Winter 2006 Number 44

A Step Back in Time

By Joan McDuff

Jérôme McDuff, Historic Walk trip leader, describes The Trails End Lodge which was once located at the end of Big Salmon Lake.  Photo by Joan McDuffJérôme has always been interested in the history of the Park and even more so after he read "Their Enduring Spirit" written by Chris Barber and Terry Fuchs. The background material for this book is now stored at the Queen's Archives and so when he had a chance to spend a day looking at some of the entries and listening to some of the taped interviews he knew we had to share these stories through an Historical Walk and so we decided to explore the possibilities.

We returned to the Queen's Archives this summer to look over the many photos of the families that once inhabited Big Salmon Lake Road. We were trying to get to know those families -- where they lived, what they did as the first settlers in what is now Frontenac Park and what stories they could tell. It was like looking at an old family album. We carefully made our choices and Jérôme set about creating a slide show presentation that would provide context for our proposed Historical Walk.

We arrived at the Park early Sunday morning, October 9, 2005 to set up our introductory slide show and the displays we had put together. We wanted the hikers on the trail to see the past while looking at the present. Fourteen people arrived for the presentation and a discussion of the industry in the Park and how it impacted the settlers. Then it was off to enjoy a walk and to re-live the history. The first stop was at the point at the Trail Centre where the cottage of the Van Luven family once stood.

As we continued to walk we stopped at several sites along the way where Jérôme had marked off lot lines that showed where buildings had once stood. Pictures of the families and the homesteads provided visual evidence of what life must have been like. The second last stop was the apple orchard at the Babcock's farm, now the Arab Lake Parking Lot. This was the perfect spot to open the backpack and let our hikers enjoy the apples of the time -- Golden Russets, Tolman Sweets and Northern Spies.

The last stop was the former Trail's End Lodge site. Perched atop a hill at the Salmon Lake dock all that remains is a tiny platform where the shower from one of the cabins seems to have been. As we stood there we couldn't help but think of earlier times when people gathered at that site. Then - it was a place to rest and relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery that we have come to know and love in Frontenac Park and now - it is a beginning to a wonderful day of canoeing, kayaking or a trip to an interior campsite.

If you would like to learn more about the history of this particular part of the Park this historical hike and presentation will be repeated on October 22, 2006 meeting at the Trail Centre at 10:30. Circle the date on your calendar and we look forward to seeing you there!


President's Message

As I write this message, the Frontenac area is being blanketed with the first decent snowfall of the year. While I must trudge into work on this snowy morning, my mind drifts to thinking about skiing in Frontenac Park. The temptation is there to load my skis into the car, instead of my brief case, and head north to the Park, instead of south to work. In the end, depending how you view it, common sense and a pay cheque prevailed and I ended up in my office.

My favourite time to go skiing in Frontenac Park is early morning after a night of decent snowfall. The pine tree branches are laden with snow and fresh animal tracks abound. With few, if any, people on the trails as the sun is breaking, the opportunity to see wildlife is better than usual. With a good fresh snowfall, I end up being the person to set ski tracks that hundreds of other people will follow until the next snowfall.

There is an amazing and eerie sound of quietness in the midst of winter in Frontenac Park. While in summer there is always the background sound of birds, rustling leaves and insects, there is almost no noise to be heard in winter. There are very few opportunities in today's society to truly experience the sound of silence, and winter in Frontenac Park is one of those opportunities.

To help visitors to the Park get the most out of enjoying winter in Frontenac Park, The Friends of Frontenac Park host several winter activities and events.

Volunteers with The Friends of Frontenac Park will be at the Trail Centre on weekends from early January to mid-March to assist visitors plan their winter adventure in Frontenac Park, be it a few hours or an overnight expedition. Volunteers are also equipped with kettles of The Friends' popular body thawing hot chocolate. Stop by the Trail Centre before or after (or both) your trip to enjoy this delicious hot chocolate, compliments of The Friends.

For the adventurous amongst us, you may want to sign-up for our popular Winter Camping Workshop. This excellent program starts with a one day practical session at the Trail Centre. Essentials on how to survive and have fun winter camping is covered on this day. A couple weeks later, you get to put your learning into action by participating in one of two overnight expeditions in the interior of the Park. This is a great opportunity to learn how to safely winter camp. Sign-up early as space is limited for safety reasons.

