Start of 1,500 word article which includes advice on travellers wishing to stay in the park. More pictures available


Labour Day weekend: There is no mistaking the end of summer in Algonquin. The exodus of campers continues all weekend. Youthful park employees head back to universities. Youngsters are returned to city homes following a summer of outdoors adventures. And come Tuesday morning, things will be pretty quiet even in the well-traveled southern sector of this 2,983 square mile (7,725 km˛) wilderness preserve, 175 miles (280 km) north of Toronto.

Because of the tranquility and undisturbed beauty, Algonquin Provincial Park in Autumn is a very special place. With summer crowds gone, one doesn't need to penetrate the interior for a sense of wilderness isolation. Motorists driving that single highway cut through the park will be aware of the remoteness. It pervades campgrounds where noise is now a squirrel's chatter rather than a neighbour's radio. And deserted walking trails and canoe routes, within a few minutes of road or dock.

In Fall, Algonquin days are often warm and nights cool, and you'll not be bothered by mosquitoes. The fish are still biting in lakes retaining summer temperatures. You can sit and watch chipmunks dart about the forest floor, or a pale shaft of sunlight piercing the trees, and feel yourself consumed by the peace of it all. You can picnic in splendid isolation or in company at one of the resorts. Come nightfall you will sleep as one drugged, and when rudely awakened by birds at dawn be glad of a fire to have breakfast by. This is the power of Algonquin. The glory comes in two weeks maybe three, when forests will be ablaze with colors. Climb to a hilltop then and your view will be a vast fusion of fiery golds, reds, oranges and greens, studded with lakes twinkling in the sun.

Evening programs at Pog Lake Outdoor Theater, escorted hikes, organized moose meanders and wolf howls conclude on Labor Day weekend but everything else remains open through Thanksgiving in mid October. Facilities include resorts and campgrounds, outfitters, canoe routes and nature trails. Here's what you will find between this Fall.


Most of the organized campgrounds skirt lakes small enough to be warm and safe for swimmers. Several have beaches. Each site contains space for tent or trailer and a car, and is equipped with a picnic table. Some have hydro. Showers and comfort stations are nearby.

Essence of this vast preserve is its interior, that wild country accessible only by canoe or on foot. The park's 930 miles (1,500 km) of waterways are detailed in a map-brochure available in the park. Another describes overnight hiking trails, one with 12, and 22 mile (19 and 35 km) loops, and the other with 20, 34 and 44 mile (32, 55 and 71 km) loops. Interior camping costs $7 per site.


PARK RESORTS: etc, etc

ACTIVITIES, etc, etc

IF YOU GO: Algonquin Provincial Park is 3 - 3 ˝ hours drive from Toronto, north via highway 400, then highway 11 and east on highway 60 which cuts through the park. For current campsite rates and more information on Algonquin Provincial Park call (705) 633-5572 or visit: