• Rebecca Bugg

Hiking in Frontenac Provincial Park

On the weekend, we decided to make a trip to Frontenac Provincial Park for a nice day hike around Big Salmon Lake. It had been almost one year since we had gone on our first ever backcountry trip there. A lot has changed in that year.

Frontenac is a park we stumbled upon while doing research on backcountry camping. We wanted to start with a short loop as neither of us had hiked with a heavy pack before (more on this another time). We both love hiking in Algonquin Provincial Park, however, we weren’t sure if we were prepared for a trip there. That’s where Frontenac came in. With many trails varying in terrain and length, we finally decided on Tetsmine Lake Loop (just shy of 11km).

On that first trip, we hiked into Lynch Lake and stayed there for two nights. Even though it was only about 6km in, as a newbie with a heavy pack I can say it was a struggle. Not to mention we got going late due to traffic. By the time we got to camp, we were both exhausted. Nevertheless, we set up camp and cooked the most boujee meal of steak and asparagus. It was 11pm by the time we finally ate. I’ll never forget how eerie that first night was. The lack of civilization and the buzzing sounds of nature will always stick in my mind. I was hooked.

We spent the next day hiking the surrounding trails. A short while from our campsite was Little Clear Lake. That’s where we ended up spending the rest of our day. We hopped into the lake. The water was the perfect relief from the July heat. If you ever visit Frontenac Provincial Park, I would highly recommend camping on Little Clear Lake.

This trip was also my first experience with ticks. If you live in Southern Ontario, you probably know that ticks are very common. If you’ve spent time in the outdoors or live in the country, I’m sure you’ve probably heard talking about them. Despite living in the country for the majority of my life and spending a lot of time outdoors in the past few years, I had never seen a tick. My partner and I both got bit by ticks on that trip. But, I’ll save that story for another time. If you go to Frontenac, be prepared to do a lot of tick checks because the trails are quite grassy.

That trip was the perfect introduction to backcountry camping and if you are interested in trying it, give Frontenac a chance.

When we went back this year for a day trip, we wanted to make sure hiked a longer trail to squeeze the most out of our time there. So we decided to take on the Big Salmon Lake loop; a 17km loop that goes around Big Salmon Lake, Black Lake, and comes across the backside of Little Clear Lake. In terms of difficulty, the trail had some steep sections but was overall a fairly easy hike.

My experiences with Frontenac Provincial Park have been amazing. If you are interested in hiking or camping there, here are my favourite things about the park:

1. Well maintained and marked trails

The trails in Frontenac are very well maintained. This makes it great for beginners and seasoned hikers alike. The trails are also well-marked making them easy to follow and stay on track.

2. Various terrains and environments

From wetlands to scenic vistas and mines, Frontenac has it all. It’s a great park for any type of terrain you want to see or are comfortable hiking in. It really has something for everyone.

3. Trip versatility

This is probably one of my favourite things about Frontenac. The way the trails are linked makes the possibilities for your trip endless. You can complete a single trail or branch off and make your own path around the park using the various trails that are interconnected. You could go over and over again and never do the same trip twice.

Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to Frontenac Provincial Park!

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