We spent most of the day in Algonquin Park last Friday. Even though our favorite little trail, Whiskey Rapids, was flooded and it was cold and grey, it ended up being a great day. There was something about the moody weather, the chill in the air, and the smell of the wet, damp leaves that made the trails feel a little magical. Not to mention the glorious absence of bugs!
Our original plan was to do a 6 hour hike of Mizzy Lake, one of the longer interpretive trails. Since my leg isn't 100%, we decided to make things a little easier and just hiked a little bit of Mizzy Lake before checking out some of the short, easy trails we haven't seen yet.
What's great about Mizzy Lake is that it's supposed to be one of the best trails for seeing wildlife. We still haven't seen anything overly exciting, but we are already planning another trip next year to finally complete the whole loop.
We were pretty happy with our woodpecker sighting, until we walked back to the car. The hiker parked next to us was starry-eyed and asked us if we had seen the big, beautiful bear, too. You could tell he was still awestruck and starry-eyed. I'm still not sure if I'm envious of him or happy we didn't see any bears. I kind of like to view things that can eat me from extremely safe distance, like on TV.
After Mizzy Lake, we went to Two Rivers Trail. It's only 2.1 km, but it has fantastic view of the forest from a cliff.
The view was beautiful. I imagine the hills look like they are on fire when the leaf colors peak.
We met a little chipmunk who was desperately (adorably) trying to stuff a triangular cracker into his cheeks. He wasn't successful, but he finally ran off with it in his mouth and stored it. Can't pass up a sweet find like that!
After our warm, fuzzy encounter with the chipmunk, we ran into a very angry red squirrel. Which is kind of like saying, "I woke up today and the earth was round and the grass was green and there were 24 hours in a day." If you've never met a red squirrel before, you learn quickly that they are tiny territorial jerks. This one kept following me around a tree cackling and spitting and hissing. I'm 85% sure he would have jumped on my head if he could have.
After we took a bunch of picture of Mr. Grumps and laughed at him, we started off towards the end of the trail. All of a sudden, another chipmunk came running out of the underbrush and up to my feet.
He ended up escorted us out of the trail. He would come up to our feet, run a few feet ahead of us, and then run back. It was fun at first, until we realized he was just looking for food.
Our final trail for the day was Peck Lake. It's a quick 1.9 km trail that goes around Peck Lake. There was a busload of tourists walking it with us, so it wasn't as relaxing. You could hear lots of shouting and talking from across the lake, so we knew we wouldn't be seeing any wildlife whatsoever. But the views were pretty and the lake looked so peaceful.
I can't wait until next year already. There are so many trails and things that we still want to do, including camping. That's the wonderful thing about Algonquin Park, it's huge and there's so much to do for so many different types of people. I was leafing through the park information guide and found out that you can even stay in old ranger cabins. Some of them take a day or two to get to and some are accessible by car. You better believe I've already scouted out a couple to try!