Every meeting of the Algonquin Trails and Hikes Association (ATHA) always devolves into a shouting match between Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail and the Logging Museum Trail over who is the easiest. Eventually, The Western Uplands Trail gets fed up with everything and moves that both be expelled from the Association forever, but no one ever follows through. Anyways, yeah, the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail is really, really easy.
Where is it? Along highway 60, at around kilometer 43. It’s just past the Visitor’s Center if you’re coming from the east and just before the visitor’s center if you’re coming from the west. Funny how that works.
How long is it going to take me? Not very long. The entire loop is 1.5 KM of very flat, very clear trail. Even if you stop and appreciate all the nature on display, taking advantage of the very comfortable benches along the way, this really shouldn’t take more than an hour.
What’s it like? It’s great for what it is. You start off along a boardwalk through the forest, then turn towards Spruce Bog where you find another boardwalk that goes over the bog. The bog is pretty cool, in particular the solitary stands of black spruce sticking out here and there. After the bog the boardwalk takes you through a very wet looking forest filled with (I assume) more spruce trees, before turning back towards the highway along a nice dirty path. Along the way there are some scenic views and a couple of impressive(ish) rock faces to walk past.
Am I going to get lost? If you get lost on this trail you may want to consider giving up on nature. The thing is boardwalk like 50% of the time, and where it isn’t boardwalk it’s a wide, obvious trail. You’re never more than 500 or so meters from highway 60. If you stop and listen you can hear cars. You won’t get lost.
Am I going to learn anything? The guide, which was not available when I went through, apparently talks about the ecology of the area, so you’ll probably learn about that. Depending on the time of year you will also learn that mosquitoes really love bogs in mid June.
Highlights? There are highlights, right? I don’t think this hike is really short enough for highlights. The entire thing is quite nice, and there are some great views over the bog from the middle of the boardwalk. I also quite liked the black spruce that dotted the wetland, as well as the thicker forest on the eastern side of the bog. My kids absolutely loved the rock faces along highway 60 and asked me to take about 7 million pictures of them climbing on them.
Should I do it? Why wouldn’t you? you could run the entire thing in under five minutes. It’s a nice place to stop and stretch your legs in the middle of a long drive, and a great trail for beginners and kids. It’s so easy a two year old can do it. I know this, because my two year old did do it.