Frontenac Provincial Park

Backcountry for beginners

Trail / Hike

Beginner-friendly

Full day

Just 45 minutes north of Kingston, Frontenac Provincial Park offers all the rugged serenity of the wilderness without the added road trip. It’s also got backcountry options for people who are looking for a small taste of backcountry. If you find you’ve got the wilderness bug after your trip, you can sign up for one of the park’s many outdoor courses.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Frontenac Provincial Park, Salmon Lake Road, Sydenham, ON, Canada

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Driving time from Ottawa

2 hours

Length of trails to explore

100+km of options

Lakes in the park

22

Planning your trip

Tips for your foray into the wilderness

Getting there

Frontenac Provincial Park is only a 40-minute drive from Kingston on Highway 401. Enter the park from Salmon Lake Road, just off of Bedford Road in Sydenham. Drive 1.5km up Big Salmon Road to get to the park office where you can get maps, camping permits and route suggestions (you can also pick up a Frontenac park map at MEC before you arrive).

From late spring to late fall, Salmon Lake Road is open deeper into the park so you can save yourself a little extra approach time.

Hike the day away

With over 100km of trail loops that vary in length and difficulty, it’s easy to stay busy exploring Frontenac. If you’re looking for an easier trek, try the Arab Lake Gorge Trail, a 1.5km loop that starts right next to the park office

Have hiking experience and are looking for a full day hike? The challenging Slide Lake Loop, a perennial favourite, is a rugged 21km hike that involves an hour of hiking just to get to the start. You’ll need to allow the entire day for this one (about seven to nine hours, depending), but you’ll be rewarded with waterfalls and incredible views of the park’s lakes. Make sure you having your 10 hiking essentials loaded up in your pack.

Stay a while

If a day hike hasn’t quenched your thirst for being outside, Frontenac is a pristine and convenient intro to sleeping in the backcountry. The provincial park balances walk-in camping accessibility with the away-from-it-all feeling campers crave from a backcountry adventure. All 48 campsites are accessible by foot or boat only, but some are as little as a 20-minute hike from the park office. Stay at your site for up to three nights, or plan out a trip that hops between sites if you want to stay longer.

 

Learn something along the way

Frontenac Provincial Park offers some of the best wilderness training courses of any park in the province. The Wilderness Skills Training Program offers courses in backcountry camping, canoeing, Red Cross wilderness first aid, winter camping, orienteering and more. They even host classes on how to tarp or cook effectively with a dutch oven. Visit their website for more information or grab a park guide when you arrive. You’ll definitely want to plan your trip around one of these courses if you can.

If you can’t make the course or want to learn some new skills close to home, check out the MEC hiking and camping workshops near you.

Essential gear

Get set for a day exploring the trails in Frontenac.

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