Two and a half hours east of Toronto, you will find Frontenac Provincial Park. Frontenac has 160 km of trails that are situated on a section of the Canadian Shield where it meets the Adirondack Mountains. One of the best hikes in Frontenac follows the Little Salmon and Little Clear Lake loop. Starting out, the trail heads northward through the middle of the park under a canopy of Oaks, Beeches Birches and Maples. This section of the park is effortless, and lets you soak in the wilderness.
Lots of Deer
Once you get north of the 401, the drive to Frontenac Provincial Park is quite enjoyable. But take your time, because there are lots of deer in the park. Subsequently, after two days of hiking, I ended up removing ten black legged ticks from my poor dog. My Ridgeback is basically a miniature deer, so no chance I will be bringing her back in the fall. More importantly, bring a tick removal tool and don't use your fingers.
Fall camping at Frontenac Provincial Park is all about good timing, or being flexible at the last minute. So, waiting for a warm weather system and some sunshine will work wonders. Tripping during the week is sometimes the only option when booking last minute. Luckily, Frontenac had sites open on the weekend. Its worth noting, these back country sites are clustered, which means you will have neighbors. On the other hand, a weekday trip will offer a better chance for a quite evening. The Little Clear Lake site has a tent platform, picnic table, grills and an outhouse. Which is pretty great compared to other back country sites in Ontario.
The 160 km trail system is massive and well planned. Portaging is a great option, yet almost all the campsites are accessible by foot. Most routes are broken down into loops, which wrap around the lakes. The trail markings were interesting and super easy to follow. Another reason why this is one of the best hikes in Frontenac, is because the sites are clustered. Was so nice not having to constantly look at the map to link trails together. To sum it up, all you need to know is the campsite number to casually hike km's into the park.
History, Howls and Leaves
Frontenac Provincial Park has some history, as some trails include really old rusted out farming equipment. Yet, deer and coyotes seem to run the place now. My dog is not a fan of the late night howls, but it was pretty cool for the first 20 minutes. The main reason I came to the park was to check out the autumn leaves. The earthy smell and warm feeling of autumn is strong here. With the park being open later in the season, it is a great option for your next fall camping trip.
Ultra Marathon and The La Cloche Trail
The Frontenac trail system is huge, which sets up nice for a marathon trail run/walk. The Frontenac Challenge is a personal feat you can sign up for at the Park's Office free of charge. To clarify, it involves an attempt to complete the 11 trail loops in the park during the months of Sep and Oct. Total distance clocks in around 160 km's of backcountry fun. Great way to experience all the best hikes in Frontenac Provincial Park. Another Ontario trail system with 82kms of nature is the La Cloche Trail in Killarney Provincial Park.
4 Hour Hike
Try to Prevent Tick Bites
Great Sites but they are Clustered
Amazing Fall Colours
Deer and Coyotes
Frontenac Challenge 160 km