Frontenac has an exceptional diversity of bird species due to its location in the Frontenac Arch which connects northern and southern eco-regions. The park is home to one of the largest populations of Cerulean Warblers in Ontario, the provincially rare Louisiana waterthrush and the brilliant yellow Prairie Warbler.
Boating is only permitted on boundary lakes. Motors are not permitted on any lakes in the park with the exception of Big Salmon Lake where only electric motors are allowed.
There are many canoe routes and starting locations possible through Frontenac’s 22 lakes and portages. Call the Park Office to discuss route planning, campsites and reservations.
Interpretive brochures are available for two trails in the park.
The Friends of Frontenac offer wilderness skills courses to those who wish to gain knowledge and experience in subjects such as winter camping, kayaking, wilderness first aid, map and compass use, canoeing, fishing and backcountry camping.
Frontenac offers numerous opportunities for fishing. Anglers might catch Lake Trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Black Crappie, perch and Brook (Speckled) Trout. Three stocked lakes within the park offer ice fishing.
Frontenac offers over 100 km of hiking and backpacking trails in interconnected loops.
Arab Lake Gorge Trail - 1.5 km loop, 30 min walk, easy
Starting at the Park Office, this trail features valley bottom vegetation, various ferns and a boardwalk with an accompanying interpretive brochure.
Doe Lake Loop - 3 km loop, 1 to 1.5 hour walk, easy to moderate
Hike along the shores of South Otter Lake and Doe Lake with a lookout over Doe Lake. An interpretive brochure is available. The trail starts at the Park Office.
Arkon Lake Loop – 11 km loop trail, 3 to 4.5 hours, moderate
This trail will lead you through a mature deciduous forest where you will see many beaver ponds and a ring bog complex along the way.
Bufflehead Trail – 8 km loop, 2.5 hours, moderate.
This walk is popular for its beaver ponds and scenic ridge. It bisects the Arkon Lake Loop and starts at the Arab Lake parking lot.
Cedar Lake Loop – 14 km loop, 4 to 6 hours, Moderate to difficult
While hiking this trail along Doe Lake and the south shore of Big Salmon Lake you will encounter wetlands in various stages of evolvement.
Big Salmon Lake Loop – 17 km loop, 5 to 7 hours, moderate to difficult
This trail circles Big Salmon Lake. The north side of the trail runs through a forested landscape along some century old remains of homesteads. It offers scenic views at the east end and south side of Big Salmon Lake.
Little Salmon Lake Loop – 10 km loop trail, 3 to 5 hours, moderate to difficult
Start this trail at either the west end of Big Salmon Lake or the Arab Lake parking lot. The trail runs through mature bush and the south end of Moulton Gorge valley.
Little Clear Lake Loop – 7 km loop, 4 to 5 hours, easy to moderate
Most hikers start this trail at the west end of Big Salmon Lake, adding 4 km to begin the hike. The trail circumnavigates Little Clear Lake. Hikers will encounter mature bush and the remains of 19th century buildings.
Hemlock Lake Loop – 5 km loop, 3 hours to hike the loop, plus 2 to 3 hours each way to the loop itself, easy to moderate
Normally started from the west end of Big Salmon Lake (adding 7 km to get to the start of the Hemlock Loop), the trail goes through mature deciduous trees and old abandoned farm fields.
Tetsmine Lake Loop – 10 km loop, 5 to 6 hour hike when starting at the north end. Add 3 to 4 hours each way when starting from Big Salmon Lake Road, moderate
Most hikers start this loop at the north end of the Park, accessing at Kingsford Dam. The loop is fairly rugged in a mature deciduous bush setting and crossing the north end of the Moulton Gorge. Abandoned mica mines and a few 19th century homesteads remain.
Gibson Lake Loop – 9 km loop, 5 to 6 hours plus an hour each way from the dam, moderate
This hike is often started at the north end of the Park (at Kingsford Dam) which adds 3 km each way to the hike. Walk by the Crab Lake mine and along mature forested ridges and hills and along a fen in the northeast corner of the park.
Slide Lake Loop – 21 km, 8 hour loop, plus a 1 hour hike to get to the start, difficult
This loop is the longest and most rugged loop trail in the Park. Be prepared for a very challenging hike! The trail crosses many barren rock ridges and travels through several forests in various stages of succession. You will encounter granite ridges, lookouts, ponds and marshes while passing by Buck Lake, Slide Lake, Doe Lake and Big Salmon Lake.
Corridor Trail – 5 km linear trail, 1.5 hours one way, moderate
This trail parallels Big Salmon Road starting at the Park Office and ending at the south shore of Big Salmon Lake.
PLEASE NOTE : Several trail loops are accessed via another trail to start. Trails are not suitable for all terrain strollers or wheel chairs. Hiking times are approximate. You must add time to the hike depending on weather, snow or ice conditions, as well as your physical condition. Always bring lots of water, snacks, a map and a first aid kit. Help is not close at hand. Cell phone coverage is limited at Frontenac. No trailside fires or trailside camping is permitted.
Swimming is allowed in all park lakes but sand beaches are limited.
Winter is a great time to enjoy Frontenac. Camp overnight in Frontenac’s backcountry, or visit for the day. There are opportunities for snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Throughout the winter there are 4 km (one-way) of trails marked for cross-country skiing with up to 8km (with return trip) of track setting done when there is enough snowfall. There are easy slopes for novices on the Big Salmon Lake Road ski trail. Check out the winter trail guide for more information.
In addition to the track-set trails, many areas have a rugged ambiance we like to call “backcountry skiing.” Breathe in the crisp air and revel in the natural solitude as you ski through a silent winter forest.
Visitors to the park can enjoy the network of over 100 km of hiking trails year-round. The trail network boasts short loops for beginners, as well as 20 km+ routes for the seasoned adventurer.
Frontenac has dedicated the 8 km Corridor Trail to snowshoeing. Many visitors enjoy the moderate 3 km Doe Lake Loop and easy 1.5 km Arab Lake Gorge Loop. For a longer adventure, try the 8 km Bufflehead Trail, located 2 km from the Park Office.
Snowshoe rentals are available from the Park Office.
With several lakes located throughout the park, there are many year-round fishing opportunities. Northern pike, various species of panfish (black crappie, sunfish, yellow perch), as well as brook trout can be targeted in the winter.
Please be sure to refer to the fishing regulations while planning your trip as they can change from year to year.
Winter camping workshops
Frontenac organizes introductory winter camping workshops, provided by the Friends of Frontenac. Please consult the Friends of Frontenac’s webpage to see offerings.