Early Fall in Algonquin Park
We arrived at the park to enjoy the last couple days of summer followed by the first 10 days of fall. The fall weather continued in the same fashion as our summer with unusually warm days and evenings. For us, the days were a little too warm and sunny for this time of year. We had a few cool mornings in the beginning of our visit that provided us with some beautiful misty mornings. But soon the nights were much warmer and we experienced double digit temperatures for most of the trip.
The weather did, however, allow us to enjoy some great hiking, biking and paddling and evenings around the campfire.
Misty Morning on Lake of Two Rivers Photo by Kathy deGroot
A View From Our Campsite Photo by Tony deGroot
Staying off the highway was the plan for the weekends so we took advantage of the Old Railway Bike Trail and did some paddling on the Madawaska River, Smoke Creek, Tea Lake and Bonita Lake. We did a day hike from our Lake of Two Rivers campsite to Provoking Lake on the Highland Backpacking Trail enjoying the beautiful views, fall wildflowers and fungi. On the week days we hiked some of the established trails and areas.
Because of the frost-free nights, the park still had a nice variety of wildflowers. There were Black-eyed Susans, Evening Primrose, Hawkweed, Viper’s Bugloss, Bladder Campion, Common Toadflax, Pearly Everlasting, Bunchberry, Common Mullein, Wood Basil and a variety of blooming Asters. Along Highway 60, the roadsides were adorned with a great display of bright yellow Goldenrod. The Park’s fungi were fabulous this year with many different species showing off there interesting forms, textures and colours.
Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) Photo by Tony deGroot
Psathyrella piluliformis Photo by Tony deGroot
The fall bird migration was in full swing. Sparrow sightings included the White-crowned, White-Throated and Chipping. We saw Dark-eyed Juncos, Rusty Blackbirds, American Goldfinches, Yellow-rumped Warblers, American Pipits, and Horned Larks. There were large flocks of Common Grackles and the American Robins were also gathering. Other birds include Spruce & Ruffed Grouse, Black Ducks, Wood Ducks, Common Mergansers, Wild Turkeys, Turkey Vultures, Pileated, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers, Brown Creepers and a Merlin. Of course, the Grey & Blue Jays, American Crows, White & Rose-Breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees were always around to entertain us.
Even though we stayed for nearly a fortnight, for the first time in many years, we missed the peak of the fall colours. With the average being on about Sept 27th, when we left on October 1, the fall colours were at around 50%. Perhaps the peak will be closer to Thanksgiving this year.
Since we spent quite a bit of our time doing other activities, we did not see as many moose as our comrades. We only saw one bull in the campground and a mother with two yearlings along the highway. Neither sightings provide much of a photo opportunity.
It’s always great to be in the park this time of year, reconnecting with friends, meeting new people and being immersed in nature. And even though we stayed for 12 days, we had a very hard time leaving. Algonquin Park never disappoints and we can never seem to get enough of it.
Rusty Blackbird Photo by Kathy deGroot
White-crowned Sparrow Photo by Kathy deGroot
Merlin Photo by Kathy deGroot
Brown Creeper Photo by Kathy deGroot