Bon Echo is one of Eastern Ontario's most popular parks. Located almost directly north of Napanee on Highway 41 above the 7. The park is home to one of the most extensive and easily accessible set of petroglyphs in Ontario. In addition you'll find almost every imaginable outdoor activity, from camping, to canoeing, to climbing, hiking and backpacking. In the winter bring your cross country skies and snowshoes and stay over in one of the parks yurts.  
 
 

Camping

The park has plenty of front country camping in two campgrounds. You'll find over 500 sites in Mazinaw Lake, on the lake of same name and in the more secluded Hardwood Hill campground. There are plenty of serviced sites and the campgrounds have showers and toilets. There are also eight group camping sites (qualifying groups are advised to book well in advance) which can accommodate 15 to 40 people in each. You'll also find a laundromat in the park.

Backcountry campers have a choice of backpacking into sites along the Abes and Essen Trail or paddling and portaging to campsites on Joeperry and Pearson Lakes. In addition there is an extended canoe circuit which begins and ends in the park, with wilderness camping on crown land. The canoe circuit connects with others in eastern Ontario allowing you to put together a route which will take you to the Ottawa River.

Hiking & Backpacking

The park has several hiking trails as well as the multi-loop Abes and Essen backpacking trial. Hikers can follow the 4.8km Shield trail as it loops through a variety of terrain or the shorter Shield, Bon Echo Creek or High Plains trails. Our favorite is the Cliff Top Trial (access to the trail head is by canoe or the small ferry only - - some sections of the trail are steep) which takes you to the top of the cliffs and provides you with a stunning view of the park( make sure you bring your camera).

Bon Echo Creek - 1km, easy. A short walk to the mouth of the creek where it empties into lower Mazinaw Lake.

Cliff Top Trail - 2km (one way) linear, intermediate. While some sections of the trail are steep it's well worth the effort for the spectacular view you get from the top Mazinaw Rock. There are several viewing platforms along the length of this linear trail which are steep The trail is accessible by water only.

High Pines Trail - 1.4km, easy. The trail follows through a mix of forest, field along side a pond. There is an excellent view of the Mazinaw Rock about half way through the walk. Access to the trial is from the visitors parking lot just passed the park office in the Mazinaw Lake campground.

Shield Trail - 4.8km loop, easy. An easy trail which follows along the historic Addington settlement road as it heads south then swings west passed two small lakes (ponds) before loopin back to the start. The tralhead is located at the parking lot on Joeperry Road just off highway 41.

Backpackers can choose from three interconnected loops which allow for hikes of 4 to 17km in length with lakeside campsites on each of the loops. The shortest of the loops makes for a great introduction to the art of backpacking for beginners. The number of camp sites is limite and reservations are required. You should make a point of booking early particularly in high season.

Paddling

There are a lot of options for paddlers in the park. If you just want a day paddle put in on Mazinaw Lake and you can paddle out to the cliffs to study the petroglyphs. If you want something a little more challenging take the (day trip only) Kishkebus canoe circuit which will take you all around on a loop from Mazinaw through Kishebus Lake with a couple of portages (one of 1.5km, but remember you only have the canoe to carry since you won't be camping out) which you can complete in about 6 hours. Another popular option is to combine a paddle with some backcountry camping on Joeperry or Pearson Lakes (if you bring your own canoe, an intial portage is required from the parking lot - rental canoes can be picked up on the lake avoiding the portage). If you want an extended trip you can launch from the park on the Mississippi Canoe Route (5-6 days) which is made up of a system of lakes and rivers and includes over 13 portages. The canoe circuit connects with others in Eastern Ontario allowing you to put together a route which will take you to the Ottawa River. Canoes are available for rent in Cloyne and within the park. Back country campers must register and pay a fee for overnight camping.

Climbing

Bon Echo Rock which towers out of Mazinaw Lake is over 100m high and is one of eastern Ontario's best known climbing areas for both rock and ice. Climbers must register with the park office and must be experienced with expertise that is suitable for the cliff face. Some established routes are The Joke 5.9, Sweet Dreams 5.8 and Veriginous 5.5. The park does not allow new routes to be established or the placing of fixed protection. Please respect all of the parks rules and ensure this area is kept open to climbers. An ecological impact study is currently in progress. For more information contact the park and the Alpine Club of Canada which has a cabin there. The cliff face can only be reached by water.

Note: Some routes are closed to better protect the parks falcons.

Mountain Biking

Rumor has it that the park is in the process of creating some mountain bike trails. Check with the park for more information.

Cross Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

In the winter the park is open for cross country skiers and snowshoers with yurts available if you want to stay overnight. For more information on Park Ontario's yurts see our feature article The Yurts of Algonquin Park.

Note: There is also a cabin available for rent, contact the park for details.

 

 

   

Resources

Getting There: From Toronto follow the 401 east to Napanee then head north on the 41. The park is about 30km above the intersection with the 7 at Kaladar. From Montreal take the 20 west (or the 40 to the 640 to the 20) and travel passed KIngston to Napanee where you head north on the 41. See the directions from Napanee above. From Ottawa take the 417 west to the cut off for the 7. Continue well passed Perth until you reach Kaladar. At Kaladar head north about 30 km to the park. From the north you can pick up the 41 south from Pembroke (or several other intersections) which will take you to the park.

 
 

Surrounding Region

Accommodation - Surrounding Regions

 

Related Links

 

Official Sites

Bon Echo Provincial Park - English
Bon Echo Provincial Park - Français


Land of Lakes
Mazinaw Country
Eastern Ontario
Ontario Tourism

The park has a gift and book shop located nearby the visitors centre. Greystone Gift and Book Shop has Trail guides and books on the park. There is a boat launch on the lake and the park has a store for those little things we always forgot.

 


Bon Echo Point Provincial Park
R.R. 1
Cloyne, Ontario
K0H 1K0

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