Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park

Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021

Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park (try saying that five times fast), is located close to Huntsville, just outside the southwestern edge of Algonquin Provincial Park. The beauty of the landscape provided much inspiration to the Group of Seven. In fact there are over 40 known paintings by them that were painted on Oxtongue River and Oxtongue Lake. The park features a short hiking trail that follows along the rapids and offers a number of scenic viewpoints of the falls.

After spending the morning exploring Mikisew Provincial Park, we arrived at Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls at 12:45p.m. Entrance into the park is located just north of Highway 60 along Ragged Falls Park Road.

There’s a parking lot that can accomodate a large number of cars. There’s also a pit toilet and map of the trail system. The Ragged Falls Oxtongue River Trail is about 1 km long, so we figured we wouldn’t be here long.

After about a hundred metres or so, the trail branches off into two directions. We turned right towards higher ground as there was a huge group of hikers who continued straight. We figured we can explore this side trail on the way back. The trail weaves through the forest and up a ridge. Along the way we could catch a glimpse of the river through the trees.

As we neared the edge of the river, there were lots of large rocks to hop over and around for a better vantage point.

On the way back to the parking lot we planned to check out the other scenic lookout. Except we didn’t make it very far as the path was a muddy swampy mess. We figured we probably saw the best views anyway as this lookout is further from the falls. So we decided to skip it and keep our shoes clean and dry.

We hopped back back in the car and continued our drive towards Arrowhead Provincial Park.

L

My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here

49 thoughts on “Oxtongue River-Ragged Falls Provincial Park

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Waterfalls can be hit or miss in the summer. This one seems to have a healthy flow of water year round. I can only imagine what the river and rapids must look like earlier in the spring after all the snow has melted though.

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  1. pstachowski says:

    We’ve done many backcountry canoe trips in Algonquin Park and have passed by the Ragged Falls trailhead dozens of time without taking a hike. Now I wish we had! Our favorite Highway 60 hike is Track and Tower, one of the longer treks which we probably wouldn’t do again owing to aging legs. I think our favorite provincial park is MacGregor Point. Such beautiful Lake Huron sunsets and a really nice radio-free camping loop. Happy trails!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve passed by this park so many times when visiting Algonquin over the years as well, but I’m glad we finally made a detour to check it out. It’s a relatively short trail to view the falls, so it didn’t require much time or effort. I’ve only ever hiked the Track and Tower Trail in the winter, but it would be nice to return in the fall to hike it again to see how different the landscape looks, especially when the leaves are changing colour. We visited MacGregor Point for the first time earlier in the year. Agreed, it’s a lovely park and it’s always a huge plus to stay in a radio-free campground! Take care. Linda

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Oh yes, mud. That seemed to be the theme of that camping trip! Even when wearing proper hiking boots, I just don’t like stepping in mud. I hate hearing the squishing sounds and I find the mud makes everything so much more slippery. Thankfully the other part of the trail that leads closer to the falls was in much better shape.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s always nice to break up the drive and to have these little detours to stretch our legs. The trail is super short and didn’t require much effort to get a nice view of the rapids and falls. The trail was a little too busy for our liking, but thankfully once we got to the edge of the river, there are plenty of options for people to spread out over the rocks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. carol hopkins says:

    Huntsville is so beautiful! I never stopped there but remember wanting to so badly.At the time I was dating a fella from Burks Falls and we would take either a bus or a train from Toronto to visit his parents. Because of the mode of transport a stop in Huntsville was out of the question.

    I was intrigued by the name of one of the parks: Mikisew Provincial Park. Where we live there is a large population of Mikisew Cree. I wonder if their territory once stretched from AB to Ontario? Hmmm something to investigate. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos, always a pleasure to read and see.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your kind words. It’s a relatively short and sweet hike that provides some nice viewpoints of the rapids and falls. The only issue with trails that meander close to the edge of the river is that they are usually muddy. Thankfully we avoided the worst of it and still had some great views.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The water levels were pretty high when we visited. The one downside to hiking near the falls is that the ground can be muddy at times. I have no regrets about skipping the first viewpoint due to the mud as it probably wasn’t the greatest anyway since it was further away from where the action of the rapids was.

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  3. Ab says:

    Wow, Linda, this is absolutely beautiful! I didn’t realize something like this is so close to Toronto. I will definitely have to check it out. I can literally hear those river currents from looking at your photos!

    I’m also craving Caribbean oxtail stew now. 😆😂

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  4. rkrontheroad says:

    You had me in your first paragraph when you mentioned the Group of Seven. My brother lives in Toronto and we have visited their wonderful paintings in museums, and I have a book of images of their works. What exciting rapids!

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I have such a newfound appreciation of the Group of Seven after visiting many of the places in Ontario where they drew inspiration from. Once this pandemic ends, it would be neat to visit some of the art galleries in the province to see more of their work.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      I’m sure the river is even more ferocious after the snow begins to melt. The rushing water is always so captivating. Agreed, I can easily see why the Group of Seven visited this area often, especially given how close to Algonquin it is.

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  5. Lookoom says:

    You don’t need to turn the sound on to hear the tumultuous waters, your photos capture it well. I can see the attraction of the place for the nature painters of the Group of Seven. Now you live closer to the McMichael Collection in Kleinburg.

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    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s been neat visiting some of the areas in Ontario that inspired the Group of Seven. It would be fun to now visit a few of the art galleries nearby, including the McMichael Collection, to see more of their work.

      Liked by 1 person

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Haha, I’d say that was a pretty solid attempt! There’s something so comforting and soothing about hearing the sounds of rushing water. Sometimes when I can’t fall asleep at night, I’ll put running water sounds on in the background and that usually does the trick.

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