Zack Fiddis, Owner Frontenac Outfitters | Jul 03, 2020
Frontenac Provincial Park offers a unique combination of backcountry experiences with family-friendly camping adventures.
Ontario’s most southern wilderness park, Frontenac Park provides outdoor enthusiasts 13,000 acres, 22 lakes, 160 km’s of hiking, and 48 interior campsites. The rugged Canadian Shield outcrops, crystal-clear lakes, natural wetlands, and wind-swept white pines create the illusion of being in Canada’s far north.
Here are three daytrips for paddling in the park:
1. North Otter Lake to South Otter Lake to Doe Lake
Located outside the park entrance is South Otter Lake, which is separated from North Otter Lake by a culvert. Paddle North Otter first and then backtrack to South Otter; the southern lake features a public island and is connected to the park office if you need a break.
A quick paddle takes you to the 341-meter portage into Doe Lake within the interior of Frontenac.
2. Mitchell Creek to Birch Lake
To the west, Mitchell Creek meanders into Birch Lake. A relaxed outing with opportunities for fishing, photography, birding, and spotting other native critters.
If you paddle to campsite #7, a nearby hike takes you to The Old Birch Lake Mine and Three Old Homesteads.
3. Three-Lake Loop: Big Salmon, Little Clear, and Little Salmon Lakes
This route is rigorous and more challenging with three portages. It’s a full-day and entirely within the park interior giving you the best wilderness experience.
Beginning at Big Salmon Lake, head towards campsite #5 at the far end of lake. The first portage to Little Clear Lake is on the north shore and considered moderate at 923 meters with two hills.
Explore Little Clear and visit the island before undertaking the next portage. Rumor has it there are big, bucket-mouth bass down below, and it’s common to catch a glimpse of deer, loons, otters, and other wildlife.
Next, head to the 856-meter portage at the south-western corner of the lake; this is a moderate trek with one hill.
Little Salmon Lake is small, so paddle the perimeter and explore the Moulton Gorge, or pull out for lunch and a break before the final leg of the journey.
The last 974-meter portage is rugged and features one hill; once you’re back to Big Salmon, the launch is a quick 20-minute paddle.
Frontenac Provincial Park offers memorable adventures, and these routes are only a fraction of what’s available - head out this season and discover your favourite!
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