Length of stay: 1 day
Visited: July 2021
Amable du Fond River Provincial Park is a non-operating waterway park that was created to provide and protect an ecological link between Algonquin Provincial Park and Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. The river was named after Amable Dufond, a Native hunter and trapper who lived in this area in the mid-19th century. At one time the river was used to transport logs downstream to the Mattawa River.
There are a few places to access Amable du Fond River, all of which involve having a boat or canoe. Since we have neither and we weren’t planning on renting anything, we instead visited Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area which contains a single hiking trail that follows along the shore of the Amable du Fond River.
Entrance into the conservation area is located off of Highway 17, just north of Algonquin. There’s a map of the trail in the parking lot near the trailhead. The entire trail system is 2.8km in length, but there are a series of shortcuts to make the hike shorter if necessary. Along the way there are 12 marked sites.
The trail loops through the forest and follows along the side of a steep gorge. The path is wide, relatively flat and well marked. The first few interpretive sites along the trail highlight that this area is a mixed forest and was once used for logging as early as the 1850s.
As we neared the gorge we could hear the sounds of rushing water. At first we could only catch glimpses of the rapids between the trees. The first good views of the river are between sites #7 (start of the historic log slide that were used to transport logs safely downstream), #8 (great view of the Eau Claire Gorge), and #9 (end of the historic log slide).
After crossing a bridge, we arrived at site #10, which was flooded by Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The trail then leads to the historic squatter’s cabin at site #11. This logger’s cabin was reconstructed in 1989 and is open for day-use only. Apparently a squatter, who was also a fugitive, lived here for several years. Today the cabin contains a wooden bed along with a table and some chairs. The door was open so naturally we poked around inside to check it out.
After that there is one last site (#12 – forest management) before the path loops back to the trailhead. Overall it took us 45 minutes to complete the trail. From here it’s a short drive to the next park on our itinerary at Samuel de Champlain.
My progress on the Ontario Parks Challenge can be found here
57 thoughts on “Amable du Fond River Provincial Park”
That sounds a good little hike! I bet the sounds of that fast water was wonderful! 🙂
I love listening to the sound of rushing water. I find it so soothing. This is a nice little trail that sure packs a punch in terms of great views. Not sure how I would feel trying to canoe down the river though! Thanks for reading and commenting. Linda
Yes!! Me too!!! And you are most welcome! I enjoy walking your walks!! 🙂 🙂
You are too kind 🙂
Not at all! 🙂 Stay well and enjoy the weekend! 🙂
You as well. We are actually leaving on a two week road trip today. I am so looking forward to taking some time off of work and getting some rest and relaxation. Take care.
Wonderful!! I hope that you enjoy the break and take time to relax! Oh and do not forget the camera!! 😉 🙂
Thanks!! I think I would buy a new one if I forgot my camera at home. Either that or cry. Or maybe a bit of both.
Haha then it will be the first thing in the car! 😉
Well now that we’re talking about it, watch me actually leave it at home now! I hope this didn’t jinx it.
Arghh do not say that! Leave it by the front door or with the car keys hehe
I’m happy to say that I did not forget my camera (or charger) at home 🙂
Haha, excellent!! Enjoy your holiday and I look forward to the photos in due course! Stay well, stay safe! 🙂
Thanks!! The weather forecast isn’t looking ideal for the week (lots of rain), but I have good food and company, which is all that matters.
Yes, those are what is important! 🙂
I’m glad you didn’t encounter any fugitives in the cabin! That bunk bed needs a fluffy mattress 🙂
For sure. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I opened the door to the cabin. This looks like a neat spot take a break and eat a snack. Although, I think I’d much rather prefer to do that closer to the gorge to enjoy the views of the river.
A very interesting park that I’ve never heard of! The views of the rushing River are quite scenic. Would you dare stay overnight at that squatters cabin? 😆
We might have cheated a bit with this one since we technically hiked along a trail that was part of the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area and not the Amable du Fond River Provincial Park. But I think it still counts as we got to enjoy the views from the river, which is maybe part of the provincial park? Either way, I still think it counts.
Sleeping in that cabin sounds super creepy. I’d rather sleep inside my car. Hard pass!!
It definitely still counts! 😆
Good luck with your trip today. The big day is here and the weather is beautiful. Enjoy it and hope you post regular updates!!!
Thanks! We certainly had beautiful weather to kick start our trip. But today, or rather tonight, not so much. The weather forecast is calling for 15mm of rain overnight (and it’s cold) so we ditched our campsite and decided to stay in a hotel in Timmins. Hope you’re enjoying your long weekend so far.
I’m very sorry about the rainy weather. Good call to stay at a hotel rather than have a sloppy evening.
That’s great you’ve made it to Timmins already. That was on our cancelled roadtrip itinerary this summer. Say hi to Shania for us! 😆
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend and trip!
So far we seemed to have dodged the bulk of the rain while driving or by staying in a hotel overnight. We decided to ditch our campsite again tonight and stay in another hotel as much of Northern Ontario is under a heavy rainfall warning.
Timmins was a bit underwhelming, but there are a few really nice provincial parks nearby. We were hoping to visit the Shania Twain Centre, but apparently it’s been closed since 2013!! That’s too bad.
