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Frontenac

Frontenac Provincial Park - main photo of the park

What you'll like:

  • Explore Frontenac’s 5,200 hectares on the southern edge of the Canadian Shield
  • Open year-round for four season backcountry recreation -48 interior campsites
  • Canoe routes through 22 lakes and over 100 km of looped backpacking and hiking trails
  • Great fishing, wildlife viewing, interior camping, paddling, hiking, swimming, cross- country skiing, snowshoeing and winter camping all within a few hours drive from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal
  • Wilderness skills training programs

Camping Experiences

By the Numbers

  • Backcountry Campsites - 48

Camping

Frontenac Provincial Park offers site specific, year-round backcountry camping. Campsites are located in clusters on lakes in the park’s interior and must be accessed by hiking or paddling.  Each campsite has its own 4 metre by 4 metre tent pad, fire ring, bench and picnic table.  An enclosed privy toilet is shared at each campsite cluster.  Maximum 6 people per campsite.


 

Walk-in Camping

Choose a campsite that suits your hiking style; hiking distances range from 20 minutes to more than three hours from your vehicle.

 

Backcountry Camping

Campsites at Frontenac are only accessible by hiking or canoeing in. You can hike or paddle to a destination campsite and stay there for up to three days or plan a trip that takes you from site to site in the park. Backcountry camping is available year round. Call the Park Office to discuss route planning, campsites and reservations.

Highlights of Things to Do

Frontenac Provincial Park is a 5,200 hectare backcountry park open for single and multi-day adventures year-round. It features over 100 km of hiking trails arranged in 12 inter-connected loops that range in length from 1.5 km to 21 km.  In addition, the park has 22 lakes linked by portages and 48 waterfront interior campsites. In the winter 11 km of cross- country ski trails are track set (conditions permitting).

Frontenac offers excellent hiking, paddling, camping, wildlife viewing and fishing opportunities in a semi-wilderness setting.


Just the Facts

 
Hiking
Take only pictures, leave only footprints: don't bring any plants, animals or other natural objects with you. Park regulations prohibit this. For more information on Leave No Trace practices, visit www.leavenotrace.ca.

Frontenac offers over 100 km of hiking and backpacking trails in interconnected loops.

Arab Lake Gorge Trail - 1.5 km loop, 30 min walk, easy
Starting at the Park Office, this trail features valley bottom vegetation, various ferns and a boardwalk with an accompanying interpretive brochure.

Doe Lake Loop - 3 km loop, 1 to 1.5 hour walk, easy to moderate
Hike along the shores of South Otter Lake and Doe Lake with a lookout over Doe Lake. An interpretive brochure is available. The trail starts at the Park Office.

Arkon Lake Loop – 13 km loop trail, 3 to 4.5 hours, moderate
This trail will lead you through a mature deciduous forest where you will see many beaver ponds and a ring bog complex along the way.

Bufflehead Trail – 8 km loop, 2.5 hours, moderate.
This walk is popular for its beaver ponds and scenic ridge. It bisects the Arkon Lake Loop and starts at the Arab Lake parking lot.

Cedar Lake Loop – 15 km loop, 4 to 6 hours, Moderate to difficult
While hiking this trail along Doe Lake and the south shore of Big Salmon Lake you will encounter wetlands in various stages of evolvement.

Big Salmon Lake Loop – 19 km loop, 5 to 7 hours, moderate to difficult
This trail circles Big Salmon Lake.  The north side of the trail runs through a forested landscape along some century old remains of homesteads. It offers scenic views at the east end and south side of Big Salmon Lake.

Little Salmon Lake Loop – 15 km loop trail, 3 to 5 hours, moderate to difficult
Start this trail at either the west end of Big Salmon Lake or the Arab Lake parking lot. The trail runs through mature bush and the south end of Moulton Gorge valley.

Little Clear Lake Loop – 9 km loop, 4 to 5 hours, easy to moderate
Most hikers start this trail at the west end of Big Salmon Lake, adding 4 km to begin the hike. The trail circumnavigates Little Clear Lake. Hikers will encounter mature bush and the remains of 19th century buildings.

Hemlock Lake Loop – 5 km loop, 3 hours to hike the loop, plus 2 to 3 hours each way to the loop itself, easy to moderate
Normally started from the west end of Big Salmon Lake (adding 7 km to get to the start of the Hemlock Loop), the trail goes through mature deciduous trees and old abandoned farm fields.

