Autumn 2011 Number 61

Celebrating 20 Years of Friends

On September 3, the Friends of Frontenac Park marked its 20th anniversary of incorporation as an organization dedicated to undertaking activities to enhance public appreciation of Frontenac Provincial Park. This means working to create programs and materials to promote public awareness, education, and understanding of the park's natural and cultural heritage.

Park Superintendent Peter Dawson (left) and Friends Director Simon Smith (right) admire the display boards created by Smith highlighting 20 Years of Friends Achievement and Activities.  Photo provided by Simon Smith.

Park Superintendent Peter Dawson (left) and Friends Director Simon Smith (right) admire the display boards
created by Smith highlighting 20 Years of Friends Achievement and Activities.
Photo provided by Simon Smith.

As a special treat to Park visitors, which also coincided with Bring a Friend to the Park Day, the Friends celebrated in style with a specially designed cake courtesy of Ottawa Valley Cakes. In addition to the sweet treats, Friends Director Simon Smith created fantastic display boards highlighting Friends activities and work projects over the past two decades. These interpretative history boards are currently on display in the Park Office.

Long-time Friend and Park support Murray Henderson celebrates the Friends 20th Anniversary. Photo: Peter Dawson.

Long-time Friend and Park support Murray Henderson celebrates the Friends 20th Anniversary.
Photo: Peter Dawson.



Camping Enthusiasts Wanted for All-Season Outdoor Adventure

Winter Camping, sitting on top of a quinze - Photo: Simon Smith

Looking for adventure all year round? The Friends of Frontenac Park are seeking keen campers who wish to showcase their significant feats of endurance.

THE CHALLENGE: go overnight camping in the Park every month of the year within a one-year period.

THE REWARD: you will be recognized for your extreme commitment to all-season outdoor adventure and receive public accolades, your name on a plaque, and the official emblem of the Ultimate Camper to sew on your pack.

All you need to do is collect a registration form from the Park Office and go camping! Upon completion of your year of adventure in the Park, simply turn in the form along with your used camping permits showing that you stayed overnight in twelve consecutive months. If you are part of a group, please either photocopy the permit for each camper’s submission or indicate the permit number on the form.

The Friends of Frontenac Park will send recognition of your endeavour. You’ll receive a special emblem to sew on your pack to show all that you are an ultimate outdoor adventurer! And, your achievement will be highlighted at the next Friends of Frontenac Park Annual General Meeting which is held annually the first week in November.

So what are you waiting for? Start today!


President's Message

The President Herb Helmstaedt carrying a load of wood. (Photo: Jerome McDuff)A beautiful summer followed by an equally perfect fall which showcased the Park in its best colours for the Frontenac Challenge has drawn to a close. Our major construction project for the year, the footbridge at Kingsford Dam, was finished during our spring workday. You may have used it already but, if not, a photo of it can be seen in our summer newsletter. During the fall workday, we undertook maintenance of the boardwalks on the Arab Gorge Trail.

The Friends received an unexpected gift this year on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of our organization. Kay (Cookie) Cartwright, one of our founding members, kindly donated six watercolors of scenes of the Park to be sold by silent auction for the benefit of the Friends. We have included photos of some of them in this newsletter. The originals were exhibited in the Park Office where bids were collected throughout the early fall with the auction taking placemat the Frontenac Challenge BBQ/Annual General Meeting in early November. Thank you, Cookie, for your generous contribution which raised over $600 to support Friends initiatives.

Three watercolour paintings by Kay (Cookie) Cartwritght named Frontenac Home, Fall Pond, and Morning Paddle

I wish you a pleasant remainder of 2011 and encourage you to consider participating in the Friend’s newest program – The Ultimate Camping Adventure, which will see stalwart individuals camp overnight in the park at least once a month for 12 consecutive months. We are also beginning to finalize planning for 2012 projects and as always, look forward to receiving your input for the next year’s activities.

