Fen Lake

West Gate, Algonquin Park
Posted on March 22, 2019 / 2187
Fen Lake
Listing Type : Cross Country Ski / Skate Ski
Note : Popular
X-Ski km : 18
Skate km : 6
Snowshoe km : none
Skill Level : Easy, Intermediate
Terrain : small hills, narrow paths, gentle hills, flat sections
Facilities : parking, warming huts, toilets/outhouse, drinking water, trailhead map, good trail signage, trails maintained, track set
Trail Fee : Yes

Length – 18 km

Cross-Country track set – 18 km
Skate Skiing groomed – 6 km
Snowshoe trail – none

Skill – Beginner to Moderate

Terrain – narrow track, flat sections, rolling hills, ponds, hardwood forest

Hours – daylight hours

Fee – Park car pass $17/day

Trail Map – signed with maps at junctions, paper map from gate house

Facilities – parking, toilets, snacks, gate house, warming cabin

Highlights – scenic, never boring, wilderness, ridge

Phone – 705 633 5572

Website –   Ontario Parks,  Friends of Algonquin

Current Conditions

Similar Trails – Leaf Lake, Arrowhead, Moose Woods

Local Clubs –  none

Access – Hwy 60 at the West Gate of Algonquin Park, trails located west of the parking lot. Pay at the visitors centre, get your map and go ski!

When you get to Algonquin Park, the Nordic trails at Fen Lake are where everyone goes. With 18 km of groomed track, skiers have 4 loops to enjoy.

The level of difficulty varies, with easier flat sections to moderate climbs and flowing descents. I found the grooming was well done.

The paths are a little narrow at times if you want to skate ski or need space to climb a hill. I was not sure where the 6 km of skate skiing was. Perhaps they had not groomed the trail the time I was there??

The Finlayson Loop 5 km is a good starter/ intro to this place. You start with a pleasant long glide down to Gateway Creek where it levels out and winds along. When you get to junction B, decide to return up the valley to your car or explore beyond.

Direction arrows on the map suggest you can get to the Cabin Trail warm up cabin on a level 2 km path. Light the wood stove if you need warmth and a rest.

If you can manage some moderate hills, try the 5 km Ridge Trail,  it is worth doing or head back and around on Loggers Run.

For the beginner or wee ones, the 1 km Heron loop by the road is perfect.

This hardwood forest feels open to the sky with patches of dense evergreen Hemlock scattered along the trail. I never got bored with the ever-changing terrain and scenery. Stop and just listen at some point… Yes, that is the sound of silence.

The West Gate visitor centre has a few things you can buy: ski wax, T-shirts, park pass, but there is not much open in the winter up here. So before you arrive you should get your food, lodging or rentals worked out in the Huntsville, Dwight or Oxtongue Lake area.

For those of you who are truly fit, adventurous and in need of more challenging terrain, head to Leaf Lake.

No Snowshoeing here, thou try Hemlock Bluff or Oxtongue River – Ragged Falls, both excellent loops to stomp on .

Opening Hours
  • Monday :Daylight hours
  • Tuesday :Daylight hours
  • Wednesday :Daylight hours
  • Thursday :Daylight hours
  • Friday :Daylight hours
  • Saturday :Daylight hours
  • Sunday :Daylight hours

Fen Lake trail map

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