dogs on leash
This is not a maintained trail in winter you'll need to park at Mizzy Lake. In the summer you can just park at the parking lot. Despite being on a kilometer there is a fair bit of elevation gain. The lookout at the very end makes the whole trail worth it.
Old growth white pines!!! They are huge. As far as Southern Ontario goes to see a tree that wasn't logged in the 1900's is a very rare sight. The trail is quite easy except for the last little bit when there's a few large up and downs. The trail is quite packed down in winter hiking boots will suffice but it's always fun to strap on the snowshoes.
There's a few up and downs but for the most part a fairly easy trail. Great cliff viewpoint then the trail fallows the cliff or should I say Bluff. If you got an hour in the summer or 2 in the winter I'd suggest this trail. Its not on the Algonquin winter guide so it's less packed down so snowshoes are pretty useful.
The parking lot is not plowed in the winter but you can park at Mizzy lake and walk up. This trail is super short and the whole point of it is for tree identification. In the summer it's the easiest trail and great for kids. Its the same parking lot as Hardwood lookout so if your feeling you've got a little extra energy might as well tackle this one also. I saw a ton of moose tracks and excrement along this trail. My guess is it's a popular moose hangout in the winter because its not very popular trail in the winter.
My personal favorite of the three backpacking trails in Algonquin. It is two loop options 19 and 25km. Terrain is relatively challenging and a good variety of terrain and backcountry campsites on scenic lakes. I saw several moose on the trail when I completed this trail over two days, and even heard some wolves howling in the foggy morning!
Amanda M. on Big Pines Trail
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could. It is a nice backpacking trip, it's good that there are three different loops of differing length to do and two different access points. I enjoyed it as the leaves were changing colors. There were very few people on the trail. It is challenging, many ups and downs, but the downside of the terrain is that there really are no vistas or WOW moments/scenery. Let's face it - most backpackers want a reward for their hard work and sweat. There are some lovely lakes and forest scenery though. The trail is well maintained, as are the campsites. I camped at Rainbow and Maggie Lakes. I personally prefer the Highland backpacking trail over this one.
The trail is long, and I suggest doing the trail early in the morning (6am) as it will be cooler in the summer, and the hardest part of the trail is closer to the beginning of the trail. It can be very difficult at times, and there is lots of stairs. However, the lookout is breath taking, and worth the climb!