Winter 2008 Number 50

A Message from the President

By Herb Helmstaedt

Joan McDuff (shown here), Kathy de Benedetti and Peter Burbidge resigned from the Board this year and were given a 'paddle of appreciation' by Paul Vickers. Paul (also shown here) received a paddle in appreciation of his outstanding term as President of the Friends.Paul Vickers retired as President of The Friends at this November’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), and it is only fitting that I begin this message with a heartfelt thanks, in the name of all members, for his enormous effort on behalf of our organization during his five year term. Together with Peter Burbidge, Kathy de Benedetti and Joan McDuff, he received the symbolic paddle traditionally given to those who have finished their terms on the Board of Directors. His shoes will be difficult to fill, but he has trained the other board members well, and he has also agreed to stay on as Vice President to make sure the transition goes smoothly. The make-up of the new board can be seen in this Newsletter. You will see mainly familiar names, as all other members have agreed to stay on. I would like to welcome David Crane, our only new member, who will take over as secretary.


The Friends’ 15th Frontenac Challenge BBQ was held prior to the AGM on November 10th in the Trail Centre with a record attendance of well over 100 Challenge participants and their families and friends. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers who managed to feed everyone. On a brilliant fall morning, we were welcomed by Peter Dawson, who reflected positively on his first season as superintendent of the Park. Paul, Peter and Bert Korporaal reported on the status of the Doe Lake revitalization project, the greatest single project ever undertaken by the Friends. All major work is now completed, save a few minor touch-ups. Paul in particular welcomed Glenn Stresman, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston, who was instrumental in providing seed funds for the project, the other major financial contributions coming from the TD Friends of the Environment and the Friends of Frontenac. In addition to the monetary contributions, the project benefited from innumerable volunteer hours and the tireless efforts of the Park staff, in particular the organizational and planning talents of Bert Korporaal. The commemorative photo of the project leaders, together with Glenn Stresman, includes Ben Chabot who was acting superintendent of the Park in the early stages of the project.

After a thank you by Paul to the Challenge volunteers and a brief review of the minerals and rocks forming this year’s Challenge theme, the participants related some of their hike experiences, a major highlight being the sighting of a fisher by Audrey Sanger who finished the Challenge for the 15th time. Paul, Peter and Heather Stables presented the certificates to the successful Challenge participants (see separate report in this Newsletter). Following this, Peter and Bert recognized Murray Henderson’s enormous contribution to this and many previous challenges by presenting him with the Rick Briese Memorial Award. Murray truly deserves the award. He is one of our most active volunteers who by putting up and taking down all Challenge theme signs completes at least two challenges every fall. As related to me by Bert, the award was started as a tribute to Rick Briese, a secondary school teacher from Napanee who loved nature and the Park and who spent much time in the Park volunteering and hiking with his partner Nancy Spencer, especially during his last months fighting the cancer that led to his early death. Colleagues and students of his high school together with his family and friends set up a fund, part of which was used for a print and plaque for the Frontenac Park Trail Centre. The award is presented annually to a volunteer whose contribution was instrumental in enhancing the conservation of the Park. By engraving the volunteers’ names, their contributions will not go unnoticed or be forgotten.

A much anticipated part of the pre-BBQ proceedings was the draw for the Canoe raffle. The lucky winner was Mr. Klaus Keunecke of Grand Bend, Ontario, who is an enthusiastic Ontario Parks supporter. Bert and I met him and his partner Marilyn on November 30th, when they came to pick up the canoe just before the Park received its first major snow blanket of the season. They were two very happy campers (canoeists), as you can see from the photo in the Newsletter, and we wish them good luck. Although the canoe will see more of the Ausable River at Grand Bend, we expect to see it also at Frontenac which the two have come to appreciate in recent years. Three cheers and a big thank you to Langford Canoe & Kayak, Canada’s oldest canoe company, for providing the boat and enabling us to raffle it off in what has truly been a win-win-win situation. Thanks also to Anne Hogle and Cathy Murray who took on the arduous task of organizing the raffle, and to Klaus for leaving a donation for the Friends of Frontenac.


