Salmon Lake Rd. N. of Kingston
Posted on January 15, 2021 / 5380
Listing Type : Cross Country Ski / Snowshoe
Location : Eastern Ontario
Note : EPIC
X-Ski km : 12
Skate km : none
Snowshoe km : 100 +
Skill Level : Easy, Intermediate, Advanced
Terrain : small hills, wide paths, narrow paths, gentle hills, flat sections
Facilities : parking, warming huts, toilets/outhouse, trailhead map, trails maintained, track set, gear rentals
Trail Fee : Yes

Length –  8 km

Cross Country track set   – 8 km (return)
Skate Skiing groomed  – none
Snowshoe  trail –  100 km + 

Skill – All levels

Terrain –  Flat sections, rolling hills, many lakes, forest and open flat rock

Hours –  Daily – daylight, no set hours

Fee – Day pass $12.25, cash box

Trail MapMap boards and signposts on the most popular loops

Facilities –  Parking, warming cabin, snowshoe rentals, winter camping, ice fishing

Highlights – Scenic, quite, wilderness, lots of lakes, beaver ponds, rocky outcrops

Phone – 613 376 3489

Website – Ontario Parks,  FB page   Twitter

Current Conditions

Similar Trails – Bracebridge NRC, Glenelg, Kolapore

Local Clubs – Triangle Cross Country Ski Club

Access –  Take  Bedford Road. Hwy 19 north from Sydenham for 12km, turn right on Salmon Lake Rd. and drive to the park entrance. 

Bedford Rd. Hwy 19 is paved coming up from the south but a rough hilly dirt road heading down the other way. I would think it would be the last to be plowed after a storm and best to have an AWD vehicle if you take it.

Frontenac Provincial Park has some of the best Snowshoeing in Southern Ontario. With 100+ km of trail to explore, there is something here for everyone at every skill level.

Situated in cottage country only 30 km north of Kingston it sits on a section of the Canadian Shield that extends this far south. The scenery and wildness along forest and lake paths are beautiful on any sunny day with opportunities to spot wildlife.

Snowshoeing is this park’s best winter activity, with loops going off in all directions, some far in for the seasoned winter adventurer who wishes to trek to one of the 48 winter camping spots.

For a day visit to Frontenac, Snowshoers can try the shorter easy 1.5 km Arab Lake Gorge Loop or moderate 3 km Doe Lake Loop. The 8 km Bufflehead Trail, located 2 km from the park office offers a longer adventure through pine trees, by beaver ponds and over open granite rock. You can also follow the Nordic paths but please do not stomp on the ski tracks.

For the Nordic ski crowd, you will find barely enough here on the 4 km loop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air doing classic cross-country skiing (no skate skiing). It is actually a 4 km summer road that you ski to one end and return on. Not totally flat and boring but close to it.

So the skiing at Frontenac is not stellar nor overly challenging unless you rough it as a backcountry ski trekking adventure. Winters can be mild here with a thin snowbase so skiing is not always an option at the park, yet the staff makes an effort to occasionally track set the 8 km road when possible.

The wide path up Big Salmon Lake Rd. (closed in the winter) takes you in for 3.5 km to get to the backend. Here trails veer off into the bush and skiing gets more interesting and hilly.

These moderate trails lead to the harder Corridor Trail that has difficult tight turns for a few kilometres then levels out to more gentle slopes and flat track through a winding peaceful forest setting on your return. (note – the 2023 park map seems to show that this is not a ski trail anymore)

This is a wilderness park with few amenities, though you can warm yourself up and enjoy a hot chocolate at the modern looking park office and they do rent snowshoes. (But not this year.) Offices are open on weekends and most weekdays (call first to check).

I found the road from the south paved and a much better choice to access the park than driving down from the north.

Being this far south, winters are brief and snow can be in short supply or crisp, hard and packed from melt-freeze cycles. So picking the right day to visit is key to making your visit a memory to savour.

Opening Hours
  • Monday :No set hours, open most days weather permitting.
  • Tuesday :No set hours, open most days weather permitting.
  • Wednesday :No set hours, open most days weather permitting.
  • Thursday :No set hours, open most days weather permitting.
  • Friday :No set hours, open most days weather permitting.
  • Saturday :Open on weekends in January, February and March
  • Sunday :Open on weekends in January, February and March
Frontenac winter trails

Frontenac winter trails

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