Yikes, too bad to hear that Timmins was underwhelming and the Shania Centre was closed. But glad to hear you were able to get hotels in Northern Ontario at short notice. I know we had trouble last summer with it.
I hope the rest of your trip is less rainy and filled with surprises of the good kind!
Thankfully we’ve had some warm and sunny days this week. We’re currently making the drive along the shores of Lake Superior. We’ll be spending the day at Pukawaska National Park.
So nice to hear from you, Linda. And very happy (and jealous) you’re in the beautiful shores of Lake Superior. Glad you are having better weather. How is the fall foliage there? Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Thanks!! Fall is definitely in full swing up North, especially around Lake Superior. We came home from our road trip late last night. I’m so not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I’m sorry that you’re back but the drive back must’ve been heavenly. I just saw an ad for Fall in Northern Ontario. If T didn’t have school, I’d totally book a week off to explore the drive to Thunder Bay in autumn. Good luck with reentry tomorrow!
A hike by a gorge filled with rushing water. Sounds perfect. Glad you were able to access a stretch of this river for your hike. It looks like quite the rustic life in the squatter’s cabin. Was there wi-fi? Ha Ha. Thanks for sharing. Allan
It’s always nice to hear the sounds of rushing water. We never really know what to expect with some of these non-operating parks. I’m glad we were able to visit the Eau Claire Gorge Conservation Area to at least view the gorge and river. I don’t think this area has good reception in general. Not sure how I’d feel about spending a night in that cabin let alone living there! No thanks. Thanks for reading. Linda
We hiked there a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your pictures are great. If you are still in the area, you should hike into Talon Shute – part of the Mattawa River Provincial Park. Some really interesting potholes.
It’s a lovely little conservation area and I was impressed at how the trail was so well-signed. Thanks for the recommendation about hiking into Talon Shute. I’ll have to add this to our list for the next time we’re in the North Bay area. Have a wonderful Labour Day long weekend. Take care. Linda
It seems a bit steep for canoeing or maybe with portage. I remember there was talk of a new canoe. I guess it was the canoe or the house for this year.
Not sure how I would feel canoeing along this stretch of the river either. I imagine that there must be some sort of really long portage to skip the rapids. Either way I don’t think my canoeing or portaging abilities could handle this!
The river is beautiful! So much green too. ❤️🇨🇦
There’s always something so peaceful and soothing about walking along the water. The views of the river along this trail are beautiful. It’s always nice to have some shade coverage from the trees when hiking in the summer. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
What a beautiful spot. The river looks lovely, and it’s great to have the cabin there if you need to get out of the rain or need a quick nap! 😉
Not sure how I’d feel about taking a nap in that cabin!! But yes, it’s always nice to have some shelter along the trail when hiking because you never know with the weather. We haven’t had much rain this summer, but when it has rained, it’s been torrential.
Oh no, I wouldn’t nap there either. I was joking. 😉
Besides the creepiness factor, there wasn’t even a mattress on the bed, which is probably a good thing!
I love the sound of water while walking in nature … lovely pictures!
I love the sound of water too and find it so relaxing, whether it’s the sound of rain, rushing water, or waves crashing into the shore. When I can’t sleep at night I’ll tend to listen to water sounds. Thanks for reading. Linda
Nice little part and this looks like a perfect short hike. Rushing water, squater’s cabins in the woods. How Canadian 🙂
Haha, yes I suppose this does sound and look very Canadian! This was a nice little conservation area that provided some great views of the river. We’re not sure whether this portion of the river was part of the Amable du Fond River Provincial Park, but we’re counting it anyway! Have a wonderful long weekend. Have you moved yet?
We got possession a couple of days ago and will be moving slowly over the next month! We love it so far 🙂
Congrats!! That’s very exciting!! It’s nice that you’re able to move in over the course of a month. We did something similar and it was so much less stressful. Happy to hear that you are loving it so far.
Another great spot you found thanks
It was a bit of an adventure to get to the conservation area, but the trail itself was very well maintained and well-signed. It was a great place to see (and hear) the rapids and falls up close. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Nature so excitingly alive. Thanks for the fun adventure.
For sure. I enjoyed hearing the sounds of rushing water as we hiked along the river. It was a nice detour and a great way to stretch our legs along the drive. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
Rushing water! So gorgeous. Our drought has been so bad, that I can almost feel and taste that water rushing down the gorge.
I love that cabin. It’s about as nice as any ACC hut here in Alberta. All it needs is a foam mattress, and it’s good to go!
We’ve had a hot and dry summer in Southern Ontario too, but it seems like Northern Ontario has received no shortage of it! This conservation area was a nice way to enjoy the river and we’re still counting this as a visit to the Amable du Fond Provincial Park. It’s always neat to come across these old cabins and it’s always great to find shelter on the trail just in case.
Sounds like a great hike!! I love that cabin- it’s always so fun for me to find historical spots like that! I’ve never heard of a squatters cabin before! So cool!
It was a short hike, but very scenic. The cabin towards the end of the trail was a nice surprise. It was great that the door was open and we could peak inside.
What a great hike along a gorgeous rugged stoney ravine with rushing water. Maggie
I find it so soothing to hear the sounds of rushing water. It was a great signal to let us know we were getting closer to the gorge. It was a relatively short and easy trail, but it was a nice break after spending the past few days hiking.