December is traditionally the month of planning for next year’s program schedule and new projects. In its December meeting, the Board intends to build on the momentum created by the Doe Lake project and, in cooperation with the Park staff, work out a new project schedule that continues to enhance the Park we love. For this we will again need the support of our volunteers. As pointed out by Paul Vickers in the fall newsletter, the human resource capacity of The Friends is currently strong. But he added in brackets that it “could always be stronger”, and he was particularly concerned that our organization needs to renew itself by attracting younger people, not only to our membership in general but also to our Board (see also report on 2007 AGM). This can best be achieved through a grass roots initiative, and I am asking you therefore to make an effort in 2008 to bring a friend to the Friends.


2008 Board of Directors

The Friends of Frontenac Park is a non profit organization whose purpose is to develop programs and materials that enhance the public's awareness, education, and appreciation of the natural environment and human history of Frontenac Provincial Park.

President: Herb Helmstaedt
Vice-President: Paul Vickers
Treasurer: Jim King
Secretary: David Crane
Membership: John Critchley
Publicity: Heather Stables
Director at Large: Anne Hogle
Director at Large: Cathy Murray
Wilderness Skills: Don Stables
Newsletter: Harvey Guy


Property Acquisition: Dora Hunter
Winter Camping: Don Stables
Frontenac Challenge: Joan McDuff, Rose Jones, Erhard Frenzl
Park Management Plan: Paul Vickers
Map Distribution: John Olson
Newsletter Editor: Harvey Guy
Newsletter Publisher: Ron Abbott

The Friends of Frontenac Park publishes the Frontenac News three times annually. Note that the views expressed in the Frontenac News are not necessarily those of the Friends of Frontenac or the editor. Some articles are published to give the viewpoint of an author and to incite discussions.

We welcome your articles, notes, stories, and photographs for the newsletter. Your ideas, suggestions, and constructive criticisms are always welcome. Material accepted is subject to editing and revision.

Next deadline for submission of material:

Monday February 25th 2008

Copy should be mailed to: Friends of Frontenac Park, c/o Harvey Guy, P.O. Box 2237, Kingston, Ont. K7L 5J9

NOTE: You can visit us at:



* Monday, January 14: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday, January 19: 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.

* Saturday January 26: Winter Nature Hike Join the Friends for a winter afternoon hike to observe nature. Let's see what critters stayed for the winter and how they are coping. Meet at the Trail Centre at 12:30. Wear warm boots, and bring a snack and warm drink. Leader: Dora Hunter. Contact the Park (376 3489) for more details.

* February 2-3: Winter Camping Weekend #1 (or Weekend #2 on February 9-10) Choose one of these two weekends to acquire and practice winter camping skills. Food will be provided. Prerequisite - “Winter Camping - Planning” given on January 20. Cost: $60.00 ea. plus interior camping fee; Time: 10:00 Saturday to 15:30 Sunday. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* Thursday, February 7: Winter Lecture “Of Northern Emperors and the Lure of Far Away Places: An evening of canoe stories with James Raffan” 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 21:00.

* February 9-10: Winter Camping Weekend #2 See Above.

* Monday, February 11: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday, February 16: 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 lunch. Please meet at the Trail Centre. Time: 10:30 to 15:30.

* Monday, February 25: 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.

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

* Saturday, March 29: 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, March 31: Your Friends Membership Ends We need your support so please renew your membership for another year.

* April 12-13 : Doe Lake & Arab Lake Gorge Work Days Come out and join with the Friends on these days dedicated to putting the final finishing touches on the work to upgrade the Doe Lake hiking trail. Contact the Park office at 376 3489 for details or visit our website ( for actual times and further information.

* Sunday, April 13: 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. 16:00. Bring water,a lunch, good walking shoes and lots of questions. Please register with the Park at 376-3489 and plan to go, rain or shine.

* Monday, April 14: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Sunday, April 20: Guide Spring 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.

* Monday, May 5: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday June 14: 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.

* Saturday, June 28: President’s Paddle Join the Friends for a canoe trip to one of the campsites in the Park. The flotilla will depart at 10:00am and anticipated return is 16:00. See the note on President’s Paddle in the Spring Newsletter for details or, visit our website ( or contact the Park at 376-3489 for further information.


Volunteers for 2007

The ongoing and now nearly complete “Doe Lake and Arab Gorge Trails Revitalization” project as well as many other initiatives, has had many Friends and volunteers of Frontenac Park dedicating many hours throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall. In addition to the usual support they offer the Park Staff with ongoing maintenance, bridge building, special events and winter hosting, this year we can’t forget the many that helped with our successful canoe raffle. Whether a “friendly face” on the trail or a comfort to the many campers at the campsites, our volunteers are there to offer advice and make suggestions to ensure that a visit to Frontenac Park is a memorable one.

