Very Clean and quite
A bit crowded during summer weekends
Excellent Getaway-good for those who don't want to be completely lost in the woods!
Bon Echo is located about 80 km north of Napanee on Highway 41.
Distance from nearest major urban centres 280 km east of Toronto
190 km west of Ottawa
More information about Bon Echo Provincial Park :
On this picture you can see an Inuksuk. An inuksuk is a pile of stones arranged in the likeness of a human being. The Inuit People of the Artic used them for marking trails, indicating caches of food, nearby people, or helping in hunting large herds of caribou.
I just love to see those Inuksuk! And I have a feeling that there are more and more of them in Ontario. You can see them along the roads and also quite often on the trails in the provincial parks. Each and every one of them is unique! Some are small, some are big, but they are all slightly different. I know they traditionally don't belong in this part of Canada, but they are wonderful to see.
For me the Inuksuk symbolizes travel, and that's one thing I love so much. Maybe that's why I love this symbol of the Inuksuk so much :-)
Because Bon Echo (at least our campground site) was quite large it is important to ensure your young ones are nearby especially during the night. We woke past 2am to go to the bathroom, indeed it was totally dark. I almost didn't make it back to my tent (even with a flashlight). Imagine if one of your kids got lost. No matter how sleepy you are always keep your young ones company when they request going outside for the washroom in the middle of the night (even if the toilet is a few meters away).
As you could read in my warning tip it's best to avoid being bitten by mosquitos because of the West Nile Virus. Here are some useful tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos :
Pack light coloured and long-sleeved clothing that includes long sleeved shirts or jackets, long pants, shoes, and tuck pants into socks for extra protection. Hahaha, as you could see in these pictures I hadn't read all these advices myself yet! But I will use them next time!
I found out the hard way that it's best to wear loose-fitting clothes made of tightly woven materials that keep mosquitoes away from skin. Sigh.... they bit me right through my shirt and pants during one of my hikes :-( I also discovered as long as I kept moving the mosquito problem was bearable. But the moment I stood still to take a picture or have a break, they were zooming all around me ready to attack.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
Besides the right clothing it is necesarry to use insect repellent. Use a federally regulated insect repellent containing DEET when mosquitoes are biting. Adults may use an insect repellent that contains no greater than 30% DEET and no greater than 10% for children. Apply the repellent to exposed skin, and clothing as well, because mosquitoes may bite through fