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Algonquin Park Ice Conditions

Updated:

Algonquin Park Special BulletinApril 14, 2014 - Ontario Parks, a division of the Ministry of Natural Resources, responsible for the management of Algonquin Park, has issued an update for visitors wishing to use Algonquin Park from April 14 to May 8, 2014. Due to substantial ice depths and lingering signs of winter in Algonquin Park, normal spring operating procedures have been altered. For complete details see the Special Bulletin From Ontario Parks: Spring 2014 Update.


Fisherman's Point at Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park on April 18, 2014

Summary

All lakes in Algonquin Park remain ice covered with ice tight to shore (click the Smoke Lake image above from April 18, 2014). Fast flowing rivers and creeks are ice free and water levels are high. Park visitors should use caution around open and thawing waterbodies. Snow depth in Algonquin Park ranges from bare ground (0 centimetres) to 30+ centimetres depending upon the location. South facing slopes and open areas are almost bare, with north facing slopes and dense conifer forests containing the most snow. Algonquin Park's ice out is expected to be later than average for spring 2014 based upon satellite imagery comparisons and ground observations. Many experienced observers are expecting a May ice out date for Lake Opeongo (see below). Many roads to backcountry Access Points remain inaccessible because of snow, ice, mud, fallen trees, and high water.

Check back for updates as conditions warrant. For additional relevant information see:


Current Satellite Imagery

The latest satellite imagery taken on April 17, 2014 shows that all lakes remain frozen in Algonquin Park. Rivers with a great deal of flow both inside and outside Algonquin Park are flooding and becoming ice free. In areas of southern Ontario, high water levels are eroding the ice of even some large lakes with lots of inflow and outflow (click to enlarge). See below for a comparison of satellite images from 2011 to the present.

Algonquin Park Ice Conditions - April 17, 2014


On the Ground in Algonquin Park

Panorama images from various locations in Algonquin Park. Click for full-sized versions.

April 18, 2014 - Panorama Image of Lake of Two Rivers in Algonquin Park

Lake Opeongo Access Point in Algonquin Park on April 12, 2014

April 18, 2014 - Panorama Image of Mew Lake in Algonquin Park

Smoke Lake Access Point in Algonquin Park on April 8, 2014

April 18, 2014 - Panorama Image of Ring-necked Pond in Algonquin Park

Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park on April 7, 2014

April 18, 2014 - Panorama Image of Fisherman's Point at Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park

Fisherman's Point at Smoke Lake in Algonquin Park on April 18, 2014

A test of lakes along Algonquin Park’s Highway 60 Corridor including Lake Opeongo, Lake of Two Rivers, and Smoke Lake on March 16, 2014 revealed an average of 66 centimetres (26”) of clear blue ice in main lake areas. Please note that The Friends of Algonquin Park always advises against ice travel due to a range of environmental variables and the difficulty in detecting hazards.

Snow on Ground in Algonquin Park

The East Gate weather station is recording 3 centimetres of snow as of April 15, 2014. In reality, snow depth in Algonquin Park ranges from bare ground (0 centimetres) to 30+ centimetres depending upon the location. South facing slopes and open areas are generally bare or almost bare. North facing slopes and dense conifer forests contain the most snow.

Snow on the Ground in Algonquin Park


Lake Opeongo Ice Out History

Lake Opeongo's official ice out date for 2013 was April 30. Ice out for Algonquin Park's largest lake, Lake Opeongo, has ranged from as early as March 29 (2012) to as late as May 16 (1972). The current average ice out date is April 23, shown by the dotted trend line below.

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Spring 2014 Album or Spring 2013 Album on Facebook

Lake Opeongo Ice Out Dates (Data) from 1964 to present


Satellite Image Comparison

Below are satellite images of the Algonquin Park area from 2013, 2012, and 2011 for comparison purposes. Official ice out dates for Lake Opeongo are listed with each image.

Spring 2014

Latest satellite image (below) showing the Algonquin Park boundary and ice conditions in central Ontario. Ice out date for Lake Opeongo, to be determined.

Algonquin Park Ice Conditions - April 17, 2014

Spring 2013

Satellite image of Algonquin Park from April 15, 2013 (below). The ice out date for Lake Opeongo in 2013 was April 30, about a week later than the average.

Algonquin Park Satellite Ice Coverage Image 2013

Spring 2012

Ice out for Lake Opeongo in 2012 was record early (about a month earlier than the average ice out date). Ice disappeared from Lake Opeongo on March 29, 2012.

Satellite Image of 2012 Algonquin Park Ice Conditions

Spring 2011

Satellite image of the Algonquin Park area from April 19, 2011. Ice out was recorded on Lake Opeongo on April 29.

Algonquin Park Satellite Image of Ice Conditions 2011


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