Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
The Ultimate Fall Hiking Challenge!

Looking for the ultimate hiking challenge this fall? Look no further! He

The Frontenac Challenge is just for you.

Participants will have to cover Frontenac’s 11 hiking circuits, totaling about 160 km! Walks must be taken between September 1 and October 31.

Along each walking circuit there will be signs with clues related to each year’s theme. For this year’s theme, we wanted to showcase some of the park’s underrated residents: bugs and spiders!

View of the forest with autumn colors from the boardwalk.

Remember to record each clue, as you’ll need to submit them online once you’ve completed the challenge!

Participants who have completed the challenge will receive a certificate of completion, a badge, and will also have their name engraved on a plaque at the park office.

Route through Frontenac

Don’t you feel ready to face the whole challenge?

Try the Frontenac Trek, where you only need to hike six of the main loops (excluding Arab Lake Gorge Trail and Doe Lake Loop) instead of all 11 hiking loops.

autumn forest

Youth Challenge

Includes the kids! Young people under 12 years old can participate in the Junior Challenge, where they travel six of the main circuits in the park.

How to prepare for the challenge

Online registration

You can register for the challenge online through the Friends of Frontenac website between August 1 and October 15. There is a $5.00 administration fee for registrants who are not Friends of Frontenac members. Friends of Frontenac members can register for free.

Please contact the park or email [email protected] for help with registration.

Investigate the trails

Research the trails in advance to plan your routes. Some of the hiking trails cannot be accessed directly from where you park.

Remember, all loops must be hiked in their entirety, meaning if two loops share a section of trail, it must be hiked twice. Consider hiking loops adjacent to each other in a “figure of eight” shape.

To help plan your hikes, consider purchasing a park map. Park maps are available for purchase at the park office, as well as online through the Friends of Frontenac website or at the Ontario Parks Store.

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An illustrated map of Frontenac Provincial Park showing the northern half of the map.

Do you enjoy camping in the countryside? Camping at nearby campgrounds can be a great way to access some of the “landlocked” loops, such as Hemlock Lake Loop and Gibson Lake Loop.

Plan your visits

Did you know that you can now reserve your day use permit in advance?

sunset view over the lake

Weekends can be busy and we recommend reserving your day use permit in advance to guarantee your access. If you prefer to have a quieter experience on the trails, weekdays are your best option.

Day use reservations are available 5 days prior to arrival date.

The days get shorter during the fall season; Be sure to arrive early so you can complete your hike well before sunset.

Remember: many of Frontenac’s trails are long and may require an entire day to complete.

Temperatures in autumn can vary from day to day and between morning and afternoon. It is important to pay attention to the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

Get prepared!

Good hiking boots and socks are essential to complete the Frontenac Challenge.

Located in the Frontenac Arch, Frontenac’s terrain can be quite rugged in some sections. Hiking poles can also be a great option, especially on those long mile days.

What Brig

Remember to pack the essentials when you go hiking; can make the difference between enjoying an enjoyable day of hiking or getting stuck in a not-so-pleasant situation.


The first and best place to start is to get a good comfortable backpack to carry your supplies. Having a good backpack allows you to be prepared and travel longer distances with greater comfort.

Appropriate clothing for the weather.

Fall weather can be a bit tricky. Make sure you dress in layers.

The days can start off cool and be quite warm in the afternoon. It is best to be prepared for both. Don’t forget a waterproof and windproof layer for those sudden fall showers. Always carry an extra pair of socks in case you get wet!


It is very important to stay hydrated during the hike. Make sure you bring plenty of water and also some backup, like water treatment tablets or a filter in case you run out!

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You’ll burn a lot of calories while walking, so it’s important to replenish those calories. Bring high-calorie foods, such as dried fruits and nuts, protein/energy bars, hard cheese, and beef jerky.

A person wearing a yellow waterproof jacket and using hiking poles, standing at the edge of a forest, looking at a clearing with his face turned away from the camera.  It's a cloudy, overcast day.

Fresh foods like apples and berries are also a great pick-me-up for me on the trail. Try to pack food in reusable containers and always pack what you pack.


The trails in Frontenac are very well marked, but always carry a map in case you get off track.


Day lengths are shorter in the fall, so it’s best to be prepared in case you get caught on the trail after dark. Bring a flashlight, or better yet, a headlamp, just in case!


In the event of an emergency, it is good practice to have supplies to start and maintain a fire. Packing a waterproof matchbox is always a good idea.

First aid

The one item in your pack that you hope you’ll never need to use, but are glad to have when you do.

Solar protection

Sunscreen may not be a priority when packing for a fall day hike, but it’s still important! Pack a hat and sunglasses to help protect your face and eyes. Apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Don’t forget the lip balm with SPF protection!

Insect protection

While mosquitoes and deer flies have disappeared for the season, ticks are still something to watch out for when hiking in the fall. Use insect repellent containing Deet and tuck long pants into socks. Always carry pliers or a “twitch wrench” in case someone manages to hitchhike.

Submit your completion record

Once you have completed the challenge, submit your completion record online. All completion registrations MUST be submitted by 11:59 pm on October 31st.

A rocky lake with a line of forested trees in the distance.  It is a clear and sunny day.

See you on the trails!

If you accept the challenge, Frontenac would love to see and hear about your progress!

Use #FrontenacChallenge on social media and be sure to tag the park in your hiking photos (@frontenacpp) for a chance to be featured on their page. Please do not post any photos or videos with the challenge clues until the challenge ends.

Do you plan to camp in the park while you complete your challenge? Check out these backcountry blogs for a safe and successful trip.