Thank you to all who so willingly give of their time. We hope we have not inadvertently overlooked anyone and if we have, please accept our thanks and our apologies.

We are always looking for new volunteers. For more information about being a volunteer please contact the Park Office at (613) 376-3489.

Volunteers for 2007

Adell, Bernie
Beach, Claire
Buchner, Morris
Blasko, Rick
Blasko, Sally
Bock, Elgin
Bodner, Suzanne
Bolt, Helen
Burbidge, Peter
Clooney, Bob
Cornett, Cathy
Crane, David
Critchley, John
deBenedetti, Kathy
Deeks, Eric
Dennis, Faye
Dennis, Robert
Dorland, John
Doyle, Michael
Duncan, Joyce
Duncan, Rudy
Frenzl, Erhard
Fenton, Janet
Fenton, Nicole
Giffin, Al
Guy, Harvey
Helmstaedt, Audrey
Helmstaedt, Herb
Henderson, Murray
Hodson, Jean
Hogg, Bill
Hogle, Anne
Hough, Anne
Hough, Robert
Hunter, Dora
Jones, Rose
Kelly, Jim
Kelly, Margaret
King, Jim
Kitchen, Jane
McCann, Allain
McDuff, Joan
McDuff, Jerome
McCurdy, Larry
Millan, Debbie
Millan, Eric
Millan, Mark
Murray, Cathy
North, Donna
O’Brian, Irene
O’Shea, Michael
Olson, Janet
Olson, John
Ooman, Martin
Phillips, Colin
Phillips, Ted
Pitcher, Kevin
Ruttan, Val
Sanger, Audrey
Seeley, Gloria
Simpson, Joan
Smith, Simon
Stables, Don
Stables, Heather
Teeple, Kristen
Thorne, Guy
Tucker, Jan
Turkington, Nancy
Turkington, Robin
Vickers, Paul
Weese, Zack


Frontenac Challenge 2007

by Joan McDuff

The ever popular Frontenac Challenge continues to provide hikers with both a challenge to hike all 11 loops and an opportunity to enjoy the fall colours in the Park. This year, our fifteenth challenge, was no exception, enticing hikers from the local area and afar. We had 203 people who signed up and 128 who finished. Approximately 100 joined us for the celebratory BBQ and to share stories and fond memories.

The theme for this year was Rocks and Minerals and at the BBQ, Herb Helmstaedt gave a presentation and showed a display of some of the rocks and minerals we have in the Park and the areas that surround our trails.

Over the years we have tried to choose a theme that relates directly to the park. Since this is our fifteenth year we thought it would be fun to look back at the other themes we have enjoyed. In doing so, we think we have captured each year but one. Therefore we throw out a new challenge to any of our hikers who can fill in the missing year. Please email Joan McDuff at if you can identify the theme and we will ensure that it gets added as part of the history of this ever-popular event. We have enjoyed many themes and here they are:

Challenge Sign from the first Frontenac Challenge - 1993, photo by Jerome McDuff1993 – a variety of items (flower, dragonfly, fish, leaf, moon, cloud, star, sun, mining, turtle, deer)
1994 – names of settler families
1995 – mammals
1996 – trees
1997 – birds
1998 – flowers
1999 – amphibians
2000 – mushrooms
2001 – fish
2002 – butterflies
2003 – ferns
2004 – ?
2005 – a composite review of previous themes
2006 - farm implements
2007 – rocks and minerals

Such events are only possible with the dedication of our wonderful Friends’ volunteers who help set up and take down. Our thanks go to those who make and put up the signs as well as those that take them down, those who create the certificates and track the milestones and of course those who cook the “dogs” and see that we are well fed. As usual…a job well done!

The success of those who finished is always an accomplishment whether the first or fifteenth time. Congratulations to all who took the challenge and especially to those who joined the “5 year club” and the prestigious “10 year club”.

Congratulations go to the following hikers who completed The Challenge and special congratulations to Audrey Sanger who was one of the first and the only one to have completed all 15 Challenges!