Herb Helmstaedt


2011 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: Simon Smith
Secretary:Martha Whitehead
Treasurer: Guy Thorne
Membership: John Critchley
Publicity & Newsletter: Donna Gillespie
Wilderness Skills: Don Stables
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle
Trail Sweeps: Cathy Murray
Member At Large: David Crane
Member At Large: Heather Jamieson


Park Management Plan: Paul Vickers
Winter Camping: Don Stables
Winter Hosting: Cathy Murray
Frontenac Challenge: Anne Hogle, Erhard Frenzl
Newsletter Editor: Donna Gillespie
Newsletter Publisher: Ron Abbott
Web Master: Jérôme McDuff
Map Coordinator: Jim King

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

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

Next deadline for submission of material is:

February 1, 2012

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

Visit us online at and follow-us on Facebook /frontenacparkfriends and Twitter @frontenacpark.


Two interesting geological stops near Frontenac Park

By Herb Helmstaedt

If you would like to have a change in scenery on your way from Kingston to Frontenac Park, take a slight detour westwards from Sydenham to see two geological oddities, both about 500 million years old and therefore deserving the prefix ‘paleo’. The first is the Holleford crater, a large but shallow circular topographic depression west of Knowlton Lake that has been interpreted as a paleo-meteor crater. The second, much smaller feature is a roadside outcrop of Grenville Group marble near Verona that has preserved evidence for the existence of a paleo-karst cave that had formed in the eroded Precambrian land surface.

To see the Holleford crater, take Sydenham Rd as usual from Kingston and turn left (west) on County Road 5. At Sydenham High School set your trip odometer to zero, but instead of turning right (north) on Wheatley Street, to go to the Park, keep going straight on Bridge Street for 2 km before turning right (north) on Loughborough-Portland Rd. Proceeding northward across Alton Rd you will notice a steep dip at km 3.9, where the road crosses a narrow NNE trending valley. This is the surface scar of the Canoe Lake fault, a major Precambrian dislocation that was reactivated after deposition of the Paleozoic cover rocks. The fault valley, which is filled here with glacial outwash deposits of Pleistocene age, can been traced on air photos and satellite images (such as available on Google Map) for about 100 km, from Paleozoic rocks near Odessa Lake, ca. 18 km northwest of Kingston, through the Precambrian rocks of the Frontenac Axis (through Knowlton Lake, Holleford Lake, Desert Lake, Canoe Lake, the eastern part of Wolfe Lake, and along the northern margins of Westport (Sand) Lake and the Rideau Lakes), into Paleozoic rocks near Smith Falls, on the northeastern side of the Frontenac axis. The Precambrian displacement along the fault is not known with any certainty, but during post-Ordovician reactivation of the fault, the limestones in the vicinity of Knowlton Lake were down-dropped on the western side of the fault by about 10m.

Proceed northward and at km 5.5 follow the main road (now Vanluven Rd) to the left. At km 6.7, turn right onto New Morin Rd which leads you to Holleford Rd at km 8.3. You are now in Lower Holleford, at the southeastern rim of the Holleford crater (Fig. 1).

Figure 1: Google Satellite Image of Holleford structure (looking north) west of Knowlton Lake.

Figure 1: Oblique Google Satellite Image of Holleford structure (looking north) west of Knowlton Lake.
Note that crater farm is located on right-angle bend of Holleford Rd at Lower Holleford.
Note also that dashed-dotted white line emphasizes circular drainage features and does not coincide with the inferred outer rim of the crater

The farm at the corner is aptly named ‘crater farm”. The circular topographic depression outlining the crater is approximately 30 m deep and has a diameter of slightly above 2 km. After noting this feature on air photographs (Fig. 2) in 1955, scientists from the Dominion Observatory proposed that it might represent a meteor crater formed on the Precambrian land surface prior to the transgression of the Paleozoic sea.

Figure 2: Aerial photo A1161-43 showing circular drainage features of Holleford structure.

Figure 2: Figure 2: Aerial photo A1161-43 showing circular drainage features of Holleford structure.
Note that solid white circle has a diameter of slightly above 2 km and approximately coincides with inferred rim of crater.
X on east-west part of Holleford Rd is view spot from which panoramic view on Figure 4 was taken.

