Winter 2009 Number 53

Winter Lecture - Adventures on the Kopka River

By Paul Vickers

Kopka River seventh sister falls (Photo: Jerome McDuff)The Friends of Frontenac Park are pleased to invite back Kevin Callan for this year’s Winter Lecture.  Kevin, (with his canoe partner Andy Baxter maybe), will share photos, stories and (mis) adventures of his 2006 trip on the Kopka River, one of Northern Ontario’s majestic rivers.

Joining Kevin for the lecture will be The Friend’s own Jérôme McDuff and Paul Vickers, who were foolish enough to follow Kevin’s route the following year (and survived).

After being dropped off by train in the remote wilderness of Northern Ontario, the two canoe parties started on a ten day voyage into areas seen by only a few people each year.  With their canoe laden with supplies, our adventurers discovered tranquil lakes, scenic rivers, breathe taking waterfalls, a stampeding moose, unmarked portages, remnants of poor whitewater judgment, and unnavigable creeks that were advertised as navigable (and that is just the beginning of the list). Supported by good humour, good food, and good weather (and satellite tracking devices mandated by their wives), our adventurers had a memorable trip to share.

Please join us on Wednesday 25-February-2009 at the Kingston Public Library - Wilson Room at 7 pm for what is sure to be an entertaining evening of spectacular photography, unbelievable stories, and good company. Admission is free but donations are accepted.


President's Message

The President Herb Helmstaedt carrying a load of wood. (Photo: Jerome McDuff)As my report to the November Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The Friends (reprinted in this newsletter) recounted most of our activities throughout 2008, this message will concentrate on the Frontenac Challenge BBQ and the AGM.

The 2008 Frontenac Challenge was again a great success, with 144 of the 200 registrants, completing all trails and coming from as far away as British Columbia. This did not quite match our record of 2006, when 146 of 211 registrants completed the Challenge, but with a 72% completion rate in 2008, we surpassed that of 2006 by 3%. Audrey Sanger is keeping her record of having completed all 16 challenges, closely followed by Murray Henderson with 15 challenges to his name. Nearly a hundred participants, ranging in age from 5 to over 70, came to the BBQ to receive their certificates from Peter Dawson and Anne Hogle. Bree Beveridge from Ontario Parks gave a much appreciated presentation describing the endangered plant and animal species that formed this year’s Challenge theme and, following this, various Challenge adventures were recounted by the participants. Peter Dawson then presented the annual Rick Briese Memorial Award to two indefatigable Park volunteers. Paul Vickers, our past President, now serving as Vice President of the Board, was honored in absentia for his enormous efforts on behalf of the Park, culminating in the successful completion of the Doe Lake trail revitalization project at the end of his term. Jerome McDuff received the honor for building and keeping up the highly attractive and informative Friend’s website, leading historical walks, keeping Challenge statistics, printing Challenge certificates and for his tireless work within the Park including the GPS surveys for the planned new trail.

The Frontenac Challenge would not be such a success were it not for the monumental effort of many people whom I would like to thank, in particular Erhard Frenzl for making the signs; Murray Henderson, Gloria Seeley, Audrey Sanger, Don Bond and Tom Mawhinney for putting the signs up and taking them down; Jerome McDuff for keeping the Challenge statistics and printing certificates; Anne Hogle and Joan McDuff for organizing the BBQ; and last but not least, Karen Langley from the Park Office, for registering the participants and giving them cheerful advice about the trails.