The Frontenac Challenge 2007

First time:
Bonnie Bailey
Colin Banfield
Jane Bird
Carolyn Boyce
Matthew Bridgeland
Bobbie-Lynne Brock
Chris Chanook
Diane Creber
Peter Dickson
Shirley Droll
Shara Lee Foster
Stephanie Gannon
Mary Jane Gordon
Dave Henderson
Alvin Johns
Rhonda Kerr
Gunther Klaschka
John Kurowski
Phillip Mabey
Zabe MacEachren
Dave Maxam
Lisa McIsaac
Clark Moffatt
Jenn Muli
Mateo Muñoz
Sofia Muñoz
Helen Phillips
Steve Pysklywec
Glenda Turner
Alice Vander Werf
Susanne Williams
Don Workman
Bill Zeran
Rita Zeran

2nd time:
Mike Bates
Wendy Bordeleau
Wilma Bowers
Peter Bridgeland
Bob Clooney
Nicole Fenton
Allan Giffin
Maureen Hobbis
Rose Jones
Dan Lapointe
John Leblanc
Susan Long-Poucher
Mark McCrady
Mitchell McCrady
Deb Millan
Eric Millan
Mark Millan
Jairo Muñoz
Joey O’Donnell
Lucy Onysko
Brian Sligh
Karen Sligh
Gary Stefan
Marjorie Stefan
Connor Vreeken
Marie Warner
Debbie Wemp
Jim Wemp

3rd time:
Peter Blood
Amy Dahm
Janet Fenton
Doris Ihrig
Gunhild Karius
Sue Maki
Derrick Mikkola
Bob Short
Toni Towle
Erik Vreeken

4th time:
Andrew Babcock
Bruce Bromfield
Kathy De Benedetti
Evelyn Harding
Bill Hiemstra
Rob Irving
Rhéal Legault
Patti McCauley
Michael Newstead

5th time (Silver):
Joan Bailey
Morris Buckner
Anna Chadwick
Debbie Frost
Jordan Goudreau
Andrew Hills
Rose Millett
Kim Onysko
Regina Prokopczuk
Linda Turnbull
Donna Vinkle
Margaret Wild

6th time:
John Blackwell
John Critchley

7th time:
Les C. Cseh
Jane Hough
Robert Hough
Fred Luciani
Donna North
Ted Phillips
Gloria Seeley

8th time:
Grant Asselstine
Gary Birrell
Kathy Francis
Paul Markle
Tom Mawhinney
Jérôme McDuff
Jack Roscoe
Sandy Williams

9th time:
David Armitage
Rick Blasko
Sally Blasko
Donald Bond
Bill Murdoch
Barbara Pusch
Val Ruttan

10th time (Gold):
Faye Dennis
Judy Ferren
John Golemiec
Sharon McIlroy

12th time:
Mike Carmody
Joyce Duncan
Rudy Duncan
Erhard Frenzl
Hugh Pratt

14th time:
Murray Henderson

15th time:
Audrey Sanger


Winter Lecture sponsored by Friends of Frontenac Park

Of Northern Emperors and the Lure of Far Away Places: An evening of canoe stories with James Raffan

When: February 7, 2008, 7:00pm sharp

Where: In the Wilson Room, Kingston Frontenac Public Library, Central Branch, 130 Johnson Street, Kingston

James Raffan is a respected author and outdoor educator who has written and edited numerous best-selling books, including Fire in the Bones and Deep Waters. The canoe stories will be about Herb Pohl and Sir George Simpson, two iconic Canadian canoeists who are the subjects of The Lure of Faraway Places: Reflections on Wilderness and Solitude and Emperor of the North, his two most recent books, published in 2007.


Membership Matters

Included with this newsletter you will find your renewal form for the 2008-2009 membership year. Please take the time to turn it over and let us know about your interests.

Thanks for your support
John Critchley


Report of Annual General Meeting, November 10, 2007

Peter Dawson presents Mr. Murray Henderson with the Rick Briese Memorial Award at the 2007 AGM.The AGM was held at 1 p.m. immediately following the Frontenac Challenge BBQ.

Paul Vickers began with the President’s report which is reprinted separately in this Newsletter.