To explore the Park beyond the Big Salmon Lake Road in winter, you will probably find it easier to snowshoe instead of ski. If you're shaky on your snowshoes, or have never tried snowshoeing, you should consider attending our snowshoe workshop presented by Ed Grenda. The day starts at the Trail Centre with a session on (almost) everything you need to know about snowshoeing. After lunch, Ed will take you out on the trails to refine your snowshoe technique. If you don't have snowshoes, The Peak Experience Gardiners Road store will rent you a pair for this workshop at a 25% discount.

If staying warm is your priority, join us for our annual Winter Lecture at the Kingston Public Library. Herb Helmsteadt will take you on a geological journey of Frontenac Park and the Kingston area. Learn how Moulton Gorge formed, why there is distinct difference between the north and south ends of the Park, and where did all this limestone come from that Kingston sits on.

While winter in Frontenac Park is fun and enjoyable, it is important to take a few additional safety precautions. There's the usual dress warm and let people know where you're going advice. The days are shorter in winter, so make sure you start returning back to your car with plenty of daylight left. Also, there are the serious concerns with ice travel. In short, just don't do it. Ice travel is not recommended.

So, wax your skis, pack your lunch, turn the car around and head to Frontenac Park this winter.

Paul Vickers



Here is a list of upcoming activities that maybe of interest to you. Please participate and tell your friends about them This logo * denotes Friends' sponsored activities Do not forget that you will need to purchase a daily vehicle or camping permit to take part in most of these activities. Contact the Park (376 3489) for more information.

* Monday, January 9: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, January 21: Winter Camping - Planning This presentation by the Friends will cover all you need to give winter camping a try. Make sure you book one of the two weekends (see below) to camp with the instructors. Please come dressed for the weather and the trails. Time: 10:00 to 15:30 at the Trail Centre. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* Sunday, January 29: Winter Fun Day : Snowshoe Workshop This is a snowshoe day for people of all ages and all levels. Mr. Ed Grenda will conduct a workshop that will discuss various topics. A snowshoeing trip will then be held in the Park. Volunteers will serve hot chocolate in front of the fireplace in the Trail Centre. Please dress in layers for the weather, bring your snowshoe equipment, including a small backpack with water, a hot drink, and snack. Please meet at the Trail Centre. Time: 10:30 to 15:00

* February 4-5: Winter Camping Weekend #1 (or Weekend #2 on February 11-12) Choose one of these two weekends to acquire and practice winter camping skills. Food will be provided. Prerequisite - "Winter Camping - Planning" given on January 22. Cost: $55.00 ea. plus interior camping fee; Time: 10:00 Saturday to 15:30 Sunday. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* February 11-12: Winter Camping Weekend #2 See Above.

* Monday, February 13: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Thursday, February 23: Winter Lecture -- Geological History of the Kingston and Frontenac Axis Region See separate article in this issue for more content information. To attend this free winter lecture sponsored by the Friends. meet at the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library (Johnson Street) at 19:00 sharp. The presentation should conclude by 20:30.

* Monday, March 6: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Tuesday, March 7: Deadline for Submissions for the Spring/Summer Newsletter We welcome your articles, letters, stories and photographs. Material should be sent to the Friends' address shown on the back page or e mailed to "". For electronic items, please send articles as Microsoft Word files with minimum formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale. If necessary/possible, please compress (zip) files before sending.

* Friday, March 31: Your Friends Membership Ends We need your support so please renew your membership for another year.

* Sunday, April 9: Volunteer/Guide/Host Training Would you like to volunteer at the Park? Come to this training session offered by the Park staff and the Friends at the Trail Centre. Time: 09:00 to 15:00; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

* Monday, April 10: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, April 22: Earth Day Celebrations Come out to the Park and help celebrate Earth Day. Check with the Park Office (376-3489) or visit our website for further details.

* Sunday, April 23: Guide Trail Sweep The Volunteers/Guides will do general maintenance on the Park's trails to get them in top shape for our visitors. Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:30 to 16:30; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

* Saturday, May 6: Doe Lake Rehabilitation Day #1 Come out and join with the Friends on the first of several days dedicated to completing the work to upgrade the Doe Lake hiking trail. Contact the Park at 376-3489, visit our website, or check the Spring Newsletter for further information.

* Monday, May 8: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Sunday, May 28: Wilderness Navigation using Map and Compass Come and learn how to interpret and read topographical maps and then find your way in the wilderness using a variety of techniques and equipment. Cost $20.00 per person (plus GST and Park fee). Time: 09:00 to 16:00. Meet at the Trail Centre.


