Spring/Summer 2006 Number 45

The Friends Welcome You To Frontenac Park

By Paul Vickers

Friends President, Paul Vickers (left) and Erhard Frenzl show off the new Welcome Sign soon to be installed outside the Trail Centre as part of the new Friends Information Kiosk.After a few years in planning, the work of The Friends of Frontenac Park will be made more prominent to all visitors with a newly installed Welcome and Information kiosk located near the Trail Centre.

The three part kiosk will be used solely to promote the work and existence of The Friends. The kiosk includes a notice board for The Friends to promote upcoming events. Our newsletter and pamphlet will be more accessible to visitors by having them contained in clear weather-proof dispensers attached to the frame.

With an increase in visibility, we hope that more visitors decide to Return a Favour to nature by becoming a member, making a financial donation, volunteering their time, and participating in one of our many events.

The beautiful cedar frame was constructed and installed by students at Sydenham High School. The Friends are extremely pleased with the work of these students.

Many thanks to the photographers and photogenic people who allowed us to use their picture on the sign. These photos provide a great snapshot of the work and events of The Friends.

The Friends also extend their thanks and appreciation to the assistance provided by Ontario Parks and the Superintendent and staff at Frontenac Park. Graphic designers engaged by Ontario Parks transformed crudely drawn prototypes of the sign into the attractive sign that now graces the entrance to the Trail Centre.

We hope you find the kiosk informative and useful.


President's Message

It is with a big smile that I write this Message. I am so happy that after many months, and years, of diligent work by the Directors and Members of The Friends of Frontenac Park, a few of our projects will see a successful culmination or launch over the spring and summer. Frontenac Park will be a better park because of the work of the people behind these projects.

This spring, The Friends will have installed their new Welcome and Information kiosk outside the Trail Centre. This display will help promote the work and events of The Friends to the thousands of visitors to Frontenac Park. A notice board will advertise our upcoming events. Separate weather proof dispensers will contain our pamphlets and newsletters. We hope that this kiosk will help to raise the profile of The Friends, and at the same time, encourage visitors to become a member of The Friends. The construction and installation of the sign was done by students at Sydenham High School.

Our popular and informative interior map will see its fourth printing this year. Over the past 18 months, the Map Committee has been hard at work making improvements to the map and proofing several revisions. New for the fourth edition will be a limited printing of a waterproof version of our map. Please let us know what you think about our experiment with a waterproof map. Over 25,000 copies of our map have been printed since the first edition.

For the past year, I’ve been informing you of our project to revitalize the Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Loops. These two loops are Frontenac Park’s most popular loops. Young and old, families and individuals, and experienced and novices, all use these loops. Unfortunately, their popularity has been their demise. The Friends have approached Ontario Parks with a proposal to remediate the environmental wear and tear on the loops, and at the same time, make the loops more visitor friendly.

The original concept of the revitalization project was a volunteer day dedicated to sprucing-up the Doe Lake Loop. Within months, the project was expanded to Arab Lake Gorge Loop, and after a few more months, it was decided we would need two or three volunteer days. It didn’t end there. To fast-forward to this past winter, the project had expanded to a minimum $20,000 budget, the hiring of 2 or 3 summer students, several volunteer days, and the realization that one summer of work may not be enough. A detailed scope of work proposal submitted to Ontario Parks this winter got park officials excited about the project. Besides making ecologists available to us to ensure we’re not endangering a species at risk with the project, Ontario Parks will also assist us with providing access to their trail design people. These experts will help to ensure our work is focused in the right direction and done using proven techniques and material. With this type of cash involved and hundreds of hours of labour behind the project, it only makes good sense that we thoroughly do our homework before we start. The downside is that the majority of the work will be delayed until summer 2007. I am sure the delay is going to be well worth it.

With these and other projects culminating or launching, you can see why I am a happy President. While there is personal satisfaction to seeing projects happen, it is Frontenac Park who will have a bigger smile on her face as a result of the many volunteers and members of The Friends Returning a Favour to Nature.


Ambassadors of The Friends of Frontenac Park will be out in full force this spring and summer on the trails and lakes of Frontenac Park. You may even find an Ambassador at the Trail Centre. Ambassadors are trained volunteers of the Friends who are knowledgeable about Frontenac Park and are identified by their Friends of Frontenac Park name tag (plus a willingness to offer friendly advice).

