THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FRIENDS OF FRONTENAC PARK
Autumn 2006 Number 46


Lloyd Chapman, Park Superintendent, retires

By Herb Helmstaedt

Lloyd Chapman - Park SuperintendentThe Fall of 2006 will be a landmark in the life of Frontenac Park, as Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman will take his retirement in early September. The Friends of Frontenac Park have greatly appreciated his cooperation and wise council over the years and will truly miss him.

Loving nature and the outdoors, Lloyd devoted his entire career to the Ontario Provincial Park Service. While still at College, he held summer jobs at Sandbanks Provincial Park and got his first permanent appointment in 1973 at Ferris Provincial Park, near his place of birth, Campbellford, Ontario. Ferris Provincial Park was in the development stage at the time, and Lloyd became familiar with the park system and establishing park facilities. He rose to superintendent and for a while was superintendent of both Ferris and Frontenac parks, before coming permanently to Frontenac in 1981. This was before the days of the trail centre, and Lloyd remembers when his only communication with the outside world was a small radio and he had to leave the park to get to the nearest phone.

At Frontenac Park, Lloyd oversaw the building of the Trail centre, beginning in 1982, and established trails and campsite facilities as well as good relationships with the park neighbours. He often met with a core group of volunteers that later became instrumental in founding the Friends of Frontenac Park.

In Lloyd’s eyes, Frontenac is the “jewel” of the Ontario Parks’ system, providing a unique near-wilderness experience while being close to civilization. He is especially enthusiastic about the educational function of the Park, so well expressed in the article “Learning about Learning – the Park as a Teacher” by James Raffan (Ontario Parks and Wilderness – Islands of Hope, 1992) in which Frontenac Park is used as an example of bringing nature to the public. In this spirit he helped foster biological and historical research by government agencies and universities and supported the numerous natural history, nature preservation and educational projects initiated by the Friends of Frontenac Park.

Lloyd truly enjoyed his career and can look back at a number of achievements, the most important being the maintaining of a fine balance between accessibility to the public and protecting the natural environment of the Park from encroachment by the outside. He regards the maintenance of this balance as one of the greatest challenges for the future of the Park and is convinced that a continued cooperation between the Friends and the Park administration will be crucial in meeting this challenge. Whatever his plans for the future, Lloyd will keep a keen interest in the Park. The Friends of Frontenac thank him and wish him a happy and fruitful retirement.

[Top][Home]


President's Message

A few rambling notes, but to start with, I must extend my best wishes to Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman on his retirement. September 5, 2006 will mark the end of a long career with Ontario Parks, with many of his years as the guardian of Frontenac Park. Many of The Friends’ programs, projects and events would not have happened if it was not for Lloyd. The Frontenac Challenge, now in its 14th year, was the idea of Lloyd. Most recently, our Doe Lake & Arab Lake Gorge Revitalization Project received considerable support and assistance from Lloyd. Thank you Lloyd for the many Favours Returned to Nature.

At the time of writing this article, the new Superintendent had not been announced. Check out the winter newsletter for information on the person who will occupy the Superintendent’s chair.

***

Talking about the Revitalization Project, please join us on September 16 for our first Volunteer Work Day. A variety of work will be done on this day, from general maintenance to replacing deteriorated bridges and boardwalk. See the article in the newsletter for more information.

***

My summer vacation (sounds like a grade 3 writing assignment) took me to a couple places that made me miss Frontenac Park. For the first time in about ten years, I went car camping at a Provincial Park. It will probably be another ten years before I do it again. Car camping has its place in this world, and it does encourage people to explore our natural environment, but I found in claustrophobic compared to an interior campsite. You have to share a campsite cluster with a few other people at Frontenac Park, but at most clusters there is a good bit of dense forest separating the campsites. With car camping, you have a dozen sites within ear shot, never mind the endless parade of people, bikes and cars going past your campsite at 11pm.

The family made the trek out to Prince Edward Island this summer. Nice place, but it would be nicer if the beach had a few shady trees on them. For my preference, I enjoy a quiet walk under shady trees around a tranquil lake much more than open sun drenched barren sandy beaches. Not that I didn’t enjoy myself.

***

The term for this year’s Board of Directors will end in November. Please consider putting your name (or someone else’s) for a seat on the Board of Directors. We have a couple vacancies that we would like to have filled, including the position of Treasurer.

Serving on the Board is an excellent and rewarding opportunity to make your favourite provincial park a better place for visitors and further protect the park’s natural environment.