The AGM was held following the BBQ. My own report can be read in this newsletter. Jim King, our treasurer, reported that we are in good financial shape, and John Critchley, our membership secretary, reported a present membership of 131, 70 of which are family memberships. Our membership is thus not huge but certainly not shrinking. John Olson retired from his position as our Map sales coordinator, one of the most important jobs of the Friends, as map sales generate most of our income. John said that he enjoyed his job and that he would continue to give us advice on the subject. Jim King thanked him on behalf of the Board for all his efforts and presented him with a small hand-made paddle. We are happy to report that the map position has been taken over by Cam Hodges. Cathy Murray reported about our hosting program, and she passed on her job as hosting coordinator to Dora Hunter who, I am happy to note, has decided that she is not yet ready to permanently move out west. She obviously likes the Park too much, and she will be leading a winter nature hike again in February. Peter Dawson gave the Park’s report noting many of the combined Park/Friends efforts, including the new foot bridge, Peter LeBel’s trail survey and putting up reflective markers on the Slide Lake loop, and the preliminary work by Erhard Frenzl and Jerome McDuff on surveying the newly planned trail. Peter Dawson informed the Friends about the various stages necessary before the new trail connecting the corridor trail with the Cedar Lake loop can be approved. He also noted that with the support of the Friends the Park has now a modern GPS unit and a digital camera, both of which will be very helpful in Park maintenance work and documentation. An item of great interest to the winter users of the Park is that Peter managed to obtain a better ski-do, which eventually may be employed to groom some of the trails.

Following the reports, the election for the Board of Directors was held. With the exception of Heather Stables, all previous members had agreed to stand for reelection. Heather’s time-consuming job does not allow her to continue with regular board duties, and we will miss her “younger generation” input to our discussions. We are very happy that Stefan Szrajer agreed to be nominated as a new Director at large. The ten newly and reelected members of the Board are listed in this Newsletter. We still have not been able to motivate somebody to join our Board as the person responsible for our publicity thus, although we will try our best, you must not be surprised when in the coming year some of our events are not as well advertised as we would wish. We remain hopeful, however, that this situation will be remedied in the future.

Our December Board meeting will again be devoted to planning next year’s schedule of events and new projects. As always we appreciate our members input in this process, and we are especially interested in suggestions to revive our nature guide program and to produce information literature about the Park. All in all, I am certain that 2009 will be another successful year for our cooperation with the Park.

Herb Helmstaedt


2009 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
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle
Trail Sweeps: Cathy Murray
Director at Large: Stefan Szrajer
Wilderness Skills: Don Stables
Newsletter: Harvey Guy


Winter Camping: Don Stables
Winter Hosting: Dora Hunter
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle, Erhard Frenzl
Park Management Plan: Paul Vickers
Map Distribution:Cam Hodges
Newsletter Editor: Harvey Guy
Newsletter Publisher: Ron Abbott
Web Master: Jérôme McDuff

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 23-February-2009

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

NOTE: You can visit us at:



Here is a list of upcoming activities that maybe of interest to you. Please participate and tell your friends about them The * 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 (613 376 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 Saturday November 9, at 10:30. So come out to Frontenac Park and take the Challenge!

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

* Saturday, January 17: 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.

* Jan 31 – Feb 1: Winter Camping Weekend #1 (or Weekend #2 on February 7-8): Choose one of these two weekends to acquire and practice winter camping skills. Food will be provided. Prerequisite - “Winter Camping - Planning” given on January 17. 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.

* February 7-8: Winter Camping Weekend #2. See Above.

* Winter Lecture:  “Adventures on the Kopka River in Northern Ontario" Presented by Kevin Callan, Andy Baxter, Paul Vickers and Jérôme McDuff. To attend this free winter lecture sponsored by the Friends visit our website ( for time, location and further information or contact the Park at 376‑3489.

* Saturday, February 14: Snowshoe Workshop. This is a snowshoe day for people of all ages and all levels. Mr. Edward  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.

(F) Tuesday, February 17: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

(F) Sunday, February 22: 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 (613) 335-4294 or Contact the Park (376-3489) for more details.

* Monday, February 23: 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 9: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday, March 28: 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.

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

* Saturday, April 18: 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.

* Sunday, April 19: 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.

* Saturday, April 25: Spring Work Day Come out and join with the Friends on this day dedicated to work to upgrade the Parks infrastructure. Contact the Park office at 376-3489 for details or visit our website ( for actual times and further information.

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

* June: 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. See note in the Spring Newsletter for more details or, visit our website (

* June:  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 more details or, visit our website ( or contact the Park at 376-3489 for further information.


John Olson Retires

John Olson our Map Sales Coordinator for many years is retiring from his position.

