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Highland Backpacking Trail

Highland Backpacking Trail

Provoking Lake on the HBT

On the Western Uplands Trail

On the Western Uplands Trail

Islet Lake on the WUBT

Updated: January 12th, 2024

"Dudley Do Hike" (Bruce) has produced a YouTube video of his late October 2021 two day solo hike of the larger loop of the Highland Backpacking Trail.

The trip was originally planned for two nights. However, with the weather hovering around the freezing mark and a forecast of the third day being solid rain, he opted to skip the second night.

"Neeland" is a member of the Algonquin Adventures Forum Group. Here's the link to his online photo trip-log of his Highland Trail, Algonquin Sept 2011 trip .. an overnight 35 km solo backpacking trip at the beginning of September 2011.

The trip-log includes 30 photos in fully-featured Smugmug format! The images can also be viewed as a slideshow. Each image has its own caption.

Neeland's photos are very successful in capturing the unique qualities of this backcountry trail!

Western Uplands Backpacking Trail

'Martin G', hiked a three night loop of the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail's outer perimeter, and produced the following YouTube Video of it .. "Western Uplands Backpacking Trail, September 2022".

"While it is perhaps not the most scenic hike in Ontario, it is a beautiful trail. The best time to do it is the fall. No bugs, perfect temps, and fewer people. Unfortunately, I had quite a bit of rain too. Thanks to Hiker 72 for all his contributions to this forum and for sharing advice about the trail."

'Krista Petrie-Wallace', with her husband Glenn and another couple, took four days in August 2020 to complete the longest third loop of the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail .. "Western Uplands Backpacking Trail".

"Although our trip had 4 days straight of sun, it was apparent that the trail had recently been exposed to rain as the mud puddles were quite saturated meaning one misstep and you could end up with a soaker! The most prominent feature in this section is 'Bean's Boulder', a massive erratic that is parked right beside the trail that we conveniently used as an excuse for a rest stop."

'Richard VanDerd' has posted a photo-intensive trip-log of his .. Western Uplands Northern Loop - October 19-21, 2018, with over-nights on Loft and North Pincher Lakes.

"West Otterpaw creek proved to be a particular challenge due to the swelled streams. The options were crossing on top of a beaver dam or over some partially submerged rocks downstream. I thought the beaver dam would be the best option. I thought wrong. The volume of water cascading over the dam gave me a semi-soaker, and so precarious rock hopping proved to be less of a challenge after all. Nearing West Otterpaw Lake, the trail appeared to cross another small stream and continue straight on. Soon after I crossed however, the trail ended and I could not see any well travelled footpath."

'Richard VanDerd' has posted a photo-intensive trip-log of his 77 kilometer ALS Memorial Hike - May 30 to June 1, 2014.

The weather was pretty much perfect, but the black flies and mosquitoes were both at their peak.

".. my camp at East End Lake is getting close. Unfortunately, I spot 2 bear cubs about 30 metres away just as I arrive there - they climb a dead tree in panic of my presence and I don't know where the mother is lurking. There's no way I'm camping here and proceeding on the trail would bring me closer to the cubs that are hemmed in by the lake on the other side - a bad situationÖ Avoidance is clearly the best action .."

'Richard VanDerd' has posted a trip-log of his May 31 to June 2, 2013 Western Uplands 3 day Solo Hike - Third Loop Via Rain Lake .

Having hiked the trail's southern stretches the previous year, he applied lessons he learned then.

"The swamp in question was really the diameter of a small lake. The typical backcountry boardwalk is in place to pass over it, but I was shocked to see much of it was now completely submerged. Bushwhacking wasn't much of an option here, so I carefully began to step my way across. The logs were semi-floating in spots, and I used my hiking poles to steady myself as best I could."

'Neeland' has posted a photo trip-log of his Western Uplands 2nd Loop Oct 8-11, 2013 solo hike.

The trip-log contains 49 high-definition photos and descriptive captions, and are in fully-featured Smugmug format!

The images can also be viewed as a slideshow.

There's a very detailed description of Thomas Prade's (of Braunschweig University in Germany) two day hike around the 32.4 kilometer Loop of the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail.

He and four friends did the weekend hike late in September, 2000 ... camping at Ramona Lake, with a side-trip to Thunder Lake before their return. This trip-log is located on Thomas's own website .. www.thomas-prade.de.

"As we arrive on the campsite it is just that light enough to collect some fire wood and to pitch up the tents. As the fire is burning, we are cheering up. The last kilometers were quite strenuous, but a hot chocolate at the fire pit makes us forget about that quickly. With the darkness in this time of the year the shivering cold that penetrates everything is coming .."


Jason Chesworth took a 3-day solo camping hike on the Western Uplands Trail ... Western Uplands Trail Loop #1 May 9-11, 2012.

His first campsite was on Guskewau Lake and his second night's was on Norah Lake.

"There were lots of fallen trees that hadnít been cleared yet and presented some real challenges while carrying a heavy pack (yes, it was lighter, but itís still too heavy!). Some trees, you could just straddle over, but some required crawling under that would require taking the pack off. I did notice out of the dozen or so people that I encountered throughout, that I was the only one using hiking poles. I canít imagine hiking without poles and admire those who just hike using nothing but the strength of their legs. Having bad knees, Iím thankful for my poles several times every hour."

Rich VanDerd completed the second loop of the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail back in May of 2012 in three days, travelling solo ... Western Uplands 3 Day Backpack Tour ..

Rich has written a detailed blog account of his hike, including some photos and insightful "lessons-learned" about footwear, water-intake and mosquitos

"The trail was fairly rugged, and I once again hit a spot where the trail simply disappeared at a large beaver dam. I looked around with no luck, leading me to conclude that the trail must be at the other end of the dam. I stepped on top, carefully working my way across, realizing that falling one way meant getting wet and falling another way meant risked getting impaled. I was relieved to see that the trail continued on at the other side of the dam."

Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail

The Eastern Pines Backpacking Trail has 6 - 15 kilometres loops.

It is accessed from the Grand Lake / Achray Access Point. There are no trip-logs available yet.

The official park website has some descriptive information available at .. www.algonquinpark.on.ca.