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Hiking at Bon Echo Provincial Park is an exciting and fun adventure. Its stunning trails, safe canoe routes, numerous indigenous pictographs, rugged backcountry, and massive land provide the best setting for any hiker, preferring secluded but highly thrilling hiking experiences.
Bon Echo is famous for its native pictographs, enthralling hiking trails of up to 17 km long, and clear, deep lakes adorning the north shore sheer cliff. The most striking feature of this provincial park is Mazinaw Rock, located in the Eastern part of Mazinaw Lake.
This rock is 100 meters high, giving you a detailed and scenic view of Eastern Ontario's stunning parks. Bon Echo sits on a 66.43 km2 land and features various primeval Canadian Shield lakes that will give you a quiet, memorable experience during your tour.
Besides hiking, you'll get to enjoy other on-site activities and services like roofed, and backcountry accommodations, car camping, biking, fishing, hunting, rock climbing, swimming, and interpretative bout trips on Mazinaw Lake.
The park also has an Art Exhibition and Sale area and other exciting interior hike-in and canoe-in sites you can visit during your trip.
It has one amphitheater, two backcountry access points, 30 backcountry campsites, 495 car camping campsites, 214 electrical campsites, 280 radio-free campsites, 65 walk-in campsites, seven comfort stations, five docks, one dog beach, one park store, four laundromats, one pet exercise area, one picnic shelter, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, and kayak rentals, a filling station, showers, and toilets.
With all these facilities and activities, and the numerous landscape panoramas, hiking in Bon Echo Provincial Park sure is a trip you won't want to miss.
The access and touring fee at Bon Echo usually vary with the level of service you choose and the number of people accompanying you to the park. Reservations should be paid in full during booking.
Visitors needing trailers and cottages are also supposed to pay a damage deposit fee during booking, which will be fully refunded after their stay if they don't tamper with anything in the units.
The hacking trail you decide to take will depend on the total time you plan to tour the area. For shorter hikes, you can opt for shorter routes —for example, Creek Trail, which is approximately 1km, a 40-minutes walk.
Other short tracks are the High Pines and Clifftop Trails, which are approximately 1.7 km (one-hour walk) and 1.6km loops, respectively.
If you wish to feel the ambiance of the Lake Campgrounds, you can take the Mazinaw Lake loop, a 90 minutes (5km) hiking. This trail offers many activities all year round and an elevation height of up to 105 meters.
The longest but incredibly scenic and fascinating route is the Kishkebus Canoe Route, a 15.9 km trail with an elevation gain of up to 451m. Its located close to North Frontenac, Ontario, providing a clear view of Mazinaw Lake.
It features a 17 km backpacking trail and its first canoe camping lake where you can park, port, load, and canoe your car across Joe Perry Lake and access 23 campsites facing the lake's perimeter. Other routes you can consider taking for a more adventurous hiking experience are:
1. The Narrows and Beach Route (2.1 km loop)
2. Clute's Lake Loop through Abes &Essens Route (3.1 km loop)
3. Pet Exercise Trail (1.4 km loop)
4. The Shield Route (8.0 km loop)
5. Abes & Essens Trail (13.km walk)
The Clifftop route is an out-and-back 1.7 km long trail with some of the most native and picturesque scenes in Bon Echo Park. Usually, Mazinaw Lake is divided into two parts: the Upper and Lower part, with a shallow, narrow water path known as The Narrows.
The introductory of Clifftop Trail lies on the lake's western side, offering a full view of The Narrow from the south.
Campfire meals and hinting are also excellent distractions during hiking. Most routes are near the beaches where you can take a break to enjoy the calm waters and wet sand with other hikers. Kayaking is another fun activity to try when touring Bon Echo.
Bon Echo Provincial Park offers an array of accommodation and camping options for different groups of people based on their nature of tour and preference. However, the park usually fills up quickly, so it's better to make reservations in advance.
If you're more of a backcountry hiker, you can opt for a nice, decent, and safe camping site and enjoy beautiful, private moments with your family and loved ones. The charges for a camping site will depend on the type of campsite you choose: regular or electrical.
Alternatively, you can opt for roofed accommodations, which come in different prices and structures.
Generally, the fees for roofed accommodations will vary with the location and quality of the unit you select. The backcountry cabin can cost a maximum of $119 per night, while hill cabins cost $242.95 per night and $1050 per week.
The park also rents camping cabins for $152.55 and deluxe tents for $111.87-$152.55 per night. Trailer-equipped campsites are also rented at the same fee, while cottages are somewhat pricier, with the highest going at $322.85 per night.
our best accommodation options when touring Bon Echo Park are:
This 4-person cottage is located 2 minutes away from the park, has two bedrooms, a bathroom, outdoor space, BBQ grill kitchen, and offers clean cotton towels.
If you're on a budget, these motels and suites can be the best option for you. It has good air-conditioning 24/7 front desk and different deluxe accommodation options at a fair price.
There are several eating stopovers near the park. You can opt to visit these restaurants or make a campfire meal depending on your preference.
Our favorite choices are
Located only 7.7 miles from Bon Echo Park, this restaurant is among the closest eating points to consider. Its broad menu features palatable breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus with multiple dining and payments options and a spacious parking lot.
Open every day from 11 am-6 pm, the Gala's Pit Stop can be the best stopover for that brunch or late lunch while touring Bon Echo park. It serves frozen yogurt and ice cream, traditional American foods, poutineries, Canadian cuisines, patio, and vegetarian dishes.