Centennial Ridges is hands-down the most beautiful trail in Algonquin Park.
Of course, it’s even better in the winter time. Similar to my advice on Snowshoeing Lookout Trail, you have to add extra distance due to limited winter access. In this case, with Centennial Ridges, you’re looking at about 15km of total snowshoeing distance! That’s a full day of outdoor activity in winter conditions. Plan accordingly, and be smart.
Where to park? Right at the gate. In summer, you drive Centennial Ridges road to the trailhead. In winter, they close the gate, so you just park at the gate! Note: don’t park on Highway 60, there should be enough room for a few cars in front of the gate. The Friends of Algonquin Park website confirms that parking at the gate is permitted.
Centennial Ridges is exceptionally well designed. There are 4 lookouts along the trail, and they are all evenly spread out along the way. It’s almost as if the trail is divided into 4 exciting chapters, each bookmarked by a stunning view. In between views you get a chance to see some wetlands and venture through hardwood forests.
It’s a perfect summary of Algonquin Park. To experience it in the winter is extra special.
This trail is definitely for more athletic and outdoors-confident hikers. If you’re nervous about the length, and if you’re still new to snowshoeing or ice hiking, there is a great lookout only about 2km from the official start of Centennial Ridges. Technically, after you see your first lookout, you could turn back and re-trace your steps back to your vehicle.
If you’re planning to do a shortened snowshoe of Centennial Ridges, and are only able to see one of the four lookouts, I would recommend to simply go to the ridge located at posts number #11 and #10. These two posts offer arguably the most iconic views that this trail is known for.
You’re looking at about 6km if you only hike to posts #11 and #10. Significantly less than the full 15km! For trip planning, check the map at the Friends of Algonquin Park.
Need winter equipment? Bongopix Winter Outfitting can help you!