Volunteers Make a Difference

Trail Centre hosts, Ivan Derome and Joan McDuff await the arrival of hungry hikers returning from the Fall Trail SweepThe volunteers at Frontenac Park have once again made a difference. Through their volunteer hours they are able to help the Park staff with the ongoing tasks of trail maintenance, bridge building, running special events and hosting at the trail centre. Thank you to all who have given so freely of their time and if we have inadvertently overlooked anyone please accept our apologies. For more information about being a volunteer please contact the Park Office at (613) 376-3489.

Ron Abbott, Bernie Adell, Dave Armitage, Patrick Baker, Bill Birdsall, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasco, Elgin Bock, Don Bond, Carolyn Bonta, Morris Buckner, Peter Burbidge, Chris Cannon, Virginia Card, Glenn Casey, Irene Casey, Danielle Charbonneau, Rob Clavering, Bob Clooney, Erika Clow, John Cornish, John Critchley, Kathy DeBenedetti, Eric Deeks, Faye Dennis, Jan Dennis, Josh Dennis, Robert Dennis, Ivan DeRome, Gayle Desmaria, Peter Dicks, Michael Doyle, Nicole Fenton, Rob Fillion, Erhard Frenzl, NeilGardner, John Golemic, Bill Grant, Harvey Guy, Audrey Helmstaedt, Herb Helmstaedt, Murray Henderson, Anne Hogle, Robert Hough, Anne Hughes, Dora Hunter, Vince Jewitt, Rose Jones, Don King, Jane Kitchen, Aillain McCann, Jérôme McDuff, Joan McDuff, Mark Millan, Clarke Moffatt, Cathy Murray, Nathan Nesdoly, Mike Newstead, Donna North, Irene O'Brien, Janet Olson, John Olson, Henk Pardoel, Colin Phillips, Marie Phillips, Ted Phillips, Joe Pollock, Val Ruttan, Audrey Sanger, Gloria Seeley, Brian Shenton, Joan Simpson, Maureen Sly, Simon Smith, Don Stables, Nancy Turkington, Robin Turkington, PaulVickers.

05-Nov-2005 The foundations are nearing completion for the new bridge on the portage connecting Little Clear Lake and Black Lake. Photo by Jérôme McDuff..05-Nov-2005 The last few decking boards are installed for the new bridge on the portage connecting Little Clear Lake and Black Lake. Photo by Jérôme McDuff

05-Nov-2005 Did someone say "Theres gold in them thar hills" ? Photo by Jérôme McDuff


Volunteer/Guide/Host Training

Friends of Frontenac Park President, Paul Vickers tracks the locations of all hike groups during the Fall Trail SweepIt is an Ontario Parks requirement that all persons wishing to perform volunteer work in a Provincial Park (guiding, hosting, general park volunteer work etc.) must attend appropriate training sessions at least once every two years. The requirement applies to all volunteers of Frontenac Park, whether or not they are members of The Friends.

The training session for Frontenac Park is scheduled for Sunday April 9th at the Trail Centre, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Please bring a lunch. Contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489 for more information.


Cross-country Ski Signs

Big Salmon Lake Road and the Corridor Trail are signed for cross-country skiing. The bright yellow direction, warning and difficulty level signs were purchased and constructed by The Friends of Frontenac Park over the last two winters.


Renew your Membership!

Don't forget to renew your membership with The Friends of Frontenac Park! Current members will find enclosed with this newsletter their 2006/2007 membership renewal form. Your financial support of The Friends helps us to continue our programs and numerous projects that help to protect and enhance the natural qualities of Frontenac Park.


Frontenac Challenge

The 2005 Challenge is over for another year and 121 people completed the entire 160 km.

This year 6 participants, a very substantial number, joined the "5 year club", Les C. Cseh, Jane Hough, Robert Hough, Rick Lorenz, Fred Luciani and Ted Phillips - well done! A special salute also goes out to Mike Carmody, Joyce Duncan, Rudy Duncan, Erhard Frenzl, Dora Hunter, Vince Jewitt and Hugh Pratt who are now members of the prestigious "10 year Club". What a tremendous accomplishment, congratulations to you, and all of the participants.

