Hiking Barron Canyon, Algonquin Provincial Park

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Quinten Moulson
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Barron Canyon is one of the most beautiful sights in all of Algonquin Provincial Park. It is shrouded by the dense boreal forest and has many cliff edges that provide a perfect view of the beauty of the canyon. It is a photographer's heaven. The canyon overlooks a river which itself is accessible via canoe or kayak a couple of kilometres from the canyon trailhead.

Leaving from Toronto, Barron Canyon is a 5-hour drive with good traffic. Located on the north side of Algonquin Provincial Park, it is no joke getting there. On this day, my uncle and I decided to drive up and test out a new Canon lens I had recently purchased, the 24-70mm f/2.8L ii

Our drive began at 6 am from Toronto and we arrived at the Canyon shortly after 10:30. Google Maps provided us three routes to get up to the canyon. We noticed that the faster route was going around the park through Petawawa. Considering we still wanted to see some wildlife, we decided that we were going to drive around the park to get to the canyon and then drive through the park on our way home hoping to see wildlife in the late afternoon.

The hike itself is relatively short. It takes no more than 45 minutes to get up to the cliffs, however, it is an extreme incline walk.

We were fortunate that there was no one else on the trail and we could snap some photos.

At the moment, it felt weightless. Dangling your legs hundreds of feet above the soil. I would like to say it was scary looking down, but it didn’t feel that way. It was freeing. Without wind or noise to distract you, it was a time of pure halcyon.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Algonquin Provincial Park, I would highly suggest taking the extra time out of your day and making a visit to the Barron Canyon.

The beauty of the landscape and the time that you spend above this canyon is a feeling that everyone needs experience.

3 Things to remember

The hike is very short and is suitable for everyone. As we were leaving the trail, we saw a family had made it up to the cliff edges with their small children.

This is a photographer’s dream. So, make sure to bring your camera. Whether it’s your iPhone camera or an expensive DSLR, you need to have a camera to capture the moments and feelings that you individually experience.

Plan ahead. If you are like me and are driving from Toronto, this will be an all-day adventure. Make sure you pack appropriately. You can never have too much water, snacks, or clothing.