Ambassadors are out enjoying the Park themselves, but are available to dispense friendly advice or give a helping hand where appropriate. Next time you pass an Ambassador, give them a friendly wave, and don’t hesitate to ask them your questions on Frontenac Park.

If you’re interested in being an Ambassador, join us for the spring training session. Details of the training session can be found in this newsletter.

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.

* 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, April 29: Hike Leader Certification Presented by Dave Armitage, Hike Ontario, Toronto. This popular Hike Ontario Standard Course for hike leaders covers such topics as: risk and incident management, hike planning, clothing etc.. See Park Tabloid for further details. Cost $55.00 per person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 16:00

* Doe Lake Rehabilitation (Spring) 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 or visit our website ( for actual date/time and further information.

Sunday, May 7: Fishing Demonstration/Workshop Presented by Rick & Sally Blasko, Northern Country Outdoor World, Inverary. Learn about proper equipment, fish locating, filleting, and casting & retrieving techniques. Practice yours skills afterwards on Otter Lake. Bring your valid Ontario Fishing Licence. Cost $10.00 per person or $15.00 per family plus park fee. Time: 10:00 to 16:00. See Park Tabloid for further details.

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

Saturday May 13 & Sunday May 14 Basic Wilderness First Aid Presented by SOLO Canada / Mr. Mark Halladay of Emergency Services, Kingston. This course, designed by Dr. Frank Hubble of the North American Rescue Institute, takes you beyond standard first aid. Cost $165.00 (GST included) per person plus park fee. Time: 08:30 to 16:15; Contact the Park at 376-3489 for further details and to register.

* 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.

Sunday, June 4: Canoe Clinic This presentation by the Cataraqui Canoe Club is for beginners and first time canoeists. Canoes, Paddles & PFD’s are supplied. Cost is $15.00 per person plus park fee. Time: 10:00 to 16:00. See Park Tabloid for more details.

* Saturday, June 10: President’s Paddle Join the Friends for a canoe trip on Big Salmon Lake. The flotilla will depart at 10:00 from the canoe launch on Big Salmon Lake, headed for campsite #4. Anticipated return is 16:00. See the note on President’s Paddle in this publication for more details.

Sunday, June 11: Introduction to Wilderness Canoe Tripping Clinic Presented by Walter Sepic of Ryan Outdoor Education Centre. Learn about pre-trip planning, equipment, paddling/portaging, emergency response etc. Meet at the Trail Centre with your canoe, paddles & PFD’s. Cost is $25.00 /person, $40.00 /couple, $50.00 /family plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 16:00. See Park Tabloid for further details.

* Monday, June 12: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

Saturday, June 24: O.R.C.A. Tandem A,B,C Flatwater Canoe Certification Course Presented by Sheila Ritter, Land o’ Lakes Canoeing & Kayaking. Forms prerequisite for all subsequent canoeing certification. Successful participants receive badge, card and registration in O.R.C.A. Cost: $160.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 08:30 to 19:00 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details.

Sunday, June 25:O.R.C.A. Solo Flatwater D Canoe Certification Course Presented by Sheila Ritter, Land o’ Lakes Canoeing & Kayaking. Successful participants receive badge, card and registration in O.R.C.A. Cost: $105.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 16:00 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details.

Saturday, July 8: C.R.C.A. Flatwater Kayaking Certification Course Presented by Sheila Ritter, Land o’ Lakes Canoeing & Kayaking. Forms prerequisite for all subsequent kayaking certification. Successful participants receive badge, card and registration in C.R.C.A. Cost: $120.00 /person (plus park fee) Time: 08:30 to 17:30. See Park Tabloid for further details.

* Sunday, July 9: Summer Evening Nature Paddle Bring your family on this short canoe trip into the Park. Bring your own Canoes, Paddles & PFD’s drink, snack, and bug repellent. Meet at the Snug Harbour Bridge at 18:00 returning at 20:30 Contact the Park (376 3489) for more details.

Sunday, July 9: Kayaking Deep Water Rescues & Rolling Clinic Presented by Sheila Ritter, Land o’ Lakes Canoeing & Kayaking. An introduction to the most commonly used techniques for assisted and self rescues. Required prerequisite: CRCA Flatwater Kayaking Certification Course (offered on July 8th ) Cost: $105.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:30 to 15:30 at the Trail Centre. See Park Tabloid for further details.

