Distance hiked: 4.5km
Location: Frontenac Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: February 16, 2020
For the long weekend we drove up to Frontenac Provincial Park to do some winter hiking (in the snow). Frontenac Provincial Park is open all season and in the winter, provides a range of recreational activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter camping.
We visited Frontenac Provincial Park the day before and hiked along the Bufflehead Trail (12km roundtrip, including part of the Corridor Trail). Given how incredibly scenic and well maintained the trail was, we decided to return to the park to hike along the remainder of the trails that are open in the winter: Doe Lake Loop and the Arab Lake Gorge Trail. Plus, it wasn’t overly busy, which is always an added bonus.
Both trails originate at the Park Office. We followed the steps down to the boardwalk to get to the trailhead. We walked first hiked along the Doe Lake Loop (3km loop, rated easy to moderate). The trail runs along the shores of South Otter Lake and Doe Lake, forming a loop back to the trailhead.
From the trail there is a turnoff sign for a short side path that leads to the abandoned Kemp Mine. We followed this up to peak inside the opening from above (there wasn’t much to see) and then returned back to the main trail.
The trail was relatively flat for the most part. There were a few downhill sections that were a bit dodgy, so we just slid down (as gracefully as we could) on our butts rather than try to navigate the steep path on foot.
When we looped back to the trailhead we veered right to hike along the Arab Lake Gorge Trail (1.5km loop, rated easy). The first part of the loop is along a wooden boardwalk that runs parallel to the edge of a frozen pond along the side of the gorge. We were quite pleased to have left our snowshoes in the car as they would have been a bit tricky to navigate along most of the boardwalk.
The remainder of the trail weaves through the forest and eventually connects to the boardwalk that leads back to the Park Office.
That put a wrap on all the winter hiking trails in Frontenac Provincial Park. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend our long weekend than out on the trail enjoying the fresh air (and snow).
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here