Hike #49: Dedication Trail South Loop

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

36 thoughts on “Hike #49: Dedication Trail South Loop

  1. kagould17 says:

    Good luck on your house hunt. Who’d a thunk it that house sales would boom during a pandemic. Our neighbours even had a bidding war on their house when they sold in July. Good to get out and walk and take your mind off things. Good weather and a good trail are a blessing. Stay well. Allan

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s funny because they were predicting that average home prices would decline this year due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I guess there are a lot of people like us who are looking to move out of the city. I’m hopeful that we’ll find something this year. In the meantime, we’re trying to make the most of our free time and go hiking as much as we can. We might as well enjoy it before the list of chores associated with home ownership come up!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      We’ve been so lucky that we’ve had such lovely weather this fall and that it extended all the way into November. I can’t say I’ve ever hiked in a t-shirt in November before! It was such a great day to go for a hike and soak in the views before everything gets covered in snow.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      The whole area around Frontenac is so scenic and diverse and features a mix between rocky ridges, outcrops, forests, meadows and wetlands. The hiking here is top notch. It was a perfect place to escape to after a stressful week of house hunting. I’m optimistic that we’ll find something this year. Fingers crossed.

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. It’s been a stressful process, but it’s been nice being able to go for a hike and just disconnect from the world around me. I’m hopeful that 2021 is going to be a great year!!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      Thanks. It seems like everyone wants to leave the city and buy a house these days!! The pandemic has really changed my perspective on a lot of things, including where I want to live. Too bad the cabin is located in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t have internet, electricity or running water, otherwise I would just move there!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        I do! There’s just something so simplistic about them. Some of the provincial parks in Ontario offer heated cabins and yurts all-year round. We stayed in one in Killarney back in November and I’m contemplating booking it again for sometime later this year.

  2. ourcrossings says:

    What a beautiful trail 🙂 I never get tired of seeing photos of your little cosy cabin. Best of luck with the house hunt. Try and make it fun, fast and on target. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s been great having the cabin to escape to during the pandemic. As an added bonus, it’s located by a bunch of provincial parks, so there are endless hiking opportunities nearby. And thanks, the house hunting process can be tiresome, but it’s been kind of fun looking at different houses and seeing all the various layouts. It’s given us a better sense of what it is we’re looking for.

  3. Ab says:

    Sounds like a wonderful time, especially ending with your cabin! Also hope I enjoyed New Years up there.

    And I remember this weekend so well, one of the last bursts of great weather.

    How is your house hunting going? Good luck with it!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s too bad that the cabin doesn’t have internet, electricity or running water otherwise we would just move there and work from home! Instead, we’re still house hunting. It’s been slow this past month or so around the holidays, but we imagine more houses will come up in the spring and summer. The nice thing is that we’re in no rush to move, but I find the whole process very draining and emotional sometimes. In the meantime, we’ll just keep exploring around Ontario while we have the free time. And visit the cabin of course. It was just lovely to ring in the New Year there. We got 10cm of snow overnight on Friday and everything just looked like a magical winter wonderland the next day. Hope you enjoyed your New Year’s too and that your Ma is doing well. Take care.

      • Ab says:

        Your cabin sounds like true heaven to be so off the grid! But yah, at the same time, you could just live there. Haha.

        Yah, more houses will definitely pop up. And with the pandemic, it may work to your advantage. Try not to stress. It just means your perfect home is not quite there yet but it will happen! 🙂

        I look forward to your recap post about your winter New Years and photos!

        Things are ok here. Just so exhausting with homeschooling/working and now extended for another two weeks. Sigh. But Ma is good so that’s all I can ask for.

        Take care. Weekend soon!!!

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        Thanks for the advice. House hunting has certainly been a good lesson in patience. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of months as restrictions tighten. I feel for all the parents with young kids these days, I can imagine how much more work it is to deal with online learning. Hopefully an end is in sight as Canada receives more vaccines. Now they just need to ramp up vaccinating everyone, especially in Ontario. Stay healthy.

      • Ab says:

        You might need a hazmat suit just to attend an open house! But it will happen. That just means your dream house is around the corner. 🙂

        Online learning is hell. I hate it. 🙂 Can’t wait to shove my son back into school. Haha.

        Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      • WanderingCanadians says:

        For sure, as with most things in life, it’s hard to predict the future. In the meantime we’ll just focus on the present and try to explore as many of the provincial parks in the area while we still have all this free the time. Hope you enjoyed your weekend. Good luck with online learning over the next couple of weeks!

    • WanderingCanadians says:

      It’s crazy how big of a difference it can make when there’s a little bit of sun. I also don’t remember ever having this nice of weather in November before. Mid-way through the hike I was down to my t-shirt. It was such a great day for hiking.

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