Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Frontenac Provincial Park

Update: you can now book sites for Frontenac Park online on a high quality interactive map. You're charged a $9.74 fee for using the website and a $50 deposit for the camp-site. It's not clear what the total cost of the camp-site is or when it should be paid.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Cluster 2, Sites A and B ~ August 2010

Mike & Amanda, Riz & Sabrina, Lenko & Renita.

Doe Lake. Hiked in. Saw some snakes.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Cluster 5, Sites A and B ~ July 2010

Mike & Amanda, Tyner & Cynthia, Chris & Angie.

Crazy hot weekend made comfortable by a constant 10km breeze. Nice beach and a beautiful cliff but not great for swimming. Long hike to Big Clear Lake near Cluster 13. I really enjoyed swimming there.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Cluster 2, Sites B and C ~ August 2009

Mike & Amanda, Mike & Karen, Riz & Sabrina.

Great weather. Low overhead. Superb division of labour. Canoed in with a rental from Frontenac Outfitters. Saw a heron, a massive turtle, two loons, many sunfish that liked to nibble at your fingers and toes, and a fairly big pike.

Frontenac Provincial Park

Cluster 4, Site C ~ August 2006

Mike & Amanda.

Very lucky. We had a reservation for cluster 12, but there was a cancelation so we got cluster 4. We had a great time, saw a meteor shower, got engaged. Yep, to be married.

Useful Bits

Fire Bans (you have to select your park in the drop-down)

The camping reservation number (1-888-668-7275) is open 7am-9pm every day but xmas and new-years.

When driving to Frontenac, get a map from Frontenac Outfitter's website. They know a good way on back roads.

Booking (short story)

- january, pick a camping weekend
- 5months + 2weeks in advance get ~commital from other campers
- 5months in advance book sites (one seperate address per site)
- after april 1st, book canoes if necessary
- 1 month in advance, get solid commital from campers and update guest list with park, possible $7 change fee
- have fun

Booking (long story)

Frontenac Provincial Park is not car camping. They call it a "back country" park. Download the Park Tabloid from the Friends of Frontenac Provincial Park to see the sites available. Call the park for advice at 613-376-3489, or read the descriptions online. Once you have a plan, call 1-888-668-7275 to book your site.

You will need:
- Point of access: Trail Centre / Park Office (on Big Salmon Lake Road) (even if you eventually leave your car elsewhere, you must register here, and this is your official point of entry).
- Arrival / Departure dates.
- Site(s) wanted.
- A different name/phone/address for each site booked.

At the time of booking, you pay for the site only. At the time of arrival you pay additionally $9.90/person/night.

Getting There

Click on the Trail Centre on the Google Map and ask for directions. If you want a canoe, book in advance with Frontenac Outfitters. They will provide you with advice and the equipment necessary to attach the canoe to your car. First pick up your canoe, then register at the Trail Centre (before 8pm). They will provide you with a parking permit. For most sites, you drive to the Big Salmon Lake and unload your gear. For cluster 2 you launch from the Trail Centre on South Otter Lake. Your parking lot of choice may be full, so after unloading your gear you may have to backtrack with the car.


All vehicles and vessels (boats and canoes) entering the Park must have a valid permit. Vehicles must have the permit clearly displayed on the dashboard. Vehicles must be parked in the available parking lots (Big Salmon Lake Parking Lot, Arab Lake Parking Lot, Trail Centre Parking Lot) - not along the roads. Vehicles without permits may be ticketed and/or towed. Be sure to display your permit for the wardens to see.

For overnight camping you must obtain an Interior Camping Permit which includes parking for vehicles. The permit must be obtained at the Trail Centre during normal business hours (i.e. before 8pm) prior to entry to the interior.


Sites generally have a fire pit and a flat pad that can accomodate two small tents. Most clusters have an enclosed privy near by.

To avoid Giardiasis, be sure to carry treated water from domestic sources or boil untreated water for 10 minutes prior to use. Chemical purifiers alone will not always kill the giardia parasite. Dogs can pick up Giardia as well, so provide them with treated water also.

Animals, such as raccoons and bears should not be a problem, if you take the following precautions:
- Put all your food and garbage in seperate packs and hang them 4m off the ground, and away from the vicinity of your tent.
- To help eliminate food odours, wash your dishes immediately after each meal (preferably 25m away from your campsite and from the lake).
- Do not take food into your tent.


From page 5 of the Park Tabloid:
- Campfires are allowed only at designated campsite clusters, in the fireplaces.
- Shore and trailside fires are not permitted.
- Stripping bark, cutting branches from trees or cutting any standing tree is unlawful
- The gathering of downed dead wood is permitted.
- Drown your campfire when you leave your campsite.
- In the event of a fire ban, no fires are permitted. Use a camp stove instead.
Also they make a huge fuss of not bringing infected wood from other areas. So if you're going to bring any wood into the park, it's best to buy it at the park office.


From page 5 of the Park Tabloid:
- Pets must be kept on a leash, not exceeding 2 metres.
- Pets must not disturb other park visitors or make excessive noise.
- Pets must not chase any wild animals or damage any property.
- Pets are not permitted on any beach or in any swimming area.
- Dispose of "doggie bags" in a garbage can, not down the privy.
- Please advise the gate staff of your pet and register the name and breed on your camping permit.


- Must book well in advance to get a good site.
- If booked with Frontenac Outfitters, must pickup by 5pm (actually they'll stay a bit late for you, we got there at 5:20pm).
- Must checkin at Park Office before 8pm (regardless of your planned point of entry), sites are paid, but must pay an additional ~$10/person/night at checkin-time. You get one permit for your car and one for your site.
- At checkin-time ask if there is a fire ban. Ask if there will be downed dead wood within a reasonable distance from your cluster.
- Bring a food bag and garbage bag and gear to hang them from a tree.
- Bring a water filter pump, a folding saw, a small camp stove, and DEET.
- It's best to plan group meals. If your going deep, consider taking all dehydrated camp food.

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