Highland Backpacking Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#4 of 34 trails in

Highland Backpacking Trail is a 36.0 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Nipissing, Ontario, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 36.0 km Elevation Gain: 1,549 m Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

Technically challenging multi-day trail with several boardwalks to help cross muddy sections

hiking
bugs
rocky
25 days ago

JUST finished this trail. It was fun. Sites are nice, lakes piss warm so swimming is perfect. Honestly dont’t think I would go again in July. Absolutely DESTROYED by mosquitos on the trail, hike from Proviking to Harness was a buggy humid slog, there was only 1 real place to rest and grab water at mosquito creek, so start early. Do yourself a favor: Face bug net, loose clothing, pants and long sleeves, lots of high-deet bug spray, thermocell for camp, permethrin if you can get your hands on it. Or just go in Sept. Happy Hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

great trail. challenging. awesome overnight spots. bugs were gnarly. hills were tough. Parking lot is closed so the parking lot is temporarily moved to Mew Lake campground.

2 months ago

Some good sized hills. Mosquito's and flies weren't nice 2nd weekend in June and I imagine this will get worse however weather was perfect with a few muddy sections. Not am incredibly difficilt trail but challenging nonetheless. Site 601 Provoking Lake is horrible as the trail goes right through the site though!

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Hiked the 35km loop solo in late March 2018, loved this trail. Very quiet in early spring. I only saw a couple people exiting a day hike off the start and no one else! There were many little ups and downs, a few of which proved tricky to decline sometimes with a full pack, as there are icy spots at that point in the season, so a few butt slides were necessary. I opted to go without snowshoes, only hiking poles. There were sections through the back 3/4 of the trail that I wish I had snowshoes, but it’s not such a long trek that I couldn’t suffer through without them. Look forward to circling back to this loop one day!

hiking
7 months ago

Really enjoyed this trail, although it was a total challenge. We only managed to get out there in early November and we committed to hiking it in one day. We were able to complete it in just under 5 hours, but that was really pushing it because we were short on daylight. I wouldn't recommend a November hike because it was also very swampy. But the stony elevations and the views and the micro-environments were fantastic. Challenging but satisfying!

7 months ago

Great trail, great views. lots of elevation and good camping. recommend going in the fall

backpacking
7 months ago

I like going early May or early sept never any problem with bugs Faya and Harness are by far the quietest and most peaceful spots

hiking
9 months ago

Pretty typical backcountry loop for central Ontario. Views are good but not spectacular. Terrain is fairly challenging if you're carrying several days of supplies but not that rewarding as it doesn't lead to any terribly special locations.

9 months ago

So beautiful and well groomed campsites! Very peaceful.

backpacking
11 months ago

Trail is well maintained and well marked easy to navigate. Some of the wood bridges need to be rebuilt. Views were ok, spent all of the second day in thick brush/vegetation. Campsites are dated and could use a revamp, most do not have anywhere to sit or a proper fire pit. It was a fun and challenging trail but I doubt I'll do it again.

backpacking
11 months ago

LOVED this trail!!! Just came back from a solo trek along Highland Backpacking Trail ... Technically challenging trail with many hills, rocks, streams, roots; beautiful campsites along Head Lake and Harness Lake! Provoking Lake has some great campsites as well (a few more sites and seems a bit busier... sound does travel! But far less noise than staying in a typical campground!) ... overall I had an amazing experience hiking the two-day trek along this trail! It was well marked, and almost no bugs at this time of year! (The only section where I noticed any bugs at all was the area of the trail near Mosquito Lake... possibly where the name comes from??) Definitely recommend this trail to anyone seeking a good technically challenging multi-day hike! This trail is also great for first time multi-day hikers because it is well marked with boardwalks to help cross the muddy sections, and even at a slower pace you can get to a campsite on Head Lake by mid afternoon (or just stick to the first loop around Provoking Lake!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

This is a great trail but be forewarned that as of this date, the map on AllTrails is incorrect. The first intersection is not where it shows on this map it is south of Starling Lake. Hiked the big loop in 3 days (2 nights) with my 2 boys. Lucky to see a moose at Head lake on the 2nd night.

hiking
Sunday, June 17, 2018

Great and easy trail, some wildlife and great campsite on the lake !

backpacking
Thursday, March 01, 2018

Great. Trail ,lots of contrasting scenery and well marked

backpacking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tough for a first timer on a solo hike, but the campsites are great.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hiked this one in spring 2016 when some ice/snow still on the trail. Did the larger loop in 2nights/3days. Only encountered 1 other hiker (another solo female going opposite way). Saw several deer along the way and a moose visited my camp at night. This was my first solo multi-day and I'll never forget it!

backpacking
Thursday, October 13, 2016

Loved it!

backpacking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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!

hiking
6 days ago

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