Friday, August 14, 2009

Frontenac: Cluster 2, Sites B and C

Frontenac Provincial Park

Mike & Amanda, Mike & Karen, Riz & Sabrina.
Site Map, Site Description, My Advice.

This was an excellent trip -- great weather, low overhead, superb division of labour. Mike & Karen and Riz & Sabrina hiked in from the Arab lake parking lot, and found it not very difficult. We rented a canoe from Frontenac Outfitters, parked at the trail center parking lot and launched from the dock at the trail centre which is about 25m from the parking lot. It took about 1.5 hours, but most of the time was the portage, for which we had to take two trips. It's described as a 341m easy-to-moderate portage (with 1 two-stage hill) from South Otter Lake to Doe Lake. The entire portage is basically one big hill. You spend half the time climbing up and half climbing down. It's not too bad but unless you're really tough you'll take two trips like us which makes it more like a kilometer of hiking over rough terrain.

Doe Lake isn't very big. I swam across it in the long direction without too much difficulty. We had a great time. The sites are very nice, and you don't have to go too far to find downed dead wood. There was a heron, a very big turtle, two loons, many sunfish that liked to nibble at your fingers and toes, and a fairly big pike. The swimming was good. The shore wasn't too mucky and you only had to swim out about 5m to get past the weeds. The mosquitoes weren't too bad. We had perfect weather and there were zero bugs except for about an hour at dusk when they came on pretty strong, but were easily deterred with DEET. I would definitely go here again, but maybe not in bug season. On the other side of the cluster is a wetland which is great for wildlife but would be hell at the peak of mosquito season. The portage is a pain but cluster 2 is fairly out of the way so you have good privacy. Other than the other campers on site A, we only saw two sets of canoeists and on set of hikers.

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