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Algonquin Geology

by Eva Amsen

Algonquin Two weeks ago my sister and I went camping about an hour’s drive away from Algonquin Provincial Park, so we went up there for a day of hiking and canoeing. The hiking trails in the park are really great, and I remembered liking the Lookout Trail the last time I was there, so we did that one. The trail is only 1.9 km but it goes to one of the highest cliffs in the park, with view of up to 25 km in the distance. At the start of the trail you can pick up a booklet explaining the different Algonquin geology features that you come across during the hike.

The picture below shows a big rock that was dislodged about 11,000 years ago when the last glacier melted away form the park’s area. The rock was picked up and carried for possibly many kilometers.

Algonquin geology
Once you get to the top of the cliff, you get to see a huge part of the park. According to the info booklet, this entire area was once 20 km below earth’s surface. Erosion changed the surface over time, and the park is still lowering at a rate of about 2 cm per 1000 years.

The distant hill in the picture below is a cliff created by a crack in the earth’s crust. The entire area of the park was lifted up a bit a few hundred million years ago. The park is at 430 metres above sea level but other surrounding areas are only about 300 metres above sea level. When the crust was lifted up, it cracked in some places, and this caused cliffs and valleys to appear.

algonquin geology

We didn’t have time to do my favourite trail of the park: Mizzy Lake, which takes you past several animal habitats, but you can learn about the local fauna on The Science Behind Algonquin’s Animals

(Finally, I can’t be bothered to accommodate to the non-metric, but here’s a conversion calculator for those who want their measurements in feet or inches or what have you.)


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