Inspection on the ground showed that the circular structure is caused by arcuate outcrops of Middle Ordovician limestones that are gently inclined towards the centre of the depression (Fig. 3). Further investigations including gravity measurements and the drilling of three diamond drill holes in 1956/57 allowed the construction of a cross-section (Fig. 3) demonstrating that the limestones are underlain by about 200 m of quartz-rich lacustrine (freshwater) sediments (Sawford, 1964; St. John, 1968) which in turn are underlain by intensely brecciated rocks of the Precambrian basement.

Figure 3: Two diagrams of a the Holleford structure, one of the location

Figure 3: Upper diagram is NW-SE cross-section through Holleford structure showing location
of drill holes and stratigraphic sequence encountered within crater consisting of impact breccia,
freshwater crater sediments (shale and sandstone) and overlying marine Ordovician clastics and limestone.
Diagram on lower right: Map showing location of Holleford structure with respect to Precambrian of Frontenac Arch (white) and Paleozoic rocks (grey).
Diagram on lower left: Map view of Holleford structure with location of section line and drill holes.
Long dimensions of black strike and dip symbols show the circular strike of limestones around the structure.
Short barbs with numbers indicate the dip direction and dip magnitudes (in degrees).

Detailed studies of breccia fragments (Bunch and Cohen, 1963) revealed the presence of coesite, a high-pressure modification of quartz (silica) known to form by shock metamorphism of quartz-bearing rocks. As coesite is typically found in impact structures, this in effect corroborated the original meteor impact hypothesis. The observations were interpreted as consistent with the following sequence of events:

  1. A meteor of unknown type having a diameter of about 100 m impacted on the Precambrian land surface excavating a crater of at least 300 m depth that was partially filled with an impact breccia composed of fragments of Precambrian rocks.

  2. The crater became a freshwater lake in which finely laminated sandstone was deposited that is characterized by a calcareous (limy) matrix. This sandstone differs from nearby outcropping silica-cemented sandstones of the Late Cambrian Nepean Formation, thus the relationship of the crater sediments to this formation remains unclear.

  3. The freshwater crater sediments were covered by marine limestones when the Mid-Ordovician sea flooded the area of the Frontenac Axis. The inward dip of the limestones at the present erosion surface is thought to have resulted from compaction of the crater sediments by the weight of the overlying marine sequence.

A panoramic view of the crater depression from the ground (Fig. 4) may be obtained from a view spot north of Holleford Rd, approximately 900 m west of the crater farm (Fig. 2). This spot used to be accessible through a farm gate, however, recent construction in the vicinity may have changed this. So be prepared to ask for permission.

Figure 4: Panoramic view of Holleford crater depression (Photo by H. Helmstaedt, 2008)

Figure 4: Panoramic view of Holleford crater depression, as seen towards the northeast from the view spot marked by an X on Figure 2.
Note that white barn and silo on the right belong to the crater farm on the corner of Holleford Rd (Photo by H. Helmstaedt, 2008).


The best way to view the structure is of course from a small plane (Fig. 5).

Figure 5: Aerial view towards east of Holleford structure taken from 6500 ft (photo by Joseph “Piper” Morgan, from his blog posted in 2006)

Figure 5: Oblique aerial view towards east of Holleford structure taken from 6500 ft
(photo by Joseph “Piper” Morgan, from his blog posted in 2006).
Note location of crater farm on the corner of Holleford Rd in upper part of photo. Lake in background is Knowlton Lake.

Among the approximately 60 confirmed meteor impact structures in North America, only two relatively young craters are comparable in diameter to give us an impression of what the Holleford crater may have looked like shortly after it was formed. With an age of about 50,000 years, the youngest is Meteor Crater in Arizona, also known as the Barringer crater. It has a diameter of about 1200 m, is 170 m deep and was excavated in porous sedimentary rocks of the Colorado Plateau. As it was formed during a cooler climate than today it was initially filled by a crater lake. However, in the present arid climate of the region, its bottom is dry. The slightly older (1.4 million years) and somewhat larger (3.44 km in diameter) New Quebec crater (formerly known as Chubb crater) was excavated in Precambrian rocks of the Ungava Peninsula and is filled with an about 400 m deep lake (Fig. 6). Apart from having formed in a cooler climate, it likely represents a better analogue for the Holleford crater shortly after its formation.

