Frontenac Provincial Park
P.O. Box 11, Sydenham, Ontario K0H 2T0
Situated along the southernmost intrusion of the Canadian shield, Frontenac Provincial Park is in a transition zone that provides a variety of landscapes and habitats. The granite outcroppings of the shield are contrasted with mixed forests and a wide variety of wetlands. This is an excellent park for the nature lover to explore and with only backcountry camping, the park remains a quiet wilderness without cars or motors of any sort.  
The beautiful blue waters of Frontenac's lakes can be appreciated by both hikers and canoeists.
Size in Hectares: 5,130 Hectares

Location: Frontenac is located just a short distance from Kingston and is just about half way between Montreal and Toronto. From the 401 (either Montreal or Toronto) take highway 9 north to Sydenham, then take Country Road 19 north and turn off at Big Salmon Road.

Setting out on the Big Salmon Lake Trail
  Driving Distances: Two hours from Ottawa / Three and half hours from Montreal or Toronto / Half hour north of Kingston.


Season: All year-round

Weather: The Weather Network

Associations: Friends of Frontenac Park The Address for Friends of Frontenac Park is now P.O. Box 2237, Kingston Ontario K7L 5J9. (613-376-3489) / Rideau Trail Association

Articles: On The Shoulders of Frontenac

Hiking: 170 km of trails. To get a real understanding of each portages difficulty, trail orientation as well as detailed information on the park contact the Friends of Frontenac Provincial Park and order their map. The small cost of the map helps support the essential work they do.

From the boardwalk at the visitors center you can get a feeling for the park
Arab Lake Gorge 1.5km 40 min Novice Starts at trail center
Doe Lake Loop 3.0km 1-2hrs Intermediate Starts at trail center
Cedar Lake Loop 15km 4-6hrs Inter./Expert Starts 1.6km from trail center
Slide Lake Loop 21km 6-8hrs Expert Starts 4.3km from trail center
Big Salmon Lake Loop 19km 5-7hrs Inter./Expert Starts 4.5km from trail center
Arkon Lake Loop 13km 3-5hrs Intermediate Starts 1.8km from trail center
Little Clear Lake Loop 9km 3-5hrs Novice/Inter. Starts 6.5km from trail center
Little Salmon Lake Loop 15km 3-5hrs Novice/Inter. Starts 3.0km from trail center
Tetsmine Loop 12km 5-6hrs Intermediate Starts 9.6km from trail center
Gibson Lake Loop 11km 5-6hrs Intermediate Starts 11km from trail center
Hemlock Lake Loop 5km 3hrs Novice/Inter. Starts 8.5km from trail center
Front Country Camping: There is no front country camping in the park

Backcountry Camping: 48 backcountry campsites

Backpacking: Frontenac is unique in that it's one of the few backcountry areas with almost complete access by paddle and by foot.

The park provides fire pits and camping pads for each site.
The extensive system of hiking trails, in conjunction with the portage trails will get you to almost every campsite in the park. While the park is better know for it's paddling hikers and backpackers should give this area careful consideration. The trail system has so many interconnections that you can customize your excursion to fit almost any itinerary. From loop hikes of an hour to several nights out to get a good feel for the park.

Canoeing: Sometimes overshadowed by it's bigger brother, Algonquin, Frontenac is often overlooked. Don't be fooled. The canoe routes in the park are excellent, with many variations to choose from. There are dozens of lakes and campsites available on on many of them.

Backpacking is an excellent way to see Frontenac's backcountry
Hiking and portage trails criss cross the park offering great flexibility for planning your routes. Big Salmon Lake is parks launch point and for you new to canoe tripping you have the option of staying on one of the lakes three campsites and avoiding a portage. If your not sure of what route might fit your needs the park staff can assist you in making your choice.  
The Launch point at Big Salmon Lake.
Winter Adventures: The winter is excellent time to visit Frontenac if your a cross country skier or snowshoer. You might want to stay close to the parks entrance or with just a little effort you'll be in the parks interior where you'll find that peaceful quiet only the wilderness can provide. The park even has winter camping if your so inclined but be sure your prepared and have the requisite skills.

Cross Country Skiing: 150 km of backcountry trails.Cross Country Skiing

The beavers busy at work.
Park Pamphlet
Park Newspaper
Park Canoe and Trail Map

Books: I Hate Winter - A Guide to Winter Outings in Ontario Includes Frontenac Provincial Park

Flora and Fauna: The varied habitats of the parks three zones, northern, transitional and southern, provide a home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Mature forests of ferns give way to the young mixed forests of birch, maple and oak then transition to the parks wetlands. Birders can enjoy a wide variation of song birds, raptors, water fowl along with those interlopers from the south, the turkey vultures. White tailed deer are plentiful as are Raccoons, Porcupines and Otters.
You can often see turtles sunning themselves as you quietly canoe through the parks waters.
If your lucky you might get a glance at some of the parks wolves, coyotes or even black bears. The park is home to eight species of snake including Ontario's largest (but harmless), the Black Rat Snake.
Wood peckers incredible determination.
  Note: Inquire about the parks wilderness skills program, which can provide an introduction for a novice or help to hone the skills of a more experienced outdoors person. Some of the skills taught include low impact camping, compass and map, wilderness survival, equipment selection and maintenance. Frontenac is the perfect place to combine learning with the pleasure of the outdoors.

Pet Laws: Pets are allowed in the park, but must be on a leash for the safety of your pet and of the wild animals they might encounter.

Portage Trials in Frontenac Provincial Park:
  • Arab Lake parking lot to Arab Lake 174m
    Arab Lake to Arab Lake Parking lot
  • Big Salmon Lake to Little Salmon Lake 974m
    Little Salmon Lake to Big Salmon Lake
  • Big Salmon Lake to Little Clear Lake Moderate Rolling 923m
    Little Clear Lake to Big Salmon Lake Moderate Rolling
  • Big Salmon Lake to Camel Lake Moderate Small Uphill 453m
    Camel Lake to Big Salmon Lake Moderate Small Downhill
  • Big Salmon Lake to Labelle Lake 491m
    Labelle Lake to Big Salmon Lake
  • Labelle Lake to Big Clear Lake 190m
    Big Clear Lake to Labelle Lake
  • Little Clear Lake to Black Lake 503m
    Black Lake to Little Clear Lake
  • Little Salmon Lake to Little Clear Lake 856m
    Little Clear Lake to Little Salmon Lake
  • Little Salmon Lake to Birch Lake 1138m This is a difficult portage in both directions.
    Birch Lake to Little Salmon Lake
  • Big Clear Lake to Black Lake 666m
    Black Lake to Big Clear Lake
  • Devil Lake to Bear Lake 572m
    Bear Lake to Devil Lake
  • Black Lake to Bear Lake 977m
    Bear Lake to Black Lake
  • Devil Lake to Moulton Lake 653m
    Moulton Lake to Devil Lake
  • Devil Lake to Kingsford Lake 761m
    Kingsford Lake to Devil Lake
  • Big Clear Lake to Devil Lake 860m
    Devil Lake to Big Clear Lake
  • Birch Lake to Clear Lake 1003m
    Clear Lake to Birch Lake
  • Birch Lake to Arkon Lake 393m
    Arkon Lake to Birch Lake
  • South Otter Lake to Doe Lake 341m
    Doe Lake to Otter Lake
  • North Buck Lake to Slide Lake 81m
    Slide Lake to North Buck Lake


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