Saturday, August 12 & Sunday August 13: Introduction to Sea Kayaking Course (C.R.C.A. Level 1 certification) Presented by Sheila Ritter, Land O’ Lakes Canoeing & Kayaking. Will focus on equipment, safety and skills. Cost; $240.00 /person plus park fee. Time: 09:00 to 16:30 each day (two day course) See Park Tabloid for further details.

* Monday, August 14: Deadline for Autumn 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 sent articles as Microsoft Word files with a minimum of formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale. If necessary/possible, please compress (zip) files before sending.

* Sept. 1 to Oct. 31: Frontenac Challenge The Frontenac Challenge involves hiking all 160 km of the Park’s trail network between September 1 and October 31. To meet the challenge, pick up a registration form and the specific trail information at the Trail Centre and then set out to hike through the autumn grandeur of Frontenac Park. Participants who complete the Challenge will receive a certificate at the Awards Banquet on Sunday November 12, at 10:30. So come out to Frontenac Park and take the Challenge!

* Doe Lake Rehabilitation Day (Fall) - Day #2 Come out and join with the Friends on the second of several days dedicated to completing the work to upgrade the Doe Lake hiking trail. Contact the Park at 376-3489 or visit our website ( for actual date/time and further information.

* Monday, September 11: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

* Saturday, September 23: 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.

* Sunday, October 1: Ontario Hiking Day Enjoy the splendor of autumn on a 19km hike around the Big Salmon Lake Loop. Meet at the Trail Centre. Bring your lunch, day pack, water, camera and wear sturdy hiking boots. Time: 8:30am to 4:00pm


Fourth Edition of The Friends of Frontenac Park Interior Map

By Paul Vickers

Frontenac Park Map fourth edition coverNow in its fourth edition, the popular and essential interior map of Frontenac Park was reprinted this winter.

The Friends interior map is essential for anyone venturing into the interior of the Park. This large scale topographical map includes all the hiking trails of Frontenac Park, and highlights campsites, portages and other points of interest such as lookouts and historical sites. The back of the map provides information on the Park, Park rules, natural and human history, and using the Park in winter.

The fourth edition includes route changes to the trails, trail distances, updating the back of the map, and several other changes that have happened in and around Frontenac Park. As with past editions, the map features the artwork of local artist Marta Scythes.

As an experiment for this edition, The Friends have printed a limited quantity the map on waterproof paper (polyart).

The map is available for purchase at the Trail Centre and by mail from the Friends for $8 for the traditional paper version and $20 for the waterproof map (add $2 extra for mailing). Many outfitters and map stores also sell the map.

The Friends of Frontenac Park would like to thank members of the 4th edition Map Committee for their hard work in producing the map. The Friends would also like to extend a big thank you to Assistant Superintendent Bert Korporaal for his work on the map. Bert’s experience and guidance from working on the three past editions of the map was definitely appreciated by The Friends.

Don’t get lost, get the map!


Winter Snowshoe Workshop with Ed Grenda

By Peter Burbidge

On January 29, 2006 the Friends hosted a Snowshoe Workshop with Ed Grenda, a local snowshoe expert and long time snowshoe racer. Ed is prominent in Kingston Area sports circles and well known for his collection of over 100 traditional snowshoes some of which he has used during his racing career.

Ed made an informal presentation at the Trail Centre on snowshoe design, history and use. He also described how to harness traditional snowshoes to your boot or moccasin using lamp wick. Once fastened in the "Grenda way" the snow shoe fits firmly without twisting or losing tension. While hiking boots work well with the snowshoes, Ed prefers high moccasins.

The workshop was held in the trail centre before a nice fire and the participants enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate compliments of the Friends.


Mitchell Creek Bridge Repairs

By Paul Vickers

While it is not official at the time of printing this newsletter, there is a high probability that the Township of South Frontenac will be replacing the Mitchell Creek Bridge this fall (likely commencing after Labour Day).

A lengthy detour will be the only way to get around the bridge when it is closed for construction.

If you’re planning to visit the north west side of Frontenac Park this fall, you should consider the possibility of the Mitchell Creek Bridge being closed. Check with the Trail Centre at 613-376-3489 for current information.


Summer Evening Nature Paddle

By Paul Vickers

Maurreen and CarolynJoin members of The Friends’ Natural History Group and Ontario Parks staff on Sunday, July 9th for a summer evening nature paddle on Mitchell Creek. The nature paddle will launch from the Mitchell Creek Bridge access point (hamlet of Snug Harbour) at 6pm and return back by 8:30pm.

