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Five Days in Algonquin Park: Day 2 - Mizzy Lake Trail

A hiker stands at the trail sign of the Mizzy Lake trailOur first night in Algonquin brought sleep that was deep and restful. It was a good thing we slept well, because Day 2 was a hiking day!  Alex did a bit of advance research and chose a portion of the Mizzy Lake Trail as our first hiking destination of our Fall camping trip this year.


Algonquin Park's Mizzy Lake Trail is rated "difficult", and is promoted as a wilderness trail designed to provide hikers with a chance of optimum wildlife viewing.  For this reason, dogs are NOT allowed on this trail.  Would this be the day I finally got to see an Algonquin Moose?  
Spoiler alert!  No, I did not see a moose. In fact, we didn't see a single animal on this hike. But that's ok. Scrambling through mud and over rocks and tree roots, we felt as though we were on a safari adventure the entire hike. We saw moose and otter and coyote (or wolf) tracks and scat. In fact, as we hiked out from our chosen section of the trail along an old access road, we followed moose and coyote (or wolf) tracks almost the entire way back to Hwy 60.  Emma even stepped in poop. Which was gross, but exciting as well. Someone had travelled that road not long before us. For most of that section we were very, very quiet, hoping we would catch a glimpse of something, somewhere in the bush.

Otter tracks
We otter go this way.... One great thing about a muddy trail is the ability to see all kinds of tracks along the trail.
We saw waterfalls and creeks, Mizzy Lake, beaver dams and trees that had been drilled by woodpeckers. We saw and heard the wilderness and smelled that deep, green and red and gold smell that a forest only has in autumn. We knew the animals were out there. It just wasn't our day to see them.

a tree stump covered in moss and fall leaves


A hiker steps over rocks and roots on a trail
A lot of the Mizzy Lake trail looks like this. Mud, rocks and roots. Good shoes and hiking poles were a big help.

Hikers walk along a boardwalk
There weren't many boardwalks on this trail, but when we came across one it was a nice break from picking our steps through the muck.

Beaver Pond in the fall.

The hike was a challenge, and our Emma handled it amazingly well. She might have received a few more foot-soakers than Alex and I, but the Mizzy Lake Trail was a great opportunity to teach her how to pick her steps, watch her footing and find the best path forward without creating damage to the environment on either side of the established trail. Emma will tell you that hiking is boring. But this hike gave her a lot to think about as she tried to keep her feet dry and her eyes open for wildlife sightings.  She didn't complain about being bored once on this day.  And really, with views like this all around you, how could anyone be bored?

a forest trail in the fall


fall leaves cover the ground in the forest


Mizzy Lake with Fall colours on the trees
Our destination - Mizzy Lake.

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