Figure 6: Oblique aerial view towards south of New Quebec meteor crater on Ungava Peninsula (Photo by H. Helmstaedt, 1987)

Figure 6: Oblique aerial view towards south of New Quebec meteor crater on Ungava Peninsula.
Note the somewhat elevated rim of 3.44 km diameter crater which is about 1.4 million years old. Although slightly smaller,
the Holleford crater is thought to have looked similar after the erosion of most of its elevated rim
(Photo by H. Helmstaedt, 1987).

From the view spot, proceed west on Holleford Rd toward Hartington (at km 13.3), turn right on Hwy 38 and continue north to Conservation Lane (at km 16.3), where you turn right (east) into a small picnic area (Portland Conservation area) to park your car. Walk north on the eastern shoulder of Hwy 38 to the first rock outcrop on the right.

The road cut in front of you shows white to buff-coloured marble alternating with reddish sandstone and conglomerate resembling that of the Late Cambrian Nepean Formation. Instead of unconformably overlying the Precambrian marble, as is normally the case in the Frontenac Axis region, the younger sandstone forms a “bulge” within the older marble and, on the northern side of the outcrop, even extends as a tongue into the marble (Fig. 7).

Figure 7: Upper photo: Road cut on eastern side of Hwy 38, south of Verona and two close-ups (all photos by H. Helmstaedt)

Figure 7: Upper photo: Road cut on eastern side of Hwy 38, south of Verona, showing reddish sandstone and conglomerate of Nepean Formation between
Precambrian marble, thought to represent remnant of a paleo-karst cave (see text for explanation).
Photo on lower left: Close-up of horizontal sandstone tongue between marble.
Photo on lower right: Close-up of sandstone pebble conglomerate in center of sandstone cave filling
(all photos by H. Helmstaedt)

As none of the sandstone/marble contacts is faulted, it may be inferred that the sandstone and conglomerate were deposited in an open space within the marble, and the most plausible depositional scenario for this is a cave environment. Being composed of calcium carbonate, the marble is somewhat soluble in mildly acidic water, and its dissolution when exposed to the surface and in prolonged contact with circulating ground waters results in the formation of karst caves and sinkholes. The presence of consolidated sandstone in caves within the marbles may thus be seen as evidence for paleo karst features on the Precambrian land surface during deposition of the Nepean Formation at the end of the Cambrian.

To continue from Conservation Lane to the Park, go north on Hwy 38 through Verona and at km 19.8 turn right (east) onto Desert Lake Rd which brings you to the Bedford Rd (at km 32), south of Snug Harbour. Turn right (south) toward the entrance road to the Park.



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.

Date Event Start End
January 14 *Winter Camping Presentation 10h00 15h30
January 28-29 *Winter Camping Instructional Weekend #1 10h00 Sat 15h30 Sun
February 04-05 *Winter Camping Instructional Weekend #2 10h00 Sat 15h30 Sun
February 25 *Snowshoe Workshop 10h30 15h30


A Tio Wulf Ramble

By Larry Gibbons

I think I’m getting gentler in my old age. When I see a struggling insect, I’m more likely to save his bacon than spray him with an aerosol can of bug spray or stomp him into oblivion with my size nine and a half’s. I rescue flies, butterflies, wasps, moths - all kinds of insects. When I was swimming in a pool in Cape Breton, I actually tried to save all the bugs who were thrashing about in the chlorinated water. I felt like a modern-day Greek Sisyphus who each day futilely pushed a boulder up to the top of a hill, only to watch it promptly roll back to its original position. Maybe it was the wine and the heat which made me go a smidgen overboard.

But I’m no more of a Christian or a Hindu or a turn-your-other-cheek kind of guy than when I’m rescuing some gosh darn deer fly whose got himself or herself trapped in my truck or in our cabin. Because they don’t seem to have an atom of mercy when it comes to drinking my blood. I was driving in towards the Park when I met a Park Ranger driving out. The Ranger kept his window up and removed his hat to show me the host of deer flies which were struggling to get unstuck. The Ranger had been smart enough to put that fly paper stuff on the back of his hat. Apparently the deer flies go for the back of the noggin to begin their dining and that’s where they can find themselves in a sticky situation.

