I will remember October for becoming a highlight in fall season for me. Not only it was a start of new exciting stage in my life, but also the time of colourful explorations.
I was searching for new travel ideas around Ontario when Algonquin Park came into my mind. I decided to follow that urge.
So, here we are, sitting in the car with my friends and looking forward to new adventures. It was cloudy and gloomy outside compared to previous days, but deep inside I was happy about that. For me, that meant I would have a chance to take pictures the way I like it the most - shady and moody.
Life gets pretty chaotic sometimes, but when it comes to planning a new trip, I try to be organized. I looked up the best way to explore Algonquin browsing different blogs and websites. It takes about three hours from Toronto to get there. The most effective way was to follow Highway 60 entering park through its West Gate. Here, at Visitor Information stop, you can grab a free map of different trail routes on you way east. Also, be ready to pay $17 (CAD) for parking permit which allows you to park anywhere for the whole day. So yes, it makes sense to travel with some buddies to split the fare.
Hiking trails differ in length and level of difficulty. We left Toronto pretty late that day, so we could only explore just a few hiking loops there. Yet, it totally worth it. We explored Whiskey Rapids, Hardwood Lookout and Track & Tower Trail.
I was amazed by the colours coming into my sight. These shady forests, little cozy corners, vivid pine trees, narrow creeks, moody weather - everything made me feel like in fairytale from my childhood. I swear I wouldn't be surprised if I saw some mystical creatures that day. I for sure felt like one.
However, my favourite part of each trip is the kind of thoughts it awakes in me. I'd like to quote a little note I wrote after coming back that day:
"For me, travelling was never only about seeing new places and taking pictures. Every time I go somewhere, my journey outside turns into exploration inward. This neverending discovery and wandering inside myself connects me with the world in a completely unexpected way. Shady forest corners, still lakes, hidden trails, scenic views, rustling leaves, flatlands and hills, foggy mornings, misty weather, sunlight through the branches - all these little moments slow down the time, and I finally become one with our planet. So, rather than considering myself a citizen or human being, I just feel like being an earthling."
I meant every word.
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.