This is less a hiking trail than it is an outdoor museum. It’s a short, easy trail that takes you around a small logging pond (literally) and back in time (figuratively, but maybe also literally? I don’t know how it works). Regardless, it’s a neat experience and well worth checking out. Just don’t call it a hike. It’s not a hike.
Where is it? Just past the east gate at about kilometre 54 on highway 60. The parking lot is on the north side of the highway and can accommodate many, many logging history enthusiasts at the same time.
How long is it going to take me? That depends on how into the history you get. It’s a 1.3 KM loop so, theoretically, this could take you under 10 minutes. However, there is a lot to see, do and interact with along the trail, so give yourself lots of time to enjoy the exhibits. Just make sure not to step off the trail, in case this really is a time travel A Sound of Thunder type scenario.
What’s it like? It’s a very flat, very well defined trail that takes you from exhibit to exhibit, each one related to the logging in (and before) the Park’s earlier days. You start off at the museum book store, then head into the trees where you’ll see things like a caboose shanty, the types of wood that was felled and, I dunno, other interesting stuff. It then goes around a small pond where there are more logging related exhibits, before heading back to the bookstore where you purchase many interesting (and maybe not so interesting, depends on how into 19th century logging you are) books on the subject.
Am I going to get lost? Lost in the splendour that is the history of the whole experience? Yes. Lost on the trail? No. The trail is wide, clear and you can literally see the next exhibit from the one you’re standing in front of. So, if in doubt, walk towards the thing that probably didn’t grow naturally in the Park.
Am I going to learn anything? You are going to learn everything (about logging in Algonquin in the 19th century).
Highlights? There are highlights, right? The entire trail is a highlight as far as I’m concerned. The exhibits are really well put together and they give you a good feel for what it was like back then. Well, without the brutal weather conditions, sardine like living space and, I assume, all manner of lice.
Should I do it? If you’re looking to stop and stretch your legs while you pass through the Park, or you’re looking for something to do with young kids, yes. If you’re looking for a gruelling test of wits and endurance, you should probably look elsewhere (after doing this trail, because it’s really interesting!