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“Nature & History” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This park is home to nearly 1000 rock carvings that scientists estimate were drawn between 500 and 1000 years ago.
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
219 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 374 helpful votes
“Nature & History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2012

Petroglyphs PP has the most concentration of aboriginal rock carvings anywhere in Canada - so we visited yesterday. The 600+ year old carvings are distinct, but have seen some erosion since they are on soft rock so they are now protected from the elements by a large glass building. It is disappointing that you can't take photos of the glyphs. I'd suggest going to the Learning Place (visitor centre) first to walk though the exhibit and watch the 20 minute movie. This will give you some understanding and context of the site, the history, and the meaning it still holds to the Curve Lake Nation who graciously allow us to visit their sacred ground. The interpretive display was both meaningful and moving. Totally worth the park's $14 day pass (per vehicle). Petroglyphs is not too far from Peterborough and is open only in season from 10am-5pm, so plan accordingly.

We hiked the Nanabush 5.5km 'moderate level' trail and enjoyed it - it was well maintained and had some beautiful vistas, rocky outcrops, ferny forests. Lake McGuinnis is gorgeous jade colour, glacially formed, and ecologically unique. Next time I come, I will bring a picnic, do one trail in the morning, visit the Learning Place and glyphs, and then do a second trail in the afternoon.

TIP: This is a small park, and there is no camping. However there are a couple of provincial parks near-by (Silent Lake & St Peter) where you can camp, and your camping pass will get you into Petroglyphs for free.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank 2-4-T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A step back in time...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2012

We took a day trip to Petroglyph Provincial Park (no camping allowed). For your $14 day pass you enjoy an interpretive center, a viewing of the glyphs, and a couple of trails. There are restrictions on a variety of activities in the park due to the sensitive nature of the ecology there (McGinnis Lake) as well as the fact that it is an active First Nations worship site. The glyphs themselves are interesting to see, although like others here, I would recommend going to the interpretive center before AND after to get the most out of the experience. We walked the easiest trail and it was quite grown in, and poison ivy was a concern although we did not encounter any. Suitable for any age, and there was a short cut to the Glyphs and Interpretive center for those that need easier access (wheelchairs included). A good day trip for those interested in learning more about the First Nations history in the area, as well as to enjoy the mystique of the glyphs since they are not truly understood and many questions still remain about their creators and purpose.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank Agoldbloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakefield, Canada
Level Contributor
155 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Great interpretive centre”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

This site showcases the petroglyphs painted on the rock years ago by native peoples. They are displayed in a covered building and then there is a visitor centre as well. Lots of information, delivered in an interesting way. The picnic areas can be very buggy. Good trails.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank Cathette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great driving, good hiking, ok petroglyphs”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

Just came back from a cottage at Buckhorn and was told by the Visitor Centre to go check out the Petroglyphs east of Buckhorn (roughly 40mins away). Took Hwy 36 east to Hwy 26 east and then finally Northeys Bay Road / Hwy 56 which goes south initially and then does a 90 turn east. After the 90 is some of the best twisty roads in Ontario I've seen short of a road rally course. It stretches for roughly 5km (according to the sign) and you know you're at the end of it when heading eastbound when you hit the iron bridge. When going west, you are done when you hit the 90 deg turn right to head north.

The roads are fun, well maintained but also border on peoples driveways so please be considerate.

The Petroglyph park has at least 5 different hiking trails ranging from 1km to 5km. At the time of my visit, the largest one was closed to the public. I'm guessing because it was ridiculously dry and a lot of trees had died and were toppling over. Parking is $7 and grants you access for a whole day (9:30am to 5:00pm). The hiking is good and takes you up and down the hills. For those who are curious to see the gorgeous emerald green lake when you drive into the park (McGinnis Lake), you will have to drive in first, pay for the permit and pretty drive out and park the lot close to the entrance (the entrance road and the exit road are not the same until practically at Hwy 56). The views of the lake are amazing and you can get somewhat close.

Be careful of the mushrooms growing on the rocks however - they look like splotches until you look up close and notice their caps.

Visited July 2012
3 Thank Kevin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
87 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2012

I visited Petroglyph Park a couple of days ago. It was my third time there over a number of years. The first time, the rocks were still open to the elements, and it was an awesome experience. The next time they had been protected by a beautiful simple and open building in the woods, with perfect viewing platforms from all angles. You can see the carvings perfectly. The experience is very moving and spiritual. The site is still an active holy site for the aboriginal people of the area. This last time, the park's visitor centre had been completed, and I suggest you buy your ticket, go to visit the rocks, and then return to learn more. It's a bit intrusive and it's nice to discover the carvings all by yourself without being told what to think. Take your time, its worth it. (there are also very beautiful walking trails within the park)

Visited July 2012
4 Thank hpkmontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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