Tuesday, September 18

Booth's Rock Trail, Algonquin Park

Yesterday Jim and I decided to make the most of a (mostly) sunny September day and headed over to Algonquin Park for an afternoon hike. We decided to do Booth's Rock Trail partly because it's off the beaten path so not as busy, but also because it's one of the five trails recommended by park staff specifically for the fall foliage viewing (the others are Centennial Ridges, Track & Tower, Lookout and Hardwood Lookout).

What goes up...
One of the great things about the hiking trails along Algonquin Park's day use corridor is the variety in trail lengths and features. A 5.1 km loop, Booth's Rock Trail is the perfect length for an easy afternoon hike. The park guide says to give yourself three hours for the trail but we did it in two -- and that was with stops for photos and a detour to the old Barclay's estate grounds.

The trail offered a good variety of sights and experiences, including stretches through dense forest and cool rock cuts; through hemlock stands to stunning views atop sheer cliffs. 

Some sections of the trail are linked with wooden boardwalks and staircases. The stairs down after the clifftop section are impressive. As we neared the bottom, I looked up and said to Jim "this is Casey's worst nightmare". Casey is the neighbour's basset hound. Bassets aren't big on stairs.

The last leg of the trail includes views and access to Rock Lake. By this time we were ready to sit and have a snack as we listened to the wind lap the water against the bare rock. That in itself is worth the hike. 

 The fall colours are just starting in Algonquin Park, with some areas already looking stunning in orange and red, while other areas are still predominantly green with just a hint of the colour to come. Lots more great hiking days ahead!
Jim and Saba on the cliff looking out over Rock Lake.
It's windy at the top!
That cliff face in the distance is the same one pictured above.

...must come down
Fall colours underway!
Remnants of a pier at the old Barclay estate. Now a great spot for an "ahhhh" moment.

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