There is no other village in the world that is connected to Algonquin Park by a pedestrian bridge. The Trestle is Whitney’s best kept secret. Right from Camp Bongopix, and from several other downtown Whitney accommodations, you can reach Algonquin Park in roughly 30-45 minutes on foot. Faster if you’re on skis or a bike. From the village of Whitney, a round-trip walk to the trestle and back takes about 2 hours (or less if you want to rush). Add more time if you like to take pictures or have a picnic.
This is a flat and easy trail. Best part is, it’s FREE! No park permit necessary.
The sunset viewing at the Trestle is fantastic. The Trestle provides a west-facing view over Galeairy Lake’s north arm. This is a very safe, wide, and flat trail, but it isn’t clearly marked. There are also no official signs. It begins at the corner of Highway 60 and Galeairy Lake Road. Look at the building that looks like a school (it’s actually a daycare now). When you’re looking at the daycare, the trail is to the right of the daycare. There is free parking available at the lot adjacent to Galeairy Lake Memorial Park – the park near the river with the military canon. This parking lot is maintained year-round, take advantage of it!
The Trestle Trail used to be an old railroad, so that’s why the trail is completely flat. As you begin hiking this trail you will see some other trails that randomly veer away from the main railroad trail. I don’t recommend taking any of these side trails. You want to see the actual Trestle, that’s where you get the best views. If you take any of the side trails you will end up going in circles in the forest and lose precious winter daylight. Stay on the Trestle Trail, follow the flat railroad trail, and you won’t be disappointed. This is a multi-use trail, so snowmobiles or ATVs are allowed to drive on it. Listen for motorists, yield, and share the trail fairly.
The first 1.5km stretch of the Trestle Trail is fairly straight. Eventually it veers to the right slightly and next you will be on a “causeway bridge,” offering your first views of Galeairy Lake. The good photo opportunities begin here! Continue on the causeway bridge and you shortly meet a road. Follow the road. If the road is exposed (not covered in snow), or if it’s very sandy, then you must remove your snowshoes or skis. You don’t want to damage your winter equipment by using it on a rough road surface. After 1km on the road, you will reach The Trestle, the magical bridge that takes you to Algonquin. This is a Whitney must-see.
You can continue snowshoeing, skiing, or walking beyond The Trestle. You’ll eventually reach a “Welcome to Algonquin Park” sign, and then you’ll meet the first checkpoint of Leaf Lake Ski Trail. Don’t forget that only skis are allowed on Leaf Lake so that the track is maintained. If you’re snowshoeing or ice hiking, please be respectful and don’t trample over the XC skiing track.
How far can you go on the Leaf Lake Trail? As far as you want! From The Trestle you can ski to Thistle Cabin. If you have even more energy you could ski the Fraser or Thistle loops as part of the Leaf Lake Trail. Essentially, right from Whitney you can enjoy a FULL day excursion on Leaf Lake Ski Trail via the Trestle. As I said, it’s totally magic. This guide will only discuss getting to The Trestle, but I’ll post in the future about the trail beyond The Trestle.
If you need XC skis and snowshoes, contact Bongopix Winter Outfitting! More photos below.
Thanks for reading, peace and love from Whitney!