Booth’s Rock Trail in Algonquin Park: Hiking Guide

Booth’s Rock Trail is nothing short of magical. Guaranteed to bring out the outdoor wanderlust in us all, this is a must hike trail with endless sights. This trail was selected at near random, and I am OH SO thankful this one jumped out at us. A 5.1km hike of moderate difficulty, with lookouts, rich in history, and a true representation of our expansive foliage, this one is for the books!

The Lown Down

 

  • Distance from Ottawa: 234km (3 hours)
  • GPS Coordinates: Latitude/Longitude: 45.518138°, -78.399629°
  • Address: Booth’s Rock Trail, Rock Lake Road, 8 km south of Highway 60, Algonquin Highlands, ON K0J 2M0
  • Directions: Take the 417 West, continuing on Hwy 17 West. Take Hwy 60 towards Renfrew. Stay on Hwy 60 with signs for Eganville, turning left to remain on Hwy 60 at Bulger and Cobden Rd. Follow Hwy 60 through Madawaska. Stop at the East Gates of Algonquin Park (you can’t miss them!) to obtain a park pass. A short 20 minute drive will bring you to your next left turn onto Rock Lake Road. Follow Rock Lake Road to the end, passing through a campground on your right, to the trailhead.
  • Entrance Fee: Daily vehicle permit: $18.00*
    * Valid 9:00A.M. to 10:00P.M; free entrance for military and veterans residing in Ontario Mon-Fri; senior and persons with disabilities discount also available (
    http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/general_park_info/fees-day-use.php)
  • Parking: Ample parking at trailheads and other designated areas. Park pass must be displayed.
  • Total Distance of Trails: 5.1km loop, with opportunity to branch off and explore more sights increasing trail length
  • Elevation Gain: 184m
  • Washrooms: Yes
  • Cell Reception: Yes
  • Season: All seasons
  • Features: Look out, hiking guide at trail head offering a history of various posts along the hike, estate remains, abandoned railway
  • Activities: Hiking, swimming, picnics
  • Dogs: On leash: there are a handful of lookouts making this dangerous for even the best-behaved dogs – don’t risk it!
  • Suggested Stops: You must stop at The Moccasin House @ Opeongoutfiters south of the East Gates. Filled with beautiful handcrafted goods it’s never been easier to support local. : 29902 Hwy 60, Box 123 Whitney, Ontario K0J 2M0
  • Nearby Hikes: Endless!

What to Bring

Besides the 10 essentials and what GirlGoneGood would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:

  • Bug spray: having hiked this on a blistery day in July, there were some bugs, but I’ve seen worse! Bug spray is likely ample.

  • Waste bag: What you hike in with, you hike out with. That’s the golden rule, and if you see anything that’s not part of nature (like food wrappers) kindly pick it up to throw out later.

  • Swimsuit: there are a couple spots where you could easily pop off the trail and enjoy some swimming in what feels like your own private beach!

  • Picnic supplies: After a nice dip, why not sit by the water and enjoy a picnic, bonus points if it’s waste free!

In Good Company

While the trailhead was quite busy, I was happy to find the only company I was in the presence of was my boyfriend and a few passerbys at the lookouts and Barclay Estate. With ample room to spread out at both locations, we were left feeling uncrowded and largely unaffected by others. Get out and enjoy!

Booth's Rock Trail

Booth’s Rock Trail had me marveling at the views every turn. THIS is the trail to take when you wanted to be reminded of how wonderful Ontario is and how lucky we are to have such wonderful parks for our use. Grab a guide at the trailhead, which follows a theme of “Man and the Algonquin environment” and weaves a tale through history about Booth’s Rock Trail and its evolution from the 1800s to today. 

The guide talks about man’s impact on Algonquin Park as we know it and takes you through sites of old farms, expanding lakes, and historical sites. The guide talks about the Barclay Estate, an old estate home, which could be seen amongst the trees with its accompanying tennis courts and docks. Today nothing remains aside from some small remnants of man – take the trail to the left and marker post 10, and explore the point (psst: this is one of the spots where I wish I had a bathing suit and packed a picnic!). 

The trail concludes taking you through an old abandoned railroad route. While nothing obvious from man remains, armed with some context form the guide and an imagination, you’re sure to marvel at the power of man, but also the power of nature to recover.  

 

Booth's Rock Trail Features


The interpretive guide provided at the trailhead is an excellent resource – armed with the historical context of the land you’re walking on and the air you’re breathing in is truly what makes this trail magical. Check out post markers 3, 5, 7, and 10 to revel in lakes, ruins, and history.

Booth's Rock Trail Viewpoints

This trail really should be called “Booth’s Lookout Trail” because holy heck, are the lookouts seemingly endless and breathtaking! Overlooking Rock Lake, each at a slightly different vantage, each are a must see. Marker post 7 starts you off, and after that there are various jut outs to other fantastic views over Rock Lake!

Wildlife

Keeps your eyes peeled for the beaver dam along the abandoned railway!

Wrapping Up

No pictures here truly do this justice, make a trip out, tag @girlgonegood, and let me see what beauties you capture.

Grateful to Vickie for allowing me to do a guest post, I hope you all enjoy!

Melanie