Distance hiked: 9.8km
Location: Frontenac Provincial Park, Ontario
Date: November 7, 2020
Frontenac Provincial Park is situated above an ancient granite ridge linking the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains and consists of forests, wetlands, marshes, lakes and granite outcrops. It offers canoe routes through 22 lakes and over 100km of looped backpacking and hiking trails. And the best part is that Frontenac is open all-year round.
This week has been pretty stressful for us. We’ve been house hunting for the past month and we put an offer on a house earlier in the week, but unfortunately so did 11 other people and we were out-bid. By a lot. So with unusually warm weather on the forecast for the weekend, we decided to head up to the cabin to get a change of scenery and just unplug from the world around us.
Along the drive to the cabin, we stopped at Frontenac Provincial Park to go for a hike. We arrived at the park just after 12p.m and headed to the visitor centre to pick up a day-use permit.
From there we drove down Big Salmon Lake Road (which typically closes in mid-November) to the parking lot for the trailhead for the Arkon Lake and Cedar Lake Trails.
There are a few trails that originate here and we planned to hike along the Dedication Trail South Loop (9.8km, rated moderate). The trail is part of the larger Cedar Lake Loop, but since we haven’t been hiking that much and didn’t want to push ourselves too hard today, we settled on hiking just the southern part of the loop.
From the trailhead, we followed signs for the Dedication Trail. The trail is well marked with blue markers with a hiker symbol. There are also signs at each junction to signal when the path branches off. We hiked clockwise around the loop. The first stretch of the path winds through the forest. The leaves have all fallen from the trees, creating more open views through the forest.
The path continues to weave through the forest, passing by lakes, ponds and other marshy areas along the way. The trail contained a few puddles and would probably not be in the best condition in the spring given its close proximity to the wetlands.
At one of the lakes there is a sign that notes that the trail was established in recognition of all the volunteers who have helped make Frontenac a special place for all to enjoy.
The path continues through the forest and along rocky ridges, passing by more wetlands.
The trail then arrives at a junction and branches off to Campsite 2. We contemplated checking out the campsite area, but when we were purchasing our day permit, we overheard one of the rangers tell someone on the phone that all the backcountry sites were booked this weekend, so we didn’t want to impose. Who would have thought camping would be so popular in November?
The path then reaches another junction, we followed the sign for Arab Lake Parking. This part of the path is marked with a combination of orange and blue markers.
The terrain levels out considerably. We passed Arab Lake and followed along the Corridor Trail for a short stretch before looping back to the parking lot.
Overall it took us 2.5 hours to complete the trail. Even though the parking area was full, we didn’t encounter too many hikers on the trail. There are a few trails that originate here, giving people more opportunity to spread out and social distance.
From Frontenac it’s about a 1.5 hour drive to the cabin. We arrived shortly before 5p.m and the sun was already starting to set. We were looking forward to spending a relaxing evening inside by the wood stove.
My progress on the 52 Hike Challenge can be found here