Tetsmine Lake Loop – 12 km loop, 5 to 6 hour hike when starting at the north end. Add 3 to 4 hours each way when starting from Big Salmon Lake Road, moderate
Most hikers start this loop at the north end of the Park, accessing at Kingsford Dam. The loop is fairly rugged in a mature deciduous bush setting and crossing the north end of the Moulton Gorge. Abandoned mica mines and a few 19th century homesteads remain.

Gibson Lake Loop – 11 km loop, 5 to 6 hours plus an hour each way from the dam, moderate
This hike is often started at the north end of the Park (at Kingsford Dam) which adds 3 km each way to the hike. Walk by the Crab Lake mine and along mature forested ridges and hills and along a fen in the northeast corner of the park.

Slide Lake Loop – 21 km, 8 hour loop, plus a 1 hour hike to get to the start, difficult
This loop is the longest and most rugged loop trail in the Park. Be prepared for a very challenging hike! The trail crosses many barren rock ridges and travels through several forests in various stages of succession. You will encounter granite ridges, lookouts, ponds and marshes while passing by Buck Lake, Slide Lake, Doe Lake and Big Salmon Lake.

Corridor Trail – 5 km linear trail, 1.5 hours one way, moderate
This trail parallels Big Salmon Road starting at the Park Office and ending at the south shore of Big Salmon Lake.

PLEASE NOTE : Several trail loops are accessed via another trail to start. Trails are not suitable for all terrain strollers or wheel chairs. Hiking times are approximate. You must add time to the hike depending on weather, snow or ice conditions, as well as your physical condition. Always bring lots of water, snacks, a map and a first aid kit. Help is not close at hand. Cell phone coverage is limited at Frontenac. No trailside fires or trailside camping is permitted.

 
Canoeing

There are many canoe routes and starting locations possible through Frontenac’s 22 lakes and portages. Call the Park Office to discuss route planning, campsites and reservations.

 
Swimming

Swimming is allowed in all park lakes but sand beaches are limited.

 
Boating

Boating is only permitted on boundary lakes. Motors are not permitted on any lakes in the park with the exception of Big Salmon Lake where only electric motors are allowed.

 
Fishing

Frontenac offers numerous opportunities for fishing. Anglers might catch Lake Trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, perch and Brook (Speckled) Trout. Three stocked lakes within the park offer ice fishing.

 
Natural Heritage Education

Interpretive brochures are available for two trails in the park.
The Friends of Frontenac offer wilderness skills courses to those who wish to gain knowledge and experience in subjects such as winter camping, kayaking, wilderness first aid, map and compass use, canoeing, fishing and backcountry camping.

 
Birding

Frontenac has an exceptional diversity of bird species due to its location in the Frontenac Arch which connects northern and southern eco-regions. The park is home to one of the largest populations of Cerulean Warblers in Ontario, the provincially rare Louisiana waterthrush and the brilliant yellow Prairie Warbler.

 
Winter Activities

Winter is a great time to enjoy Frontenac. Try winter camping on one of the parks interior campsites.  There are opportunities for snowshoeing, hiking and wildlife viewing. The park offers cross-country skiing on 11 km of track-set trails, when conditions are suitable.

Amenities

Frontenac Provincial Park is a backcountry park which is open year round. The Park Office is the starting point for all outings into the backcountry and it has an impressive array of interpretive panels, displays, animal mounts and maps/information.

The Park Office also serves as a gathering place for group trips and a facility for Frontenac’s Wilderness Skills Courses.

Just the Facts

 
Flush Toilets

Flush toilets are located at the Park Office.

 
Barrier Free Access

The Park Office and washrooms at Park Office are barrier-free.

 
Day Use Area

A day-use area is located near the Park Office along the water’s edge.  Stop here for a picnic and quick swim.  There is no beach but it is possible to swim from the lake edge.  Alternatively you can spend the day hiking in the park and stop at one of the many vantage points along the trail.

 
Boat Launch

Canoe launches are located at Big Salmon Lake and Otter Lake. Public boat launches are available on some boundary lakes; Devil Lake, Buck Lake, Desert Lake, and Otter Lake. Motors are only allowed on boundary lakes. Motors are not permitted on any lakes in the park with the exception of Big Salmon Lake where only electric motors are allowed.

 
Park Store

Visitors to Frontenac can purchase souvenir items at the Park Office.

 
Visitor Centre

The Park Office has an impressive array of interpretive panels, displays, animal mounts and maps/information.

Park Location

Park Maps (pdf)

Park Map - pdf

Trail Maps (pdf)

Trails and Portages - pdf

Winter Trail Guide - pdf

Fire Ban

None

There is no fire ban at this time.

Boil Water

No

There is no boil water advisory at this time.

Beach Posting

No

There is no beach posting at this time.


Frontenac Provincial Park

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