Enthusiasm runs high among the people who sign up to do the Challenge. There are those who have done it all before and know the ropes of the event and there are those that are new to the adventure. They can often be seen looking inquisitively at the map trying to figure out the best way to combine the trails and to form the figure eights to ensure that each centimeter of the 160 km is covered. No doubt there will be many stories shared at the Challenge BBQ!

Congratulations go to the following hikers who completed the Frontenac Challenge in 2005.

First year
Jane Bainton, Mike Bates, Grace Bevan, Peter Blood, Wendy Bordeleau, Wilma Bowers, Lorraine Clarke, Chris Evans, Judy Gaudier, Corey Gauthier, Isaac Gazendam, Nick Gazendam, Jim Gibson, John Giles, Margaret Giles, Nancy Grew, John Hanes, Joyce Herridge, Angela Johnson, Rose Jones, Ann Judd, Annette Keyes, Dan Lapointe, Elaine Lowen, Rick Ludlow, Mary Jean McIntyre, Derrick Mikkola, Tys Murre, Soo Newberry, Geoff Rae, Mary Rae, Trudy Senesi, Bob Short, Diane Stevens, Toni Towle, Brian Van Raes, Michelle Vibert, Martha Whitehead, Nancy Wood, Calvin Yeo, Isia Yeo

2 years
Andrew Babcock, Pat Baker, Sandra Crocker, Patrick Curtin, Amy Dahm, Kathy De Benedetti, Rob Irving, Heather Jamieson, Dagmar Jones, Rhéal Legault, Patti McCauley, Michael Newstead, Marion Polk, Cathy Wilkinson

3 years
Joan Bailey, Sharon Blackwell, Bruce Bromfield, Morris Buckner, Anna Chadwick, Jordan Goudreau, Rose Millett, Debbie O'Donnell, Chris Onysko, Kim Onysko, Regina Prokopczuk, Linda Turnbull, Donna Vinkle, Margaret Wild

4 years
Gayle Bender, John Blackwell, John Critchley, Gayle Desarmia, Andrew Hills, Sandra Muis, Don Turnbull, Christina Wilcox

5 years
Les C. Cseh, Jane Hough, Robert Hough, Rick Lorenz, Fred Luciani, Ted Phillips

6 years
Grant Asselstine, Gary Birrell, Bob Chadwick, Lorraine Flooks, Kathy Francis, Paul Markle, Tom Mawhinney, Donna North, Irene O'Brien, Henk Pardoel, Jack Roscoe, Cheryl Stevenson, Sandy Williams

7 years
Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Don Bond, Bill Murdoch, Beth Orr, Barbara Pusch, Val Ruttan

8 years
Faye Dennis, John Golemiec, Sharon McIlroy, Judy Ferren

9 years
Peter Burbidge, Joe Pollock

10 years
Mike Carmody, Joyce Duncan, Rudy Duncan, Erhard Frenzl, Dora Hunter, Vince Jewitt, Hugh Pratt

11 years
Sandra Laing

12 years
Murray Henderson, Donald King, Ruth King

13 years
Audrey Sanger


Hot Chocolate at the Trail Centre

The Trail Centre is open most days of the winter. During the weekends of January, February and March, stop by the Trail Centre to warm yourself by the fire and enjoy a cup of The Friends' body thawing hot chocolate.


Vacancies on the Board of Directors

By Paul Vickers

Do you enjoy visiting Frontenac Park?

Do you enjoy participating in The Friends of Frontenac Park events?

Do you enjoy Returning a Favour to Nature by helping with hosting, trail sweeps or special projects?

Do you have ideas on how to make Frontenac Park a more enjoyable place to visit?

If so, you should join the Board of Directors of The Friends of Frontenac Park.

Without an active and involved Board, many of the events and programs that make Frontenac Park a special place to visit wouldn't happen. There wouldn't be a website that gets more visitors than Frontenac Park does. There wouldn't have been a 13th edition of the Frontenac Challenge. The popular and essential interior map may not exist. And that is just the beginning of the many events and programs that would not exist if it was not for The Friends of Frontenac Park.

We currently have two vacancies on the Board of Directors. One is vice-president and the other is a director-at-large position. Our Treasurer would also like to relinquish his duties and become a director-at-large, so we're also looking for a Treasurer.

The current Board of eight directors will endeavour to put a full program of events and programs on for 2006, but a couple extra hands on the Board will certainly be appreciated.

If you want to know more about being a Director, or want to be a Director, please give me a call or e-mail.

