Best Hiking Trails in Frontenac Provincial Park

A boardwalk trail leads through the forest

Frontenac Provincial Park, photo credit: Megan Birrell

A trip to Frontenac Provincial Park is a must for any outdoor enthusiast and avid hiker. This natural park is near the town of Sydenham, just a 40-minute drive north of Kingston.  

Enjoy exploring stunning blue lakes, ponds and hiking trails. The park is also home to wildlife, including grey wolves, river otters, fishers and black bears.  

Adventure awaits hikers, campers and nature lovers anytime since the park is open throughout the year. 

Frontenac Trails to Explore 

Frontenac Provincial Park offers several adventures for beginners to experienced hikers.  

The park has over 100 km of hiking and backpacking trails. Choose from easy walks, moderate hikes or more challenging treks. Plus, a total of 48 designated interior campsites around the area can be accessed by foot.  

Trails and intersections are well-marked so that hikers won’t get lost. There are also logs and log bridges in the creeks or streams so you can cross easily without getting wet.  

When hiking, you may have a chance to spot beavers, deer, otters, bears, black rat snakes, grouse and a variety of birds on the trails.  

Here are some of the Frontenac trails you should try: 

1. Arab Lake Gorge Trail 

The Arab Lake Gorge Trail is recommended for beginner hikers and backpackers. It’s approximately a 1.5 km loop, which takes about 30 minutes to finish. 

Along the trail you’ll see vegetation in the valley bottom and a variety of ferns. You will walk along an extensive boardwalk through the gorge and wetlands area.  

2. Arkon Lake Loop Trail 

This trail is an 11 km loop trail and great for beginner to experienced hikers. The trail is charming when fall colours are starting to show.  

Look out for local mushrooms in different colours that grow in the carpet of fallen leaves, like Shaggy Mane and King Bolete mushrooms. 

As you walk the flat and well-travelled trail, there’s a chance you’ll see some beaver ponds, chipmunks, snakes, ground squirrels and ring bog complex. 

3. Little Salmon Lake Loop Trail 

Start the 10 km trail at the west end of Big Salmon or Arab Lake. This moderate hiking trail takes around 3 to 5 hours to finish. The trail runs through the mature trees and bushes.  

Get a nice view of the park’s landscape at Moulton Gorge Valley, a steep lookout at the edge of a steep drop. The crystal blue waters of the lake, ponds and waterfall are also visible from the lookout.  

4. Tetsmine Lake Loop Trail 

The Tetsmine Lake Loop from Kingsford Dam is around 10 km, and takes roughly 5 to 6 hours to hike. This moderate trail is fairly rugged, but the trail is marked, and there are boardwalks and bridges to cross streams or damp areas easily.  

Traces of human history are evident in the park. Discover abandoned mica mines and a few 19th-century foundations, and McNally homesteads remain. 

5. Slide Lake Loop Trail 

This rugged loop is the longest and one of the most challenging trails in the park. The trail is around 21 km, which is approximately an eight hour-loop. Expect granite ridges, ponds and marshes hiking around the lakes.  

This trail is rewarding since you can have a sweeping view of the landscape at the Mink Lake lookout, the park’s highest point. The lookout makes everything seem flat once you’re above the treeline of the rest of the park.  

Plan Your Frontenac Provincial Park Hiking  

When hiking at Frontenac park, make sure to hike only the marked routes and keep an watch on weather conditions.  

Don’t forget to bring water, snacks and a first aid kit. Maps and a compass are essential, too, since cellular coverage is limited inside the park.  

Wondering where to start? Check out Ontario Parks for FAQs, details and updates about Frontenac Provincial Park. Friends of Frontenac Park also provide helpful guides and other information about hiking at the park.                 

Some things to do may not be available due to COVID-19.

For the most up-to-date information on where and when it is safe to travel please visit: covid-19.ontario.ca