This question assumes avoidance and confinement of food away from animals.

By 'established trails', I mean the settled, permanent paths/places for travellers, such as trails for:
Backpacking, Biking, and Interpretive Walking. (See this list for all 'Recreational Activities')

My uncle must avoid 'dangerous animals' such as black bears, wolves, and snakes.

This question excludes the grounds for Drive To Camping (but NOT Backcountry Camping), and Picnicking, because the presence of humans and campground offices make them seem safer.

  • 4
    By encounter, do you mean "be threatened by," "be injured by" or "I can see it through my binoculars, and possibly take a picture"?
    – Flimzy
    Oct 18, 2015 at 8:43
  • @Flimzy Sorry for the ambiguity; is my revision better?
    – user13759
    Oct 18, 2015 at 14:28
  • 1
    It's clear now you're trying to avoid, not find, these animals. I'm still not clear to what extent you wish to avoid them. I.e. can your uncle not see such an animal from a distance, due to a phobia or something? Or is he just unable to run from one? It's probably possible (easy, even) to come up with statistics regarding the number of injuries from such animals. Finding statistics about "encounters" which involved no incident may be impossible to find. So I think further clarifying exactly what type of encounter you're trying to avoid is likely useful.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • 2
    The operative word in your last sentence is "seem": populated campgrounds and picnic sites are often the most likely place to encounter animals such as bears, because they know that humans can reliably be expected to be there with food. Oct 18, 2015 at 15:05
  • Yeah, echoing @Flimzy, it seems unlikely that you will be able to get statistics to quantify "how likely". It's clear that those animals live in the park, and if you go there, there is a non-negligible chance of meeting one - so you do need to be prepared for that eventuality. Oct 18, 2015 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


From the Friends of Algonquin page on bears:

Although Black Bears are reasonably common in Algonquin Park with the population thought to be around 2,000 (about one for every three square kilometres) there is no particularly good place for them and you will have to be very lucky to see one.


In most cases, a bear will hear or smell you before you are aware of it. Even if you surprise a bear, it will most often flee the area. Reacting to a fleeing bear... Enjoy the fleeting sight of a wild Black Bear.

As for wolves, they hold "wolf howls" where they try to get a pack to answer, but throughout August and September of this year they were not able to find a pack that would respond. Your chances of seeing a wolf with your eye are therefore very low.

Finally on the matter of snakes, there are no venomous snakes in Algonquin. Any snake you can see there is not dangerous. I've been going to Algonquin for over 30 years and have never seen a snake there. (Nor, for that matter, a bear or a wolf, and I go backcountry.)

For the record, I have seen bears: in a park called Wakami (much more remote than Algonquin) and in my own backyard not ten feet from my deck. "Enjoy the fleeting sight of a wild black bear" is appropriate advice. I have only seen dead wolves, and not in Algonquin, but on Ontario sideroads. I hear coyotes calling almost every night in my rural Ontario property and yet have never seen one (again in over a quarter of a century) and don't feel endangered by them in any way. (They do eat cats though.) I have been lucky enough to meet a moose several times in Quetico, and unlucky enough once on a highway (we managed to stop in time but it was terrifying.)

Enjoy the trails of Algonquin. Do be smart with your food, and then stop worrying about animals.


We had a bear encounter on Red Rock Lake in Algonquin Park. We had our food tied up with a rope high in a tree and the bear was jumping up off the ground trying to reach the food but was unsuccessful. We yelled at the bear and it ran away, but later while we were in the tent we could hear the bear in the bushes getting closer and closer and we were between the food and bear, so we ran into the canoe and sat in the canoe for about 3 hours, but the bear was still there, so we got out of the canoe and threw rocks at the bear and it walked away, then we quickly packed all our gear into the tent and paddled to the other end of the lake with the wind behind us so the bear couldn't smell us at our new campsite.

This problem encounter was caused by the previous campers who left their garbage at this campsite. Warning: if you see any campsite where the previous campers left their garbage and the garbage appears to be scattered everywhere, don't camp at that site.

  • is Red Rock Lake on an established trail? It sounds like this was canoe-only, but the question is about trails. Jun 17, 2016 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.