Park. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful week ahead!

    1. I’m so happy that I’ve finally got to visit this park, it is so big with lots to do and many trails to explore! Thanks for reading, and also wishing you a wonderful week! 🙂

    1. It was the perfect introduction to this beautiful park! We can’t wait to come back, there so many other trails we want to do 🙂

  2. Glad to hear you finally got to visit Algonquin. It’s one of my favourite parks and it’s become an annual tradition for us to visit every year, sometimes even twice a year. We’ve explored the Algonquin Museum Trail a couple of times. It’s a great way to learn more about the history of the park. It’s very well done.

    1. I agree with you, it’s very well done! We were completely blown away by how beautiful the nature of Algonquin Park is. We are planning to go back in fall to do some camping! 🙂

      1. That’s awesome! Algonquin is very picturesque in the fall when all the leaves are changing colour. The trails can also get extremely busy though. We’re heading to Algonquin at the end of the month to do some paddling and backcountry camping near Barron Canyon.

  3. This park and that trail look like the perfect place for a hike Vanessa. I love the interpretive exhibits. It is always good to recall how things came to be. Thanks for taking us there. Allan

    1. Algonquin Park was the first provincial park created in Ontario, so it’s quite important on a historical perspective. I’m so happy I finally got to visit it! Thanks for reading, Allan! Happy Canada Day!

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