Lead by naturists, the paddle will introduce visitors to the sensitive ecology of Mitchell Creek and surrounding lands.

Bring a canoe, paddles and PFD’s. Canoes and related supplies can be rented from local outfitters. Please be ready to start paddling the creek at 6pm. For more information, please contact the Trail Centre at (613) 376-3489.


Return a Favour to Frontenac Park by joining the Board of Directors of The Friends

By Paul Vickers

With a mandate to supplement and augment park programs, facilities and services, Friends organizations are become an integral component to Ontario’s provincial parks, and Frontenac Park is no exception. A flip through this newsletter and the tabloid highlights some of our recent contributions to Frontenac Park. And that’s just a snap shot of a couple years of our contributions.

Volunteers NeededThe work undertaken by The Friends only happens because of a dedicated group of volunteer Directors working hand-in-hand with our members and Ontario Parks’ staff. If you love Frontenac Park and want to return a big favour to nature, please consider becoming a Director of The Friends of Frontenac Park.

Directors are elected for a one year term at the Annual General Meeting held in November each year. Board meetings are held monthly from September to June in Kingston. An approximate minimum time commitment of a few hours a month is required, but the sky is the limit for how involved you want to become. If you are interested or want more information, please contact a Director or me. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Board meeting.

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 your name?
Director at Large your name?
Natural History/Hikes Don Stables
Newsletter Harvey Guy


Trail Guides

If you’re walking either the Doe Lake Loop or Arab Lake Gorge Loop, you should consider purchase an informative trail guide for these loops. Produced by The Friends of Frontenac Park, these two guides provide an introduction to the ecology, landscape and story of Frontenac Park. The guides are available for purchase at a nominal price from the Trail Centre.

For the keen naturalists, pick-up a copy of the Friends’ Checklist of Vertebrate Animals and Vascular Plants when at the Trail Centre.


Friends Zone and Provincial Meetings

By Paul Vickers

On April 30, The Friends of Frontenac Park will host a meeting for Friends organizations located in the Southeastern Ontario Zone of Ontario Parks. Representatives and Superintendents from local Friends organizations will spend the day getting to know our neighbours, sharing our achievements, suggesting solutions to problems, and discussing ways to enhance and improve our favourite provincial parks. Gary Forma, Tourism/Marketing/Partnerships Coordinator of Ontario Parks, will join us for the day to provide us with an update from Ontario Parks and answer many of our questions. The meeting will also be an excellent opportunity for Friends to meet the new Zone Manager for the Southeastern Ontario Zone, Bruce Bateman.

A few months later, representatives of The Friends will be heading to MacGregor Point Provincial Park for the Provincial Circle of Friends Workshop. Over 100 representatives of Friends organizations will attend the Workshop. In addition to learning new skills to improve our Friends’ organizations, the weekend is a great opportunity to network with other Friends and learn of their successes and problems that they’ve encountered.


President’s Paddle

By Paul Vickers

Join your friends of The Friends at 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 to 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.

If you’re interested in staying either the Friday or Saturday night at campsite 4 for the Paddle, please contact me. The Friends have booked campsite 4 for the weekend.


In Memory

The Friends of Frontenac Park were sadden to learn of the passing of Sandra Laing this winter. Sandra was an avid and frequent visitor to Frontenac Park. A donation in the memory of Sandra was made to The Friends of Frontenac Park by Lizette Lacoursiere and Sahaj Sinfield. Sandra will be missed, but her spirit continues to walk the trails and canoe the lakes of Frontenac Park with our other friends who are no longer with us.


Frontenac Park Winter Camping Trip

By Taylor and Keenan Taylor

On the morning of Saturday, February 11th, a group of 14 people embarked on a life-changing and, for many, a first-time experience. In our case, it was our first time winter camping. The two of us have been camping since we were tiny. Two weeks earlier we all gathered at the Trail Centre to learn the techniques and “tricks of the trade” that would prepare us for what lay ahead.

Taylor and Keenan on the winter camping tripThe day dawned sunny and warm - unseasonably warm for barely a week past Groundhog Day. We exchanged greetings at the Trail Centre, loaded our gear into toboggans and headed out. After only a few minutes the two of us, and our dad, were undressing to try and keep cool! Along the way, we were treated to beautiful winter scenery, thanks to a rare snowfall day before! Up the hills we went, and down, those daring enough to ride on top of their toboggans. On one very steep hill, our instructors set up a pulley system, using teamwork to pull the heavy loads to the top. After an enjoyable 45-minute hike, we had reached our camp. We stayed at the Arab Lake parking lot, a very cozy spot overlooking the lake.

