3 hrs driving from Toronto to Frontenac Park, it has been more than 25 years since I first visited Frontenac Park for a 2-day canoe camp. After so many years, there wasn’t a trace of memory of how the park looks like. Today’s visit gave me a completely new experience, thus worth the 3 hours drive from Toronto.
I left home at 6am and grouping with friends together at the 401 service station for a relaxing breakfast. By the time we started hiking at the trail head, it was already noon. We picked the easier Arkon Lake trail. It was classified as 3 to 5-hour moderate 13 km trail. Since this is the easiest trail in the park, I expected we could finish in a little more than 3 hours. Temperature was slightly over 20 c and very sunny by the time we started.
Finding the trail head from the park office was a little confusing, but once we were on the trail, it was clearly marked. The park officer suggested us to hike in a clockwise direction to leave the portion of the wetlands to the end so as to keep our shoes dry all the way until the end. I was under the impression that we were hiking clockwise until I uploaded my GPS track then that I realized we were actually hiking anti-clockwise for the whole time. Kind of disorientated a bit but that’s ok, the trail signs and markers were good enough for us to follow.
To get to the trail head, we drove back along the road entering the park office, then came to a junction where the left was back to the park exit, and the right was to a 4km crushed stone road, called Big Salmon Lake Road to majority of the trails parking. The first parking lot on the right after entering the Big Salmon Lake Road is Arab Lake Parking, where we should have stopped and walked back a little on the road to the trail head and could have hiked in a clockwise direction. We drove further to the 2nd parking on the left. Walking down one km on the Big Salmon Lake Road, we entered the trail via the Corridor trail on the right.
As I was hiking anti-clockwise, we were in the wetlands soon after started, from the Corridor Trail. This year has been particular dry, so it wasn’t as muddy and it wasn’t as messy as I might have thought.
The trail passed various beautiful beaver ponds, small lakes and swamps. The Bufflehead trail is a side trail that gives you an option to short cut the trail into half in length.
At about 6km, we came to a junction where turning left is a portage to Arkon Lake, right to campsite 7 looking out to Birch Lake and going straight continue on the trail. We decided it was time for lunch so we turned left 300 m along the portage path to the shore of Arkon Lake.
After lunch, the last part of the trail winds through rolling forested hill. We finished back at Big Salmon Road, then walked back 1 km along the road back to the parking lot. Total GPS distance was 12 k and took us 4 and half hours.
This trail is highly recommended. Definitely will come back for other trails.
frontenac, Big Salmon Lake, Bufflehead trail