This past weekend I embarked on a single night trip through Frontenac Park with two of my friends (pictured left). We headed out Friday around noon and set off to Frontenac Park. From there we hiked into the park to Lynch Lake.
We all got super lucky with the weather, it was cloudy and warm on Friday. Then on Saturday it was a bit cooler and started to rain as we headed out of the park. I have once again managed to escape backpacking in the rain!
In this blog I’ll be covering our trip, including a review of the campsite and explain why Frontenac is perfect for beginners!
Frontenac Park is a backcountry camping only provincial park, offering over 100km of looped paddling and hiking trails. The park has 22 lakes, and 5,355 hectares of land in southern Ontario.
The trails are well marked and well maintained. Blue hiking markers were easily seen and had no more than 10 meters between them at any point. Yellow portage markers are low to the ground making it easier to navigate with a canoe over your head.
Big Salmon to Lynch Lake
When you arrive at the park you will need to pick up your permits from the park office. They also provide you with a map and a garbage bag. For my trip they called us the day before to preregister so my permits were ready on a bulletin board outside of the park office. Super quick and convenient.
For my trip into the park to Lynch Lake (campsite 12B), we parked in the Big Salmon Lake parking lot. This is about 4km north of the park office and seemed to be the best access point to reach Lynch Lake.
The hike in was an easy breezy 1.5hrs. I don’t know the exact mileage, my fitbit tracked around 9km but that seems a inaccurate. Lynch Lake is 9km from the park office so from the Big Salmon parking lot it would be about 5kms.
When reserving Lynch Lake the reservation site says it is about a 4 hour hike in, this was not the case. As three baby backpackers that are definitely not winning any races, it took 1.5hours.
The trail was relatively flat with a few small ups and downs. Along the trail there are quite a few intersections, you will want to follow the signs leading you to campsites 3, 6, and 9. As you get further in, 12 will be added onto the signs.
The mosquitos were, thankfully, almost non-existent. The moths on the other hand? RELENTLESS. Those little floppy winged demons would sneak up on us, attack with their papery wings and ask if we had a moment to talk about our cars extended warranty. Of course they were harmless… and way better than mosquitos, but cmon lil buddies, stay away!
We stayed on site 12B, it was quite small and the cluster of sites on Lynch Lake were VERY close together. There was one solo camper in 12A and another in 12D or C, with us in the middle. The camper in 12A was about 10ft away and we had a clear view of their site as they did of ours. Sites 12C and D are a little bit further way but you can still hear and see everything going on.
Lynch Lake is a small lake that doesn’t offer a great swimming area. Its recommended to hike 15 minutes to Tetsmine lake for swimming. Alternatively, we stopped at campsite 6 on our way out of the park for lunch on Little Clear Lake. This looked like a great swimming spot with a sandy beach and clear water!
Collecting water to filter at Lynch was a little challenging, there was no great spots to collect as it was surrounded by tall grass except for a small desire path leading the the shallow waters edge.
Thankfully, Frontenac is equipped with Bear Boxes at the sites so we did not have to struggle with a bear hang. The boxes are close to the sites and very clean. Frontenac also was closed in outhouses/privy’s. I personally prefer a thunderbox over an outhouse, but it was pretty clean and a good distance from the campsite.
Should you backpack in Frontenac?
Frontenac is a super beginner friendly park. The trails are extremely well marked, there are a bunch of different loops and trails that can be combined for longer trips. As I wrote in a previous blog, my first experience in the backcountry was on a 7 day portage trip in Frontenac.
There are a couple challenging portages in the park but overall I think Frontenac park is the perfect place for a beginner backpacker looking to test out the waters. Even though Lynch lake was not the most spacious site there are tons of beautiful campsites and lakes in Frontenac, definitely worth the adventure!
Have you been to Frontenac Park? Do you plan on heading out there? Leave a comment below!