John Olson receiving the Rick Bresee award. (Photo: Jerome McDuff)

Thank you John for all your hard work on behalf of the Friends.


Report of Annual General Meeting, November 9, 2008

By Herb Helmstaedt

Although we had another busy year, I think that compared to 2007, when the Doe Lake project was in its final and busiest year and we also had a canoe raffle, 2008 was somewhat less demanding on volunteer power. Following last year’s general meeting, discussions between the Board and Park staff led to the formulation of two major new projects, the first being the rebuilding of the foot bridge at the SW end of Big Salmon Lake and the second an initiative to plan and eventually “build” a new trail loop to have a trail that is intermediate in length between the 3 km Doe Lake trail and the ~8 km Bufflehead trail.

We all knew that the bridge needed replacing, and that the work would have to be done in the Fall when water levels are lowest. We also knew that the work would probably have to be done in stages, possibly taking two years, if done entirely by volunteer labor. We thus planned only one or two spring work days to take out the Y in the bridge at the beginning of the Doe Lake trail and left the fall work bees to be scheduled later. As you know from our Fall newsletter, however, we received an anonymous donation of $5000 and decided to contract the work out to Brian Rose, the builder of the original bridge, who finished the work before the trail sweep on October 18th. So thanks to Bert’s meticulous planning and design, David Crane’s preparation of the funding proposal, the contribution from the anonymous donor, Peter Dawson’s overall organization of the contracting and bringing materials to the site, and the excellent work of the contractor, the project was completed in less than one year. The total cost: approx. $8000.- for materials and contracted work, not counting the labor of bringing the material to the site which was provided by the Park We plan to attach a small plaque to the bridge acknowledging the donation and indicating that the bridge is a result of cooperation between the Friends and Frontenac Park.

The new trail project was proposed originally by Peter and Bert and arose from the Park’s observation that many visitors were interested in hikes longer than the Doe Lake trail, but shorter than the 8 km Bufflehead loop. So far we have looked at the northern end of the Cedar Lake loop, where Jerome McDuff and Erhard Frenzl have prepared preliminary GPS track logs making an E-W connection between the Corridor trail and the eastern part of the Cedar Lake loop at and north of Cedar Lake. Before a final decision can be made, the initial routes need to be investigated further from ecologic and esthetic points of views, and this will no doubt also include testing the suitability of such connection for winter hiking. I expect that Peter may say something in his report as to the procedures that will have to be followed from here on.

Apart from the two new projects, we had a full schedule of activities as usual. This included winter hosting, winter camping, led by Don Stables and Erhard Frenzl, a winter nature hike with Dora Hunter, and a snowshoe workshop with Edward Grenda. Our winter lecture this year was by James Raffan who before a capacity crowd in the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library spun three different canoeing stories into a most exciting and informative yarn. Spring saw a well-attended volunteer training day, a historical walk, led by Jérôme McDuff, and the annual Spring trail sweep. The summer was wetter than usual, as you all know, but activities continued nevertheless with the Map and Compass workshops and the President’s paddle.

Although the Bring a Friend to the Park event on Sept. 6th was rather low-key this year, I think it is worth repeating and be given a chance to gain some momentum in future years. The Fall trail sweep was well attended, and the annual Challenge was a great success again, as you saw in the morning, and I don’t need to elaborate on it any further.

What next? The Board had already, and later this Fall will have again, discussions with the Park staff as to new projects and next year’s schedule of events. However, we hope that we will have plenty of input for this from our membership, either during this meeting, or following this meeting by communications to the Board, by phone, mail, and by e-mail. As you know, we will have to have a number of events scheduled by the middle of December, so that they can go into the 2009 Park Tabloid, but the planning process for projects usually drags on into January. Thus there will be plenty of time for suggestions, be it for nature hikes, work projects, trail signs, pamphlets, or otherwise.

All in all, I think we had another good year, and I thank all members, present today or not, for your/their continued support. Our motto “Return a Favor to Nature” remains as valid today as ever, and the Friends contributions remain essential to maintaining the Park. I would like to express a special thanks to the Park staff for their continued full support of our projects and programs, and it has been a pleasure and privilege for me to have such wonderful cooperation.