With the retirement of Lloyd and the appointment of a new Superintendent, I will stay on for another year as President of The Friends of Frontenac Park (subject to approval by The Friends’ membership). This will be an important transition year in the life of both Frontenac Park and The Friends. With next year being my fifth year as President (and I also served as Treasurer for two years prior), it is time for someone else to bring their new ideas and enthusiasm for Frontenac Park. Also, life has changed in the past seven years. There are new challenges and projects that I would like to devote more time to.

***

Frontenac Park and The Friends will be getting good media exposure this fall. Over the summer I was interviewed by Explore Magazine for an article on hiking trails that are nearby, but slightly out of the way. Frontenac’s Gibson Trail will be featured in this article. Cottage Times, a tabloid type newspaper insert, will be printing an article on the Frontenac Challenge. Look for both of these articles in the fall.

***

Eagle-eyed readers caught an embarrassing typo in the spring/summer newsletter. In an article I authored for the Summer Nature Paddle, I mentioned that naturists will be leading the paddle. It should have been naturalists leading the paddle. I got an e-mail asking if participants have to paddle down Mitchell Creek in the buff. The very keen-eyed readers also noticed that the paddle was on Mitchell Creek, which would avoid the Park’s no nudity rules. Attendance for this year’s Summer Nature Paddle was better than last year’s. Coincidence?

Paul Vickers

[Top][Home]


Outside

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.

* 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!

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

* Saturday September 16: Doe Lake Rehabilitation - Day #1 Come out and join with the Friends for the first of several days dedicated to completing the work to upgrade the Doe Lake hiking trail. Contact the Park at 613 376-3489 or visit our website (www.frontenacpark.ca) for actual date/time and further information.

* 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

* Sunday, October 15: Guide Trail Sweep The Volunteers/Guides will do general maintenance on the Park's trails to get them in top shape for our visitors. Bring a lunch & work gloves. A Chili supper will be served to all participants at the end of the day. Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:30 to 16:00; Contact the Park (376 3489) for more details.

* Monday, October 16: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

* Sunday, October 22: Historical Walk Join the Friends on this walk down memory lane and learn a bit about the human history of Frontenac Park. A short walk (approx. 7km) down Big Salmon Lake Road past some of the old family homesteads of the area’s early settlers. Meet at the Trail Centre at 10:30am and return at approx. 2:00pm. Bring water, good walking shoes and lots of questions. Please register with the Park at 376-3489 and plan to go, rain or shine.

October 31: This is usually the date that the Salmon Lake Road gate closes for the winter.

* Sunday November 12: Frontenac Challenge Awards Barbecue Registered participants will receive a certificate of achievement, share stories and chow down on hot dogs, including vegetarian fare, cooked by the Friends. Donations will be gratefully received. Meet at the Trail Centre for 10:30.

* Sunday November 12: Annual General Meeting All members are invited to attend the Friends’ AGM to start at 13:00 at the Trail Centre. The minutes of the last AGM will be posted at 12:30. Why not come early and join us for the Challenge BBQ? This will give you an opportunity to meet the Challenge participants.

* Monday, November 13: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 121 at 19:00

* Monday, December 4: Deadline for Winter 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: harvguy@kos.net 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.

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


Looking ahead to winter

The Friends are planning to hold the following events: Check www.frontenacpark.ca, the Winter newsletter, local newspapers, or the Trail Centre for dates and times of these upcoming events.

[Top][Home]


Land O'Lakes Tourist Association Visits Frontenac Park

John Olson

Bert speaks with members of the Land O'Lakes Tourist AssociationOn June 20th a group of people who provide travel services in the Kingston region visited the Park. The weather was perfect - nice and cool! This visit was part of an orientation to regional travel destinations sponsored by the Land O Lakes Association - an organization promoting the area in which the Park is situated. A group of 30 or so people in the hospitality business arrived at the Park Visitor Centre by bus. Not often does a busload of visitors come to the Park, so it was a real occasion. Bert Korporaal gave a talk about the features of the Park, which included interesting facts about local wild life including the larger animals that can be found here. He explained the unique qualities of Frontenac including the fact that it is a near- wilderness park not far from population centres. He also pointed out that Frontenac Park is featured in European guide books as a must visit destination and that indeed many Europeans did visit the park, often on day trips but overnight as campers. Bert stressed the day trip opportunities of the park from hiking to paddling to swimming.

John Olson, representing the Friends of Frontenac Park, underscored the reputation of the park in overseas guidebooks and its appeal to Europeans as well as people from Ottawa, Toronto and Kingston. He also explained how the Friends of Frontenac Park work with the park staff to enhance the experience of its visitors.