Deer Fly eyesThese tiny, triangular shaped deer flies are also called yellow flies. I think one of the reasons I sometimes get a loving, caring feeling towards these pests is because they are, like everything in this world, tiny miracles. And, they have gorgeous eyes. If you have the wonderful opportunity of having one settle on your arm for a chow down or on the tip of your nose, well, square your shoulders and don’t be shy. Stare straight into her hungering eyes and you will see a beautiful set of patterned gold or green eyeballs. And maybe, just maybe, the little chomper will feel a loving connection with your peepers and move on to another swatting, bug-spray saturated, less sensitive or more normal human being. Well...probably not.

You might note that I’m only using the female gender when I talk about their sucking our blood. That’s because it’s only the female deer flies who actually use their knife-like mandibles and maxillae to make crosscuts into your skin and who usually remember to place their mandibles on the right side of the plate and their maxillae on the left. So what are the boys doing? They’re out collecting pollen or at least that’s what they tell the womenfolk.

Now I don’t know what the relationships are between bugs. I have sat in the privy and watched long processions of wee ants going down the door and across the flat landscape into our sumac forest. It was interesting to note that the ants would stop and touch any ant they were passing. Were they checking them out to make sure they were from the same anthill? Were they giving them a “how-you-doing”, “hot-out-isn’t-it” kind of encounter? I don’t know, but how far does one go in thinking that tiny insects (or larger creatures than us), may have profound connections and deep thoughts?

This past summer we had to put our cat down. It was very sad and the death of Columbia left us with one other cat - Spooky, who has always been a very vocal, demanding, conniving, loving little rascal. We always thought that Spooky only “put up” with Columbia. However, after Columbia died, Spooky went into major grieving. She stopped eating. She’d sit outside and stare at the ground. Her meows became pathetic squeaks. She began sleeping under our blankets. She became a shell of who she was before. Then one morning she just left us. Died in Sue’s arms. We talked to a veterinarian and she told us that pets can die from grieving. Who would think that a cat might have need of books on grieving or a session with a counsellor or a pastor?

Easter Tiger Swallowtail butterflyA few years ago I was hiking near Little Clear Lake. Lying on the ground was a dead fisher. He hadn’t been dead too long and was still fairly intact. Did he leave a family of grieving fishers somewhere in the woods?

When I drive down the highway and see the numerous dead corpses of raccoons, turtles, deer, coyotes, skunks lying on the side of the road or on the unforgiving concrete, I wonder, how many grieving animals have they left behind?

So I was back in the privy. This is where I do a lot of my thinking. I began to wonder whether one of our dead cats might not make an appearance. Maybe come back as a very friendly hummingbird or a frisky raccoon? Suddenly an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly came elegantly coasting out of the sumac forest. She settled down next to my foot. Then she lifted into the air and landed upon our brown knapweed. Here she sipped the nectar while I petted her head with my finger. She didn’t budge. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe.

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”
George Eliot, Middlemarch

Larry Gibbons is a regular contributor to the Frontenac News –Tio Wulf Rambles is a recurring column.


The 2011 Frontenac Park Challenge

Congratulations to this year’s successful Challengers who hiked all 160 kilometres to complete the 11 trails of Frontenac Park. The first Frontenac Challenge was held in 1993 and started with only a handful of registrants. The Frontenac Challenge was originally suggested by Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ontario Provincial Park System. In 2011, there were over 200 individuals who attempted the Challenge. The Friends would like to make special note of the 21 hikers who completed their tenth or more Challenges (noted with an *).

