Unleash Your Inner Adventurer on the Old Rail Trail in South Algonquin

Embark on an exhilarating journey along a fully accessible 40km trail following the magnificent Madawaska River in South Algonquin. Along the way, marvel at four breathtaking waterfalls and uncover side trails leading to awe-inspiring scenic lookouts.

South Algonquin: A young woman is sitting on an old train rail  Rail trails, once vital transportation routes for trains, have transformed into picturesque recreational paths that allow people to connect with history and nature. In the heart of South Algonquin, Ontario, lies a fascinating old rail trail, offering an exciting journey through time and the stunning wilderness of the region. Join us on this accessible multipurpose trail as we uncover the history, charm, and attractions of the South Algonquin Old Rail Trail.

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The Ultimate Multi-Use Adventure on the Old Rail Trail!

Group of young people are hiking in mountain Prepare for an adventure like no other on the Old Rail Trail in South Algonquin, Ontario. This extraordinary pathway has transformed into a multi-use, multi-purpose haven for travelers seeking diverse outdoor experiences.

Whether you’re an avid hiker, a biking enthusiast, an ATV adventurer, a snowmobile speedster, a snowshoe stroller, a cross-country skiing pro, or even a horseback riding aficionado, the Old Rail Trail has something special just for you. 

Hikers will find the trail’s picturesque beauty perfect for exploration, with scenic viewpoints and side trails leading to breathtaking vistas. Bikers can pedal their way through history, surrounded by nature’s wonders, while ATV riders can revel in the thrill of off-road exploration.

A man rides a yellow snowmobile through a winter forest When winter arrives, the Old Rail Trail transforms into a snowy wonderland, welcoming snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers. Feel the crunch of snow beneath your feet or glide through tranquil snow-covered landscapes—the choice is yours.

For those who love horseback riding, the trail offers a unique equestrian experience, allowing you to explore the serene wilderness from a different perspective.

This multi-use trail isn’t just about activities; it’s a journey through seasons and a portal to countless adventures. It’s a place where you can tailor your experience to your preferences, from leisurely strolls to heart-pounding excitement.

So, pack your gear, bring your enthusiasm, and embark on the Old Rail Trail adventure—a trail that promises endless possibilities for travelers looking to experience the great outdoors in South Algonquin, Ontario.

Also read: 9 Hotels Near Algonquin Park and Other Places to Stay

Waterfalls and Lookouts On The Old Rail Trail

Adventurers who take the Old Rail Trail its entire distance will visit no fewer than four stunning waterfalls along the way. These breathtaking sights offer a refreshing break during your getaway. 

The trail, which follows a typically flat plane, also boasts side trails that take you up to mountain vistas, making it a perfect adventure for outdoor enthusiasts looking for an extra challenge, and no matter what sport you take along the route.

Accessible Hiking in South Algonquin

What truly sets the Old Rail Trail apart is its accessibility. Thanks to the South Algonquin Business Alliance and recent investments from the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance and the government of Canada, it has been designed to multi-season, multi-use standards, which means it is fully accessible for people with mobility challenges, making it a trail that can be enjoyed by everyone. That means that whether you’re walking, biking, ATVing, skiing or snowmobiling, this is the perfect trail for you.

Did you know that you can borrow equipment FREE from Algonquin Accommodations? We offer free bikes, canoes, kayaks, snowshoes and more! 

man fishing with a fishing rod in the river
With safety helmet. TV driver is in the forest, having a ride at daytime
snowmobile trails Ontario

Trail Activities in South Algonquin

This trail is designed as a multipurpose trail:

The Old Rail Trail also provides fun opportunities for fishing and kayaking, making it an ideal destination for those who love to be near the water. The Madawaska River is home to a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, and pike. The trestle at Rapid Lake provides an excellent location to capture views of the milky way, so even stargazers will find the trail attractive.

Also read: Exploring Algonquin Park Through the East Gate

Legs of male cyclist riding bike by forest trail

Enjoy Complimentary Bike, Snowshoe, and Canoe Rentals with Your Stay at Algonquin Accommodations!