After the information session, the visitors were treated to a paddle/kayak experience on Otter Lake thanks to the efforts of Larry and Chris of Frontenac Park Outfitters. Everyone was able to have a paddle on the lake and Larry and Chris demonstrated paddling techniques as well as recovery methods. Larry put on an impressive Eskimo roll demonstration by flipping his kayak over and back and then Chris demonstrated how to rescue an overturned canoe/kayak.

The weather was perfect and the group had a fine time. After the paddling, refreshments were offered to all thanks to the Land O’ Lakes sponsors. The bus departed with a group of very happy people all of which seemed to have very much enjoyed the experience and, at the same time, had learned a lot about Frontenac Park.

[Top][Home]


Historical Walk on Salmon Lake Road

Once again this fall, Jerome McDuff will be offering his popular stroll down memory lane - that is Salmon Lake Road to be precise!

Mark Sunday 22-October-2005 on your calendar because you are invited to join in this event. Please meet at the Trail Centre theatre at 10h30 for a short introduction on the history of the Park.

After the presentation, the guided walk will move from the Trail Centre down the Salmon Lake Road past the site of the Kemp, David, Babcock and Sigsworth farms. The “traveling-talking show” will finish at the site of the Trails End Lodge on Big Salmon Lake.

The walk is about 7 km return and we should be back at the Trail Centre by 16h00. If you need more information please e-mail me at Jerome_mcduff@yahoo.ca or leave a message at the Trail Centre

Please register ahead by calling the Park at (613) 376-3489. See you there rain or shine.

[Top][Home]


Work underway on the revitalization of Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Loops

By Paul Vickers

The Doe Lake Rehabilitation assessment team. (back row - l to r );  Bert Korporaal, Peter Burbridge, Joan McDuff, Chris Robinson, Corina Brdar  front row; Lloyd Chapman, (Park Superintendent), Paul Vickers, (Friends President)Work has already started on our multi-year project to revitalize Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Loops. Recent visitors would have noticed a new boardwalk on Doe Lake Loop (just past the Kemp Mine spur trail) that was installed as part of the Revitalization Project. The new boardwalk replaced a section of boardwalk that was constructed when the loop was formed.

Our first volunteer work day is scheduled for September 16. Various tasks are planned for the day, including bridge and boardwalk repairs/replacement, relocating trail guide number posts, general maintenance, fixing erosion problems, and installing a bench at a scenic lookout on Arab Lake Gorge loop.

Work gets underway at 8:30am and proceeds into the afternoon. Bring suitable footwear and clothing. Tools and equipment will be provided. A free BBQ lunch will be provided to volunteers.

As part of the Ontario Parks approval process for this project, representatives from The Friends had a walk around in June with a few important people of Ontario Parks. Corina Brdar, an ecologist, joined the walk around to ensure that our good intentions were not further endangering the natural environment. Chris Robinson, the Natural Heritage Education coordinator for Charleston Lake Park also joined us. Chris provided us with valuable input on the natural environment and suggestions to improve visitor experience with the loops.

Doe Lake Trail and Arab Lake Gorge Trail are the most popular trails of Frontenac Park, a Provincial Park known for its near-wilderness environment. These trails are enjoyed by families, novice hikers, and first time visitors due to their short distances, relatively easy terrain, abundant plant, animal and aquatic life, and exposure to the human history of the Park. Unfortunately, the popularity of these trails has taken a toll on their paths and bridges.

The Friends of Frontenac Park would like to preserve the ecological integrity of the Doe Lake Trail and Arab Lake Gorge Trail, while adding user-friendly enhancements such as bridges and benches. Such enhancements will enable more children, adults, and seniors, of varying levels of walking ability, to enjoy these two trails. By revitalizing the paths and structures of these two flagship trails, The Friends hope to encourage visitors to return and enjoy more of the Park’s trails and see its many historical and natural features.

To see this project to fulfillment, the Board of Directors are endeavoring to raise $25,000 for this project. With thanks to The Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, we’re already $4,000 closer to the target. Funds raised from our 2003 canoe raffle boosted our fund raising efforts by a further $5,000.

[Top][Home]


Notice of Annual General Meeting

All members are invited to attend the Friends' AGM to start at 13h00 at the Trail Centre.

[Top][Home]


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

By Paul Vickers

Volunteers NeededDirectors 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

[Top][Home]


The Frontenac Challenge

Come on out to Frontenac Park this fall for the 14th annual Frontenac Challenge.

The Frontenac Challenge involves hiking the 11 loops that form the Challenge within the months of September and October (approximately 160km). The Frontenac Challenge was originally suggested by Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman in 1993 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ontario Provincial Park System. Only 14 people completed the Challenge in 1993, compared to over 125 people in recent years.

