Sunday, March 18, 2012

Trail Review: Spruce Bog Boardwalk - Algonquin Provincial Park

Trail Review: Spruce Bog Boardwalk - Algonquin Provincial Park
Length 1.5 KM
Location KM 42.5 highway 60 corridor

The Spruce Bog Boardwalk trail is probably the best hiking trail to take kids on during the winter while in Algonquin. Rule 1: Take a bag of bird seed or trail mix with you. Rule 2: Bring a camera.

From the parking lot, go to the left to start, not towards the section of trail that parallels the highway. At the start of the trail as you head over the bridge, you will immediately see bird seed all over the snow, mostly the hulls of sunflower seeds. Go a little further, to the first bend, and put some of your trail mix in your kids hands and get your camera ready.

Chickadees will probably be your first customers, but if you’re lucky, you’ll also get a visit from some Gray Jays. They’ll first fly to a tree nearby (close enough to take great pictures) then swoop down and land on your hand and snag some choice treats.

When I was a kid, I used to sit outside for ages with a hand full of sunflower seeds, hoping to lure some chickadees to land on my outstretched palm. It would take hours, but if you kept it up every day, they’d soon come down within a few minutes. Obviously, people have been feeding the birds on this little spot for a long time because both times we’ve been here, we had to wait only a minute before being visited.

The rest of the trail is a nice little walk across a long board walk and through some pretty forest. Though we tried enticing the birds at other areas around the loop, it never worked. Still, it’s a nice easy hike where a lot of people spot moose around the bog in the spring.

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