Anderson, Ken
Archambault, Paul
Armitage, Dave*
Atwood, Janet
Aylesworth-Spink, Shelley
Baerg, Maggie
Berridge, Margaret
Bird, Jane
Bird, Robert
Blackwell, John*
Blackwell, Sharon
Blasko, Sally*
Blood, Peter
Bodendistel, Joe
Boulay, Lisa
Bourne, Jenny
Branton, John
Brinklowl, Mary
Buckley, Eve
Buckner, Morris
Burr, Carla
Caldwell, Sue
Carmody, Mike*
Cartwright, Cookie
Cheng, Penny
Chittenden, Michele
Churchill-Anderson, Jenna
Cirtwill, Carrie
Clooney, Bob
Clow, Adam
Crane, David
Creber, Diane
Creber, John
Cseh, Les C.*
Cuddy, Diane
D'Aeth, Eve
Duncan, Joyce*
Duncan, Rudy*
Dupre, Mary
Foster, Sharalee
Frenzl, Erhard*
Gardner, Autumn
Gardner, Holly
Georgekishwatt, Sydney
Gillespie, Donna
Girard, Mary
Goudreau, Jordan
Grew, Nancy
Grigg, Susan
Hanes, John
Hanley, Paul
Harris, Karen
Hayes, Doug
Henderson, Bruce
Henderson, Dave
Hobbis, Maureen
Hopkins, Derrick
Horwood, Bert
Hough, Robert*
Hutchinson, Kiersten
Hutchinson, Shawn
Ihrig, Doris
Irving, Rob
Irving, Susan
Irwin, Will
Jacklin-Piraino, Cheryl
Jamieson, Heather
Jansen, Marilyn
Johnson (Bonta), Tundra
Johnson, Mark
Johnson, Sandra
Jones, Rose
Joyce, Mark
Judd, Christian
Kannakko, Kris
Kannakko, Lisa
Karius, Gunhild
Kerr, Rhonda
Kornder, Jason
Kozar, Joe
Kozar, Seth
Legault, Lise
Legault, Rheal
Leggo, Karen
Leggo, Laird
Ley, Janice
Liston-Hanley, Brenda
Lowen, Elaine
Lucas, Dave
Lucas, Max
Luciani, Fred*
MacDonald, Vicky
MacEachren, Zabe
MacKinnon, Karan
MacKinnon. Lesley
Mackintosh, Blair
MacPherson, Anne
Manders, Steven
Markle, Paul*
Menard, Sheila
Millan, Mark
Millet, Rose
Munoz, Jairo
Munoz, Sofia
Munoz, Mateo
Murdoch, Bill*
Murray, Cathy
Norris, Todd
North, Donna*
Oconnor, Meg
Orser, Patricia
Pardoel, Henk
Phillips, Helen
Phillis, Ted*
Pilgrim, Craig
Piraino, John
Pisarek, Leszek
Plancke, Cherly
Plancke, Mike
Powell, Robert
Pratt, Hugh*
Prokipczuk, Regina
Pusch, Barbara*
Pysklswec, Steve
Ravnaas, Carol
Raworth, Charlotte
Raworth, Elizabeth
Raworth, Jenny
Raworth, Mason
Reid, Sean
Revell, Amie
Revill, Diane
Ritchie, Doug
Roberts, Brad
Roblin, Don
Roscoe, Jack*
Sanger, Audrey*
Schmolka, Vicki
Seeley, Gloria*
Short, Bob
Sly, Maureen*
Smith, Natasha
Spaar-Mueller, Deborah
Spink, Nigel
Sprissler, Marilyn
St-Onge, Richard
Staley, Julie
Stead, Graham
Stewart, Audrey
Straznicky, Marta
Stuart, Katherine
Towle, Toni
Turnbull, Linda
Turner, Glenda
Tyhuis, Jack
Tyhuis, Kess
Tyhuis, Rae
Tyhuis, Reed
Vanderhoek, Jack
Vandyke, Gavin
Wakelin, Lee
Whitehead, Martha
Wild, Margaret
Williams, Sandy*
Williamson, Bruce
Wilson, Ann
Wilson, Chrystal
Wood, Kathy
Yaworski, Sharen
Zeran, Bill
Zeran, Rita

The Frontenac Junior Challenge
New for the Challenge in 2011 was the Junior Challenge, created especially for youth 12 year of age and younger. The goal to get out and hike the Park is the same, but Junior Challengers choose six trails of their choice to complete. Special congratulations to our first nine Junior Challengers!
Blackwell, Anna
Blackwell, Dominic
Caird, Evan
Harris, Jenna
MacKintosh, Kai
Norris, Isaac
Staley-Perry, Logan
Vingar, Anna

The Park is Not Flat (by Bill Hiemstra)

Park Loops Change in Elevation
Trail Elevation Change
Arab Lake Gorge & Doe Lake Loop
400 ft.
Little Salmon Loop
854 ft.
Little Clear Lake & Hemlock Lake Loop
908 ft.
Arkon Lake Loop
965 ft.
Cedar Lake Loop
1,550 ft.
Big Salmon Lake Loop
1,570 ft.
Tetsmine & Gibson Lake Loops
1,810 ft.
Slide Lake Loop
2,100 ft.
Total change of Elevation
10,157 ft.