Membership Matters

Included with the paper copy of this newsletter you will find your renewal form for the 2009-2010 membership year.
Please take the time to turn it over and let us know about your interests.

Thanks for your support
John Critchley


Salmon Lake Bridge Restoration

This past fall, The Friends of Frontenac Park joined forces with Ontario Parks to replace the bridge near the Big Salmon Lake canoe launch. Below are before and after photographs - quite an improvement isn't it?

Old bridge west of Big Salmon Lake   New bridge west of Big Salmon Lake


A Tio Wulf Ramble

By Larry Gibbons

The park seems quieter this year. I’m not saying that the winds are blowing more softly,  that the pileated woodpeckers are toning down their high-pitched cries or that certain campers aren’t still shouting their primeval frustrations to the invisible gods of the forest. Not that kind of quiet. More like being in a supermarket just as they open kind of silence. The shelves are piled high and the Muzak is subtly playing on your desire to buy but the shoppers aren’t milling about in the aisles.

Maybe it’s the lack of deer that makes the park seem more hushed this year. Some people believe that last year’s heavy snow and extended deer hunting season are two of the reasons why the deer population is down. Whatever the reasons, I’m certainly not spotting as many deer foraging or hearing as many deer snorting.

Last year I got used to spotting deer in every corner of the park. And because of the apparent lack of deer this year I’ll confess to once or twice acting rather strangely. My behaviour spurred on by the fact that it was deer hunting season and reinforced by the sound of gunshots, hopefully outside the park’s boundaries. So, when I came upon a few deer refugees, and when I was quite certain that nobody was watching, I offered them, in my best deer voice, some advice. “You guys better stay away from the park boundary if you want to survive for another winter and not be banging about in some hunter’s pick-up truck.

A hike into the park is, for me, a pilgrimage. A time to watch, feel and listen to what the wild places have to show me. I am, however, also fond of people. Why, some of my best friends are people who love nature. And I surely do spot plenty of humans while on my hikes in the park. Like on my last, long, November ramble up to the park office when I encountered campers, power walkers, oblivious joggers and lots of people just sauntering along and enjoying the beauty of the park. But if I see too many people and not very many other kinds of life, like the deer, then I sometimes feel that the world or my world is deprived. I start to worry about the state of the wild places and how well they are standing up to the increasing pressure that our development-mad, money-crazy world is putting on them.

I think that a forest devoid of wildlife is like a society devoid of myth and story. And maybe if our society had more myth and story, the earth wouldn’t be under such a dark cloud. However, I am thankful that most of my hikes still give me a sense of the other and of being recharged. For I would hate to lose forever the promise of spying a large wolf howling from the top of Moulton Gorge or the possibility that a sunbeam shining through a thick cluster of oak leaves might temporarily blind me with meaning and hope.

I think that this hope can help us to avoid being swamped by the political and economic storm currently battering our world. Too much gloom and despair can make us begin to feel that the wild places, the parks and the universe are devoid of the magic that they still hold. And I’m hoping that my not seeing the deer or my sometimes feeling that the park is losing its wild creatures and magic, is just me being a fool who is feeling overwhelmed by the overbearing specialists and the yappy pundits. Blind to beauty like the fool in “Fairy Wisdom”, who couldn’t spot the beautiful maiden.

The maiden-queen of wisdom dwelt
In Beauty’s Bower of the single tree,
Where she could see what humans felt,
And where no fool could her beauty see.


The Frontenac Challenge 2008

Theme: Species at Risk, Endangered, and Special Concern

The 16th annual Frontenac Challenge continues to draw both new and experienced hikers on a quest to hike all 11 loops (160 km) and provides an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the fall colours in Frontenac Park. This year we had 200 registrants and 144 that actually completed The Challenge.

