Have you imagined exploring the vast wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park? I have too, so when the opportunity to go on a solo glamping trip for a night, I couldn’t pass it up. I’m a sucker for bogs, so my adventure in the park started at the popular Spruce Bog Boardwalk. I love this trail so much that I always return when I visit Algonquin.
This Ontario Park‘s bog was at the top of my list of places to explore – I love the kind of plant and wildlife that call this unique biome home, and I couldn’t wait to explore the ecology of spruce bogs. I had no intention of rushing through the trail but to savour the first taste of Algonquin.
The parking lot was almost full; this was quite the popular trail. As soon as I stepped from my vehicle, I could smell the bog – it was that of a wet dog. As a pet parent, the odour was oddly comforting. So I followed my nose, heading down the trail for a closer look at two typical northern Black Spruce bogs; the Sunday Creek Bog and a small kettle bog.
I stood and soaked in every detail of the trail after my first few steps – from towering trees to tiny damselflies – I couldn’t rush this experience.
I absolutely love moss.
I had barely walked 50 feet down the trail when all the green carpeting stopped me in my tracks. I started crawling on my belly along the boardwalk, getting oh-so-close to all that beautiful plant life.
I’m Lichen what I’m seeing.
Can you believe I (still) don’t own a macro lens? I’m always crawling around to get closer, but the subject’s focus is 6+ feet away with this telephoto lens – sans tripod, at that!
With my face so close to all that lush moss, I started noticing the mushrooms!
No. They weren’t magic mushrooms but seeing them in high numbers was magical!
It didn’t surprise me that this damp environment had many of them shooting from the ground. Laying on my belly on the boardwalk, I breathed in the moisture-rich air, marvelling at the plethora of life forms around me.
The Spruce Forest
The first section of the short boardwalk ended, and the land rose above water level into a stretch of gravel and dirt trail through the forest.
Crossing the Creek
I came home with over 400 shots from the Spruce Bog Trail, but I won’t inundate you with hundreds, but perhaps a couple dozen more photos from the boardwalk across Sunday Creek.
Mother Nature is an artist.
Continuing walking through the forest after crossing the creek, the late day created a dazzling canvas: sun streaming through the branches, casting long shadows across the boardwalk in a stunning array of colours.
Plant life clinging to the branches
Spruce Grouse on the Spruce Bog Boardwalk
A pair of Spruce Grouse came through the trees and across the boardwalk, disappearing into the forest undergrowth on the other side but not before I snapped a few photos.
What beautiful birds they are.
Sadly, I didn’t spot a male Spruce Grouse – their black and white feathers are gorgeous and showy with bright red markings around their eyes.
A Small Kettle Bog
A small kettle bog is along the last stretch of the boardwalk, just before the trail becomes graded gravel.
At first glance, the bog appeared grown-over with plant life, but then I could see a beautiful red carpet of floating moss below the greenery.
A trail booklet would have come in handy to read about this particular bog’s ecology, but alas, there were none available at the trailhead.
Last look over Sunday Creek
I had spent more than a few hours on this short trail, so I had only last, long and lingering look over the creek before wrapping up my slow hike.
I had big plans to explore at least four trails, but I only hit this one: the Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Late start notwithstanding, the rest of the day (and night) did not go according to plan, and you can read about it here: Mistakes I Made Glamping at Mew Lake!
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Algonquin Provincial Park Traditional lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, and, Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin)
#notsponsored – This trip to Algonquin was an out-of-my-pocket adventure! I’ve wanted to explore the park for years, and I finally did – with some colourful memories that I’ll never forget! I hope you enjoyed it! I’ve already started booking next year’s Ontario Parks adventures – I can’t wait to get back out and explore Ontario’s wild spaces!