Did You Know:
The CN Tower is 1,815 feet high – with the main observation deck at 1,135 feet. It takes the average climber 30 -35 minutes to walk up the 1,776 steps to the main observation deck.
Completing the Frontenac Challenge is equivalent in elevation to climbing the CN Tower (which also means descending) to the observation deck, nine times!


A Cancer Camper's Diary

By Sheila Vaudrey

Summertime is the season to fully endorse my outdoor passions: swimming, canoeing, camping. The summer of 2010 was supposed to be no different, with one major five-day canoe trip planned in August and a couple of smaller weekend jaunts, all in the company of good friends. An April cancer diagnosis put paid to all that.

I thought it would be foolhardy to remove myself from easy access to medical care when chemotherapy treatments were playing havoc with my immune system. A light injury that I normally would shrug off, the minor cuts and scrapes which camping almost guarantees could result in a severe infection. I was experiencing fatigue and nausea, two very unwelcome factors at the best of times. To top it all off, I had a PICC line inserted directly into my brachial vein to make injection of the chemo drugs easier on my body, and I absolutely could not get that line wet. So… goodbye to swimming, any and all boating activity and trips that would take me more than an hour from the nearest hospital. My summer had been effectively ruined, quite aside from the direct threat to my overall health and my general future. Or so I resigned myself at first.

However, the lovely summer weather, the fun my friends were having without me, the months off work with precious little to do, and the fact that my chemo treatments were not being as hard on me as I’d feared they would be, all came together in my mind – in a loud voice saying, “I will not miss out!” It took a few weeks, but I eventually arrived at an irrevocable decision: this disease, though I was stuck with it for the next year or more of my life, and the medical steps required to fight it, which were absolutely necessary despite their side-effects, were not going to destroy either my outlook or my enjoyment of life. Though cancer might curtail me somewhat, I was going to prove that cancer did not define me. I was going to celebrate my summer anyway!

My best camping buddy’s sister has a cottage on Kingsford Lake, right across from Frontenac Park’s boundary, and her husband had spoken of the excellent campsites and hiking trails the Park presented. Just before my diagnosis we had canoed into Birch Lake and checked out camp cluster number eight, with a mind to camp there someday. Since this year I would not be able to go anywhere by water, I planned to hike in from the Kingsford Dam and stay at camp cluster number 11, a ten- to 15-minute walk from my car. I reserved my time for Tuesday through to Friday, avoiding the crush of weekend campers and guaranteeing my pick of the best site.

The weather could not have been more accommodating. It was seriously hot, but the campsite was heavily shaded and the most refreshing breeze blew in from the lake all day, which also helped keep the bugs down. I discovered the absolute joy of a comfortable hammock in the shade on a hot day with a good book and a water bottle and no conversation. I hiked when I felt like it, napped when I felt like it, ate when I felt like it, and just soaked up the unbroken quiet of nature. There were almost no boats, and none of them had any reason to come all the way to the end of this long bay when there was good fishing elsewhere. Every now and then another hiker passed my site and I usually hailed them, just for the pleasure of being social. I had never camped alone before; always in the past I had someone else with whom to converse and to plan events. This time, answering to no one and no clock, the gentle touch of the forest and the sheer solitude filled my soul with an amazing sense of peace. Sometimes I felt just a bit starved for companionship; the rest of the time I revelled in its absence. I saw no large wildlife, but the birds and the chipmunks and the dragonflies and the wind in the leaves made sure I didn’t really feel alone.

Over the course of my stay I decided that I would do this again. I will return to Frontenac Park every year, alone, and recapture the wonderful freedom I’d never quite experienced before anywhere else. I will go off by myself, commune some more with God… and celebrate the anniversary of the summer that tried to beat me and didn’t.



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