The camp was set up within an hour. It consisted of five tents and a kitchen which was fully enclosed using tarps, and complete with a front door that we could draw back. There were four personal tents that people had brought with them, along with the five man arctic tent that was brought up with one of our instructors. The arctic tent took a bit longer and a lot more patience to set up, but with a little bit of quick thinking and improvisation, we got it up.

After the entire camp was set up, one of the instructors and Taylor hiked down to the lake to collect water. To do this we had to break a hole through the ice. After hitting the surface for about 10 minutes with a spade-like tool, we were through. The ice was 12 inches thick, and the water was fresh and cold! By the end of the night, we had made 3 “water runs”.

While at camp, we were always moving to keep warm, along with a lot of wonderful hot chocolate, tea, coffee and cider. We were definitely all set for the night. For dinner we ate like kings…. Beef stroganoff, mulligan stew, Mexican chili and lots of bread. All of the food was freeze-dried and provided by Harvest Food Works. Thanks a lot guys! The dishes had been done, and everyone was hanging around the fire and were repeatedly going for walks, as if a chill was setting in. This was both quite relaxing and enjoyable. Keenan was the official “wood-chopper” of the group. The highlight of the night was sitting around the fire while everyone in the group told us their occupation and what they really wanted to be when they grow-up! We must say, we got some very interesting answers! At around ten o’clock, we all climbed into our sleeping bags and said our goodnights.

The night for the two of us was cold and long, until all three of us got into one sleeping bag that is. Two mummy bags could be zipped together and we all squeezed in. The three of us woke up at 8:30 the next morning to a cold but beautiful day. The inside of the tent was frozen and we had cold noses! Hot water was already on for hot chocolate, tea and oatmeal and the hungriest of the group made pancakes. We had a small fire going and again moved around and went on short walks to warm up. The camp was stripped and packed away by 11:00 and we were on our way home by noon. This day was much colder than the previous but a brisk pace kept us warm. We stopped along the way to hydrate and enjoy gorp (good old raisins and peanuts), a staple for energy. Back at the Trail Centre, we were all welcomed to hot drinks and a wonderful buffet of bagels, cheese, crackers and sausage. It never tasted so good!

Many people say that friends take longer than a few hours to gain, but when you’re in the middle of nowhere at minus 15 degrees, everyone becomes friends. People call us crazy for doing it, but we call them crazy for not!

You go there with a group of strangers, and walk out with a group of friends.

Taylor is a grade 10 student at Bayridge Secondary School and Keenan attends grade 8 at Lancaster Drive Public School.


Taylor and Keenan

By Faye Dennis

Thinking back, to my first winter camping experience, when I was asked if I wanted to go camping my quick response was “Are you crazy”? With clear promises that I would not freeze to death, I weakened and went. Not only did I survive, I absolutely loved it ! This became an experience I wanted to repeat and share with others.

Over the last couple of years, I have been helping out with the winter camping organized by The Friends of Frontenac Park. These weekends have become one of the highlights of my year. We have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people, some traveling long distances just for this particular get together. All express different reasons as to why they want to try winter camping just once in their lives.

This year we had tow amazing young men come along with us. They, along with their dad, have camped in the summer but wanted to try winter camping in a group. Taylor and Keenan jumped in with both feet and they wanted to help with every aspect of the camping experience.

The boys started by helping pack their toboggan and took turns pulling it out to the campsite. They willingly and eagerly pitched in to help pull all the toboggans up the steep hill along the way.

Setting up camp at the Winter camping tripAt camp both boys helped with setting up the tents, chopped fire wood, went along with our group leader, Erhard, to get our water for cooking and even helped with some of the cooking. Their enthusiasm for the whole adventure was incredibly refreshing.

After supper, that night as we stood around the fire talking, you became very aware that, as the youngest members of the group, these boys showed how mature they really were.

For me, it was a delightful pleasure to have spent the weekend with these two young men and I would gladly do it again. My sincerest thank you to Taylor and Keenan for sharing with us such a great weekend.