Jim King presented the Treasurers report stating that revenues for the last financial year, including outside grants to the Friends, totaled $29,400.- compared to expenses of $20,795. He mentioned that the difference of ca. $8,000 would probably be used up by outstanding bills for the Doe Lake project. He noted that donations to the Friends totaled ca. $2,500, and that the canoe raffle netted ca. $5,500. Current assets of the Friends include $4,491 in cash, $46,085 in GIC’s and a map inventory of $6,600, totaling $57,176. This leaves us in a good position to undertake new projects in the coming year.

John Critchley reported that present membership of the Friends is 141, which includes an increase of 18 members compared to the previous year. He pointed out that a major effort should be directed towards attracting new members, especially younger adults to the Friends and the Board of Directors. There was a brief discussion about the distribution of ages of the Park users, and Peter Dawson pointed out that a survey will be undertaken next year to get more information about this aspect.

John Olson reported on status of map sales. All of the original ca. 550 plastic maps were sold, and normal paper maps are also selling well. The remaining inventory is about 6300 maps. He thanked the various outlets selling our map, foremost among them the Mountain Equipment Coop. A brief discussion ensued whether additional plastic maps should be printed, but Paul pointed out that this was not feasible until we would have a new map edition.

Joan McDuff asked for volunteers to help organizing the new winter hosting program. As Karen Langley’s weekend hours have been funded by the Park, the Friends will have to provide volunteer hosts for the weekends from January to March. She suggested that the hosts should make an effort to talk to Park visitors about the Friends of Frontenac organization with the aim of attracting possible new members.

Peter Dawson gave the Park report telling the assembled members that he enjoyed his first season very much, and he thanked the Park staff, members of the Friends and other volunteers for their support during this time, singling out Bert Korporaal and Paul Vickers for being particularly helpful. He said that he was impressed with the volunteer efforts by the Friends, in particular the Doe Lake project. He was also very impressed with the Frontenac Challenge. He reported that the contract work on the steps for the Doe Lake trail should be finished soon. He and Bert finished the “cabling” of camp site #3, i.e. the installation of cable mechanisms financed by the Friends at each tent site on which food containers can be hoisted for protection against raccoons and bears. He talked about various plans for the future, including a new Park entrance sign, a new road sign at the turn-off to the Park, and efforts to reorganize the trail centre to better utilize the building. He informed the members that the Park has been reclassified from ‘major activity’ to ‘self-use’, which makes the Friends’ programs particularly relevant. He also mentioned that the Park is now officially part of the Frontenac Biosphere Reserve. He will monitor closely what this will entail for the Park and keep the members informed. There was some progress on the new draft for the Park management plan, though it may still take a while until the main office will release the new version for public input. He finished his report by thanking the Friends for their support and expressing special thanks to Paul, the outgoing president, for his enormous efforts on behalf of the Park.

Kathy de Benedetti, Peter Burbidge and Joan McDuff resigned from the Board and were given a ‘paddle of appreciation’ by Paul. Paul also received a paddle for his term as President, though he agreed to stay on as vice president to facilitate the transition.

Notice was given in the fall Newsletter (#49) that the Board proposes two changes to the by-laws: 1) A change in the number of directors of the board from the previously required 10 members to 8-12, to provide more flexibility. 2) A change in the requirement that the past president remain on the Board after stepping down. In the future the past president’s position will be replaced by that of vice president. The president will chair the nomination committee, a duty that previously fell to the past president. The proposal was accepted by the membership.

The meeting ended with the election of the 2008 Board of Directors listed separately in this Newsletter.


Elevated Cable System

A new elevated cable system has recently been installed at Campsite #3 on a test basis. It is hoped that it will eliminate the problem of animals raiding campers food supplies.

Material costs were covered by the Friends and installation was by Park Staff.

Pack hanging from the cable system


Raffle Winner

Winners of the canoe raffle 2007

Mr. Klaus Keunecke of Grand Bend, Ontario, and his partner Marilyn proudly receive there new Langford canoe at the Trail Centre on November 30th 2007.


Trailhead Sign Dedicated

The new trailhead sign

(Left to right) Glenn Stresman, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Kingston; Paul Vickers, Peter Dawson, Bert Korporaal, and Ben Chabot dedicate the new Trailhead Sign during the 2007 AGM.


New Bridge Work

Work team taking a rest on the frame of the new bridge

The team works on one of the final phases of the Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Rehabilitation Project – the replacement of the 'Y' section of bridge near the Trail Centre.



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 62 Brock Street 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.