Exploring the Old Rail Trail in South Algonquin offers not only a journey through history and natural beauty but also the thrilling opportunity to encounter the region’s diverse wildlife. As you venture along this multi-use trail, keep your eyes peeled for some of the area’s most iconic creatures.

One of the trail’s frequent visitors is the majestic Great Blue Heron, gracefully wading in the waters of the Madawaska River. Their striking appearance and calm demeanor make them a captivating sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Lynx in winter

Venturing deeper into the wilderness, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive and mysterious creatures of the forest. Keep an ear out for the eerie howls of wolves echoing through the woods, a testament to the thriving predator-prey relationship within the ecosystem.

If you’re incredibly fortunate, you might even spot the elusive Lynx, with its distinctive tufted ears and keen hunting instincts. These solitary cats are seldom seen but leave their mark on the wilderness.

The true monarchs of the northern woods, the moose and deer, often make appearances near the trail, especially during dawn and dusk. Their graceful movements and impressive antlers are a sight to behold, adding to the enchantment of your journey.

The Old Rail Trail serves as a nature lover’s paradise, offering a chance to witness these remarkable creatures in their natural habitat. Remember to maintain a respectful distance, bring your binoculars and camera, and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of South Algonquin’s wilderness.

See Also: Winter Hiking Wonders: Unveiling Algonquin Park’s Snowy Secrets – Algonquin Accommodations

Consider Joining a Group

Paramedics from mountain rescue service provide operation outdoors in winter in forest.

Exploring the Old Rail Trail in South Algonquin is not just an individual adventure; it’s an opportunity to connect with like-minded enthusiasts by joining various groups that share your passion for outdoor activities. Whether you’re into snowmobiling, ATV riding, or both, there are vibrant communities eager to welcome you.

For snowmobilers, the Old Rail Trail becomes a winter wonderland, with well-groomed trails that beckon adventure seekers. Joining the Snow Country Snowmobile Region group (https://snowcountrysnowmobileregion.ca/) opens doors to a network of fellow snowmobilers who share tips, plan group rides, and offer camaraderie on the trail. It’s a fantastic way to make new friends while exploring the snowy landscapes of South Algonquin.

ATV on the mountain road in forest causing erosion problem for environment  If ATV riding is more your style, there are two fantastic groups to connect with. The first is a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/207809926233281/) dedicated to ATV enthusiasts in the area. Here, you can exchange experiences, find riding buddies, and stay updated on local events and trails. Additionally, the Renfrew County ATV club (https://www.renfrewcountyatv.ca/) offers organized rides, trail maps, and a community of riders passionate about exploring the Old Rail Trail and surrounding areas on their ATVs.

By joining these groups, you’ll not only enhance your trail experience but also become part of a thriving community of outdoor enthusiasts. Together, you can embark on memorable adventures, share stories, and make the most of your time on the Old Rail Trail.


Top Lodging Choices for Your Old Rail Trail Adventure

The adventure doesn’t end when you leave the trail. At Algonquin Accommodations, we offer a range of accommodations to suit every need and budget. 

Our Rolling Rapids Motel now offers four newly renovated waterfront units that are fully accessible for those with mobility challenges. These units boast stunning new bathrooms with widened doorways, grab bars, and zero clearance showers, making them ideal for guests who want to enjoy a comfortable and convenient stay with us.

Your stay comes with a free park pass to let you also explore nearby Algonquin Park at no extra cost, and FREE rental equipment to match the season and help you get out on the trails. Whether you’re looking for snowshoes or bicycles or something in between, we’ve got you covered. In summer, trail and beach accessible wheelchairs are also available for borrowing at no charge through Four Corners Algonquin down the street. Hands down we offer the best value around.

Are you ready to find your path to adventure on the Old Rail Trail in South Algonquin? Book your stay now at www.algonquinpark.com and experience the best of Ontario’s wilderness.

A view of the Dream Catcher Motel with a forest behind and pine trees and stone driveway in front.
The outside of the Inside Out Cabin at the Dream Catcher Motel
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