Successful participants will receive a Certificate Accomplishment at our November 12th celebratory BBQ. Those who have completed the Challenge five or ten times will have their name permanently engraved on a plaque located at the Trail Centre.

There is an attractive and useful information sheet that participants receive when signing up for the Challenge at the Trail Centre.

We have planned an organized hike of Big Salmon Lake on October 1, Ontario Hiking Day. Join us in celebrating Ontario Hiking Day at the same time as completing one of the trails of the Challenge. Check the Outside Column for further details.

For more information on the Challenge, visit our website at www.frontenacpark.com.

[Top][Home]


A challenge to The Challenge

By Paul Vickers

At the time of writing this article, it is unknown if the Township of South Frontenac will be in position to replace the Mitchell Creek Bridge this fall. If not this fall, it will be done next year. A close up inspection quickly reveals the deteriorated condition of the bridge and the necessary urgency of a replacement.

If the bridge is replaced during the Challenge, participants will have an extra challenge with completing the Challenge. Replacement of the bridge will require closing Canoe Lake Road at the bridge. Participants who complete the northern loops by accessing the Park at Kingsford Dam will have to use a detour to get around the bridge.

During construction, the Township will mark a detour that will take vehicles along County Road 19, Deyos Road and James Wilson Road. A map of the detour is available from our website (www.frontenacpark.ca) or the Trail Centre.

Besides taking the detour, there are few other ways to avoid the extra challenge the construction is posing.

  1. Speculation is, that if the construction is going to happen this year, it will commence after Labour Day. If this is true, completing the northern loops before Labour Day would be significantly advantageous to participants.
  2. Instead of doing Tetsmine Lake Loop and Gibson Lake Loop in one day, consider combining Tetsmine Lake Loop with Little Clear Lake Loop and Gibson Lake Loop with Hemlock Lake Loop. Access both loops from the Big Salmon Lake canoe launch area. Keep in mind though, segments of trails that are common to both loops should be hiked twice (usually done as a figure eight).
  3. Take the time to enjoy scenic Westport by accessing Kingsford Dam from the north. From Westport, take County Road 12 (which becomes County Road 8) to either Salem/Devil Lake Road or Canoe Lake Road. Directions are available on our website (www.frontenacpark.ca).
  4. Spend a night, or two, in Frontenac Park. Canoe or hike into a base camp (cluster 3, 6 or 9 would be a good choice), and then spend a couple consecutive days hiking the Challenge loops. Campsite permits are required if staying the night in Frontenac Park.

Happy Trails.

[Top][Home]


The President’s (Winter?) Paddle

By Paul Vickers

left to right, Paul Vickers, Angela Lyon, Ivan DeRome, Erhard Frenzl, Faye Denis at top of a blustery Mink Lake Lookout}It was a good job we had winter camping instructor Erhard Frenzl with us on this year’s President Paddle. Strong cold winds and driving rain defined this year’s Paddle. Swim suits didn’t make it out of anyone’s pack, unless they put it on as an extra layer of clothing.

The Paddle kicked off from the Big Salmon Lake canoe launch with a light misty rain falling. Nothing too serious that would deter the President and his hardy companions. After a pleasant paddle on Big Salmon Lake to campsite 4, lunch was enjoyed, camp set-up, and good friendly chatter abounded.

Just as our thoughts turned to dinner, the wind and rain picked-up. Throughout the evening and well into the night, the winds howled and the rain kept falling. As dawn broke, people emerged from their tents bundled in clothes. The rain had ceased, but the cold wind had not let down.

Shelter from the wind was found away from the shores of Big Salmon Lake. A trek to Mink Lake Lookout was made in the morning and the afternoon found several of us canoeing Camel Lake.

After enduring another windy night, most of us packed-up early Sunday morning to head to warmer climates – home

[Top][Home]


Welcome Sign

The new Friends Welcome SignAfter a couple years of planning, The Friends of Frontenac Park’s Welcome Sign was installed this summer. This fabulous and beautiful sign provides visitors with general information on The Friends, a notice board for posting announcements of upcoming events, and dispensers for our newsletter and information pamphlet.

On your next visit to Frontenac Park, stop by the Welcome Sign to get up-to-date information on The Friends and their events.

Many thanks to Sydenham High School for constructing the kiosk for us. Considerable assistance was also received from Ontario Parks with the sign layout, design of the kiosk, and project management. To top it off, Herb Helmstaedt did a great job with applying the sealant and paint.

[Top][Home]


Discounts

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.

[Top][Home]