"A residence would be required for the chief ranger, and there should be a few rustic huts or houses built at various points in the Park for the accommodation of the rangers"
- Report of the Royal Commission on Forest Preservation and National Park, 1893.
At one time there were over 135 ranger huts strategically placed throughout Algonquin Park. These huts were used by patrolling rangers and were home to many fire-tower watchmen. The last few huts were abandoned in the early 1960's, subsequently the province viewed the remaining structures as a liability and chose to burn most of them down. There are 15 ranger cabins left in the Algonquin Park interior today. Only one of them, located on White Trout Lake, is still being used exclusively by patrolling park rangers. The other 14 cabins are a part of the Ranger Cabin Rental Program and are available for rent to the general public. These cabins are very old and are considered to be of historic & heritage value. They also represent a majority of the structures remaining in The Park (excluding commercial buildings, cottages & hunt camps). The cabins are rustic and will take you back to the days long gone, to a time when rangers would be patrolling through the entire park for months on end. A time when a ranger would ask you to bring some supplies to a cabin for him, so long as you were passing by or staying at the cabin anyway.
Each cabin is very unique and they are all a masterpiece in my mind. However if I had to pick my favorites, I would have to say Highview & Lost Coin - you have to visit them for yourself to find out why. There are five cabins in which you can drive to, if that's more your thing. They are located on Rain Lake, two on Cedar Lake (Brent), Kioshkokwi Lake (Kiosk) and one on Bissett-Radiant Road (Twelve Mile). The other 9 cabins are within the Algonquin Interior & can only be access by canoe, foot, or in some cases both.
Permits for overnight use of the cabins can be obtained through Ontario Parks and must be reserved - you cannot show up to an access point and request a cabin, even if it is available.