This 2.3 KM trail takes you all around Peck Lake, proving once again that the Algonquin Park Trail Naming Committee has no imagination. This is a really nice trail. It’s more technical than some of the really easy trails off highway 60 (I’m looking at you Spruce Bog), but not so challenging that you can’t complete it while accompanied by a herd of five kids 7 and under (which is what I did).
Where is it? Just past KM 19 off Highway 60, when coming from the West Gate. There’s a nice big sign on the side of the highway and a short, steepish side road up to the parking lot. The entrance to the trail is on the west side of the lot.
How long is it going to take me? I guess it depends on whether or not you’re trying to wrangle a bunch of kids in varying states of meltdown. You could probably complete it in about twenty minutes to half an hour if you just put your head down and walked, but there are quite a few nice views along the way that are worth stopping and checking out. Give yourself an hour, then add ten minutes for every kid under 10 you’ve got with you.
What’s it like? It’s a nice trail. It hugs the shoreline of Peck Lake so you’ve got lots of different spots for views over the lake. The trail is a bit technical. There are quite a few ups and downs (particularly at the end of the trail where there are some steep bits with stairs built into the hillside). The terrain is also quite rocky, with lots of fun little obstacles to trip you up if you’re not paying attention. In other words, it isn’t a flat path the entire way (except where it is, because there are also quite a few boardwalk areas to get you over the swampy bits).
Am I going to get lost? No. The trail is very well defined. If you somehow manage to lose the trail, just walk down to the water and hug the shoreline for a minute, you’ll pick it right back up. (Hell, you can swim across Peck Lake to get out if you really need to).
Am I going to learn anything? The guidebook and points of interest are all related to the ecology of an Algonquin Lake, so I’d say yes, unless you happen to be an expert on lake ecology. If that’s the case, then no.
Highlights? There are highlights, right? I don’t know that there’s really any particular highlight that stood out for me. There are quite a few nice spots to stop and take in the view, but nothing like the lookout over Jack Lake on the Hemlock Bluff Trail that really sticks out.
Should I do it? Why not? If you’re looking for action/adventure and a solid cardio workout, this might not be your number one option, but otherwise, it’s well worth the visit. If you’re looking for a nice easy hike with some good scenery to get the blood flowing, this will scratch that itch. If you’re looking for a trail to try and tire out a gaggle of kids on, this will take care of that too.