The current Board of Directors is composed of:

President Paul Vickers
Treasurer Peter Burbidge
Secretary Herb Helmstaedt
Membership Joan McDuff
Publicity Kathy De Benedetti
Director at Large Michael Doyle
Director at Large to be announced
Director at Large to be announced
Natural History/Hikes Don Stables
Newsletter Harvey Guy


Danger - Thin Ice!

Many of the rivers and lakes of Frontenac Park are now frozen, but they are not safe for traveling on. Ice conditions can vary on a daily basis and be influenced by temperature extremes, changing water levels and snow loads.

The Friends of Frontenac Park and Ontario Parks do not encourage traveling on ice, no matter what the ice conditions are like. Additional information on traveling on ice, including the Ministry of Natural Resource's Working on Ice Policy, can be obtained from the Trail Centre.


Friends of Frontenac Winter Lecture

Thursday February 23, 2006 7:00 PM
Wilson Room Kingston Public Library

The Friends of Frontenac are pleased to announce that Herb Helmsteadt PhD will be our guest speaker at the Winter Lecture. Herb is a well known Geologist and Member and Director of the Friends of Frontenac. Herb is Professor Emeritus, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen's University. He has extensive experience in research and teaching at Columbia University, USA, Geological Survey of Canada, McGill, Queens, Martin-Luther University Germany, and Cape Town South Africa.

Dr. Helmsteadt's topic for the Winter Lecture will be:
"Geological History of the Kingston and Frontenac Axis Region".

The talk will consist of an illustrated outline of the three major geological chapters (Precambrian, Paleozoic, and Quaternary) represented in the rocks and surficial deposits of the greater Kingston area. It will include plenty of references to the geological setting of Frontenac Park and geological features within and around it.


President's Paddle

By Paul Vickers

The lakes have just started to freeze, but the President is already suffering from canoe withdrawal disorder. Usual symptoms include staring at the lake wishing you had laser vision to melt the ice, talking to a canoe more passionately than you talk to your spouse, salivating over canoe catalogues, counting the days to the five month campsite reservation window, and planning the annual President's Paddle.

Started five years ago by then President Ivan DeRome as a one day canoe trip on Buck Lake, the President's Paddle has evolved into a full weekend of great camping with friends and family of The Friends.

Mark your calendar for the 2006 paddle. The paddle will be on campsite 4 this year and goes from June 9 to 11. If you can't join us for the weekend, come on out for the day on Saturday.


Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Trails Revitalization Project

By Paul Vickers

Plans for the revitalization of the Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Trails are coming together. The Board will be actively working with Ontario Parks staff over the winter to finalize the work that will be done on the trails this summer. Visit our website to find out more about the proposed work on the trails. There's also an informative poster in the Trail Centre providing an overview of the proposed work.

The spring edition of the newsletter will have details of our volunteer work days. Help Return a Favour to Frontenac Park by being a volunteer on the revitalization project.


Snowshoe Workshop

Presented by Ed Grenda

Learn about snowshoes and how to snowshoe at this informative workshop. The workshop starts with a discussion on subjects such as: traditional versus lightweight snowshoes; structure and design of snowshoes, footwear, harnesses; and snowshoe skills. After lunch, Ed will lead a snowshoe hike in Frontenac Provincial Park.

Sunday, January 29, 2006
10:30am to 3:00pm
Frontenac Provincial Park, Trail Centre

Call 613-376-3489 or visit for more information.

Bring your snowshoes, or rent a pair at The Peak Experience's Gardiners Road store. Mention that you're renting the snowshoes for The Friend's Snowshoe Workshop and they will give you a 25% discount on the rental.


Vehicle Permits

As Frontenac Park is an all season park, do not forget to purchase a vehicle permit (or annual or winter pass) before enjoying Frontenac Park in winter. Permits are available from the Trail Centre or self-serve kiosk.



Members in good standing of the Friends can enjoy a discount of 10% off regular price merchandise (except canoes, kayaks and MEC price-matched items) at The Peak Experience. The Peak Experience is Kingston's only locally owned outdoor store and is located at 166 Wellington at Brock and 795 Gardiners Road at Taylor Kidd. Present your Friends membsership card with photo identification at your next visit to the Peak Experience.

Your membership with the Friends also entitles you to a 15% discount at Novel Idea, a Kingston owned bookstore located at 156 Princess Street.