The wife and I haven’t been to Algonquin, even though we have family friends near there who want us to come up. I was wondering about the traffic in that park. It looks like it is situated to get a lot of use from all directions.
Crowded along HWY 60
There are over 1200 campsites in the eight camping areas along the Highway 60 corridor in the southern part of the park. It’s proximity to Toronto, Ottawa, and North Bay make it one of the most popular parks in Canada. July and August are especially busy.
To avoid the crowds get an interior camping permit and take a canoe trip, stay away from access points near Hwy 60, and put a few portages behind you. Solitude is more likely as you go deeper into the interior. Accessing the park at Brent on Cedar Lake is a good location for fewer people.
Timing is everything
Algo has a lot of kids/teen camps and is a favorite for neophyte campers. So if you time your visit to dates before kids are out of school or when they are back in school you may not see a soul for a week.
I often go in early to mid June and marvel at the "ghost town" feel. Its really eerie as the connections with a hundred years ago seem really intense. Now June is the height of blackfly season and that alone deters many. As I live in blackfly country there is no way that any tiny creature is going to impact my travels. Just bring a good bug jacket and DEET.
The other time I like to travel is after Labo(u)r Day. Again most people have to be back to school and work.
I usually go to the north and east off Rt 17 as that is closest to me. Supposedly the least pressure from canoe parties.
Get the campsite map from Jeff McMurtries site http://www.algonquinmap.com/
and visit www.algonquinadventures.com. Click on forums if you have questions.
At any rate it is nothing like the BWCA in terms of campsite competition.
Our regular Algonquin trip is a spring fishing trip the first week of trout season which opens up around the last Saturday in April. That puts our trip either right at the end of April or the first weekend in May. At that time of year there is pretty much no one around during the week but every site on a lake is likely to be full on a weekend.