This year 8 participants, a very substantial number, joined the ‘5 year club’, Andrew Babcock , Bruce Bromfield, Bill Hiemstra, Rob Irving, Rhéal Legault, Patti McCauley, Kathy Newstead, Michael Newstead - well done!  A special salute also goes out to David Armitage, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Donald Bond, Bill Murdoch, and Barbara Pusch who are now members of the prestigious ’10 year Club’. What a tremendous accomplishment, congratulations to you, and all of the participants.

No doubt there will be many fond memories and good stories to be told and enjoyed throughout the year. We look forward to your return next year and perhaps you may want to consider bringing along a new friend who might also be interested in “returning a favour to nature”.

Congratulations go to the following hikers who completed The Challenge 2008.

First time:
Shelley Aylesworth-Spink
Bob Bird
Lisa Boulay
Holly Boyce
Bob Connelly
Kim Connelly
Luke Connelly
Lynn Ede
Brett Goodwin
Carol Greentree
Helen Hill
Susan Irving
Will Irwin
Natalie Jones
Maryann Kerr
Joe Kozar
Seth Kozar
Lise Legault
Greg Long
Francine MacDonald
Matt McLaren
Sheila Menard
Lynda Morrison
Ian Murdoch
Sonia Nobrega
Meg O'Connor
Nicholas Pappas
Jacques Pelletier
Veronika Pelletier
Shane Peters
Marie Ross
Vicki Schmolka
Bernie Shaw
Paul Sparkes
Nigel Spink
Rose Stewart
Nils Swinamer
Solveig Swinamer
Robert Tolley
Norm Trembath
Ben Tripp
Alex Vreeken
Bruce Williamson
Ann Wilson
Elaine Wilson
David Wright

2nd time:
Bonnie Bailey
Jane Bird
Carolyn Bonta
Carolyn Boyce
Chris Chanook
Jenn Chanook
Shara Lee Foster
John Hanes
Dave Henderson
Shawn Hutchinson
Rhonda Kerr
Gunther Klaschka
John Kurowski
Elaine Lowen
Phillip Mabey
Mateo Muñoz
Sofia Muñoz
Cathy Murray
Helen Phillips
Dana Pilling
Steve Pysklywec
Glenda Turner
Martha Whitehead
Susanne Williams
Bill Zeran
Rita Zeran

3rd time:
Bob Clooney
Josh Dennis
Nicole Fenton
Allan Giffin
Heather Jamieson
Earline Klaschka
Eric Millan
Mark Millan
Jairo Muñoz
Joey O’Donnell
Connor Vreeken
Marie Warner
Debbie Wemp
Jim Wemp

4th time:
Peter Blood
Janet Fenton
Doris Ihrig
Gunhild Karius
Derrick Mikkola
Bob Short
Toni Towle
Erik Vreeken

5th time (Silver):
Andrew Babcock
Bruce Bromfield
Bill Hiemstra
Rob Irving
Rhéal Legault
Patti McCauley
Kathy Newstead
Michael Newstead

6th time:
Morris Buckner
Debbie Frost
Jordan Goudreau
Andrew Hills
Cam Hodges
Rose Millett
Sandra Muis
Regina Prokopczuk
Linda Turnbull
Donna Vinkle
Margaret Wild

7th time:
John Blackwell
John Critchley

8th time:
Les C. Cseh
Jane Hough
Robert Hough
Fred Luciani
Ted Phillips
Gloria Seeley
Maureen Sly
Cheryl Stevenson

9th time:
Gary Birrell
Paul Markle
Tom Mawhinney
Beth Orr
Jack Roscoe
Sandy Williams

10th time (Gold):
David Armitage
Rick Blasko
Sally Blasko
Donald Bond
Bill Murdoch
Barbara Pusch

11th time:
Faye Dennis

12th time:
Dora Hunter

13th time:
Mike Carmody
Joyce Duncan
Rudy Duncan
Erhard Frenzl
Hugh Pratt

15th time:
Murray Henderson

16th time:
Audrey Sanger


Frontenac Challenge - Species at Risk Descriptions

Compiled by Bree Beveridge, Ecologist Intern, Ontario Parks

Butternut – Endangered
Butternut is a relatively short-lived, small to medium sized tree that looks like black walnut. It is usually found scattered throughout forests and was never common in Ontario. Butternut canker (a fungal disease which can be identified by black sooty patches on leaf buds, scars and wounds) has affected most trees in Ontario, including those of Frontenac Provincial Park.

