Spruce Bog Trail (Algonquin Park)

One of the easiest and most delightful trails in Algonquin Park is this 1.5 km loop of the Spruce Bog Boardwalk trail.  It's really quite remarkable the time and effort put into making this boardwalk.  There are several different section that loop around giving you some excellent closeups of two typical northern spruce bogs.

Normally, one could see some really amazing closeups of bird species here, but it was really quiet and there were a few other people that had walked through the area within the last fifteen minutes or so leaving most of the wildlife scattering.

A Spruce bog is a type of northern habitat that is found in Algonquin Park.  There is an almost symbiotic relationship between the small bodies of water and the forests that surround you here.  I guess it could be described as a type of wetland but with a specific type of chemical properties with high levels of acid that comes directly from acid rain which falls from the sky.

There are some really unusual physical characteristics of a spruce bog.  You are safe up on the wooden planks that have been meticulously laid out for you, but if you really want to experience the adventure of walking on a spruce bog, you will find it's very much like being on a water bed as the whole area bounces up and down.

This happens because underneath there are floating layers of vegetation that have grown over small sheltered ponds and lakes.  On the surface you can see this vegetation in the form of moss or sedges.  Over time these plants become thicker and stronger.  In fact strong enough to stand on!

As I said though the wetlands are very strong in high levels of acid which makes it difficult for animals and plants to survive.  But as evolution proves to us, mother nature has shown to be very adaptable, and many species have survived these harsh conditions. 

So eventually, these Spruce bogs have evolved to provide food and cover for a wealth of bird varieties such as the Warbler, Swamp Sparrow and Fly-catcher.

Even in the winter months these Spruce bogs are homes to some bird species that do not migrate such as the Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay and of course the little Boreal Chickadee.

If you don't venture out onto the spongy, acidic ground of a spruce bog don't feel bad.  I didn't do it either.  Maybe someday but I just wasn't ready yet.

It took about 20 minutes to walk through it, but it was a very peaceful and great 20 minutes, so I suggest if you are in the area to stop and check it out yourself.