Interesting factoids of Frontenac Park

Did you know:

These and other interesting information on Frontenac Park can be found in the Frontenac Park Background and Information document that was prepared by Ontario Parks as part of the Management Plan process. For more information on the Management Plan process that is currently underway for Frontenac Park, please see the Park Tabloid, chat with Park staff, or visit


The Human History of Frontenac Park

Their Enduring Spirit, by authors Christian Barber and Terry Fuchs, is a book for anyone who has ever passed a crumbling foundation and pondered the story behind the stones. It details the stories of those families, their homesteads, Frontenac Provincial Park, and an aspect of Ontario’s history so often overlooked -- the enduring spirit of the rural family.

The book is available for purchase at the Trail Centre and better book stores.

The Friends of Frontenac Park proudly finance the third printing of Their Enduring Spirit.


The Frontenac Challenge in Four Days

By Morris Buckner

The Frontenac Challenge provides a large window of opportunity for completion [Sept 01 – Oct 31]. Included are nine weekends, of which two are long weekends. So … is it possible for two old buddies to get together for a long weekend and squeeze The Challenge into their schedules? Yes!! Sort of. A 4-day weekend.

Jordan Goudreau and I [Morris Buckner] have found a hiking formula for The Challenge that allows us to finish early in the season, get back to jobs and family, and provide a safety margin in case of delays due to injury, weather, job, etc. And we know that not being in the best shape means we have to work a little harder and a little longer on The Challenge. So … four days.

A day (or season) pass is required to have your vehicle in The Park between 07:00 and 22:00. Being registered to a campsite allows you and your vehicle(s) to be in The Park at all hours.

Remember to photograph the signs that uniquely identify each of the trail loops that make up The Frontenac Challenge. Keep your head up, especially on uphills where your eyes may be focused on the trail immediately in front of you.

Day 1 finds Jordan and I at the Trail Centre / Park Office at 00:01 Sept 01. With headlamps, we complete clockwise loops of Arab Lake Gorge Trail and Doe Lake Trail. Vehicles are relocated to the Arab Lake Parking Area.

With water bladders and lunch we head southwest down the Corrider trail to the Cedar Lake Loop intersection and on towards campsite #2. A decision has to be made about doing the Slide Lake Loop CW or CCW and passing Slide Lake on the north or south. CCW and south are chosen. The focus is to get back to campsite #2 where we have cached a couple of Red Bull. Still cool and deliciously carbonated, they provide that mental and physical boost that allows (for us) a super fast pace back to the vehicles. Caching Red Bull where trails intersect is to be the norm. It allows for less water to be carried the entire hike and provides a focal point, a rest point.

Three down, eight to go.

Day 2 is a reasonable 07:00 start. Parking at the Big Salmon Lake Parking Area, we do the Arkon Lake Loop, arriving back at the vehicle for cold refreshments and early lunch. A figure eight loop to encompass the Little Salmon Lake Loop and the Little Clear Lake Loop, along with a repeat of a section of the Arkon Lake Loop brings us back to the Big Salmon Lake Parking Area and to our vehicles and more cold refreshments.

Six down, five to go.

Day 3 is a reasonable 07:00 start at the Kingsford Dam. The three loops to be hiked will necessitate some repeated sections. Hike the north boundary of the Tetsmine Lake Loop, head south on the western boundary of the Gibson Lake Loop, proceed in a CCW pattern around Gibson Lake continuing towards campsite #9, complete the Hemlock Lake Loop in a CCW direction and head towards campsite #8, and then towards campsite #11 in a CW direction to complete the Tetsmine Lake Loop.

Nine down, two to go.

Day 4 is an unreasonable 04:00 start because we really want to finish early to get some beer and pizza. The two remaining loops are a bit frustrating to complete as most of the trails are on ground already covered. Parking at the Big Salmon Lake Parking Area, Big Salmon Lake is completed in a CW direction [campsites #3, 5, 4]. Cold refreshments and an early lunch at the vehicle. We move the vehicle to the Arab Lake Parking Area and complete the Cedar Lake Loop in a CW direction.

Eleven down, years to go.


Ontario Parks Photo Contest

Do you have an outstanding photo taken at an Ontario Provincial Park?

Ontario Parks, in partnership with Pentax and Harrowsmith Magazine, is seeking entries for its province-wide, Ontario Parks photo contest.

There are four categories: Parks and People, Park Landscapes, Winter Memories and Flora and Fauna. The contest runs all year, so take advantage of all four seasons and start clicking away at Ontario’s provincial parks. It could win you a digital camera or one of many must-have prizes from their partners.

Visit for more details.



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.