Blunt-lobed Woodsia – Endangered
Blunt-lobed woodsia is a small fern that grows in forested areas with southern exposure on limestone-based rock. Of the nine known populations in Canada, four are in Ontario along the Frontenac Axis.  A single colony, which was first discovered in 1977, persists within the boundaries Frontenac Provincial Park where it is protected from its most imminent threat - habitat alteration.

Purple Twayblade – Endangered
Purple twayblade is a small, inconspicuous mauve-coloured orchid found in few places in Ontario.  The population within the park was recently discovered by Tom Marsh and Maureen Sly in 2001. The park population is particularly special because it represents the largest population in the province and grows in unusual habitat - silver maple swamp.

Black (Eastern) Ratsnake – Threatened
The black ratsnake, also known as the eastern ratsnake, is a constrictor and feeds mostly on rodents, birds, frogs and other snakes.  The black ratsnake can reach a length of 2 meters (6 ft) making it the largest snake in Ontario. In total, visitors have submitted 456 sightings to park staff since 2004 and of these records 261 have been confirmed through physical descriptions and photographs.

Blanding’s Turtle – Threatened
There have been a number of Blanding’s turtle sightings throughout the park and it we think they are widespread here because of the extensive wetland and pond habitat.  They are relatively large (maximum length of 27.5 cm, approximately 1 ft), have a smooth ‘helmet’ or domed shaped shell and bright yellow jaw and throat making them easy to identify.  Because they are long-lived, don’t mature until about 20 years of age, and produce few offspring, one of their biggest threats is adult mortality as roadkill. 

Stinkpot – Threatened
Stinkpots, also called eastern musk turtles, grow to a maximum length of about 13 cm (5 inches) making them among the smallest turtles in Ontario.  Because they tend to stay underwater, feed at night, and their shell is dark and algae-covered, they are difficult to find.  Although observations were scant within the park before 2005, higher numbers have recently been found along shorelines with wetland vegetation.

Milksnake – Special Concern
This mainly nocturnal snake can easily go undetected and is difficult to study because it usually occurs in low numbers in densely forested areas.  It is expected that milksnakes are limited to a relatively small area of the park, as it does not represent ideal habitat – old fields and abandoned farm buildings where rodents are plentiful. 

Broad Beech Fern – Special Concern
Broad beech fern has triangular-shaped fronds (leaves) and grows in moist soils in beech and maple forests.  Frontenac Provincial Park has two patches of this plant and was first discovered within the park by Ian MacDonald in 1973.  This species reaches its northern limit in Ontario.   Although it likely was never common here, it is continuing to decline because it can’t tolerate changes to its habitat

Northern Map Turtle – Special Concern
The northern map turtle was appropriately named because of the fine white markings on its shell that look like the contour lines of topographic maps.  Although somewhat shy, these turtles are often seen where they congregate at favorite basking sites (rocks and fallen trees) in all of the major water bodies throughout the park.  Below is a photograph of a northern map turtle laying eggs in a nest that will be covered with dirt and abandoned once she is finished.

Cerulean Warbler – Special Concern
After migrating from South America in the spring, Cerulean warblers settle throughout their breeding range (including southern Ontario) in forests with tall deciduous trees.  Biologists think that about 75-80 breeding pairs live in the park every summer, which is 15 to 30 % of the national estimate of 500 to 100 individuals. As a result, the mature maple-oak forests of Frontenac Provincial Park are extremely important for the long-term survival of this species in Ontario. 

Red-shouldered Hawk – Special Concern (Delisted in 2006-2007)
In Ontario, the red-shouldered hawk is limited to interior forest habitat where it feeds on small mammals, amphibians and snakes.  It has been difficult to monitor within the park since individuals are easily counted twice within their large territories.  The clearing of large tracts of continuous forest for farmland and development is the most serious threat facing this species, although its numbers have been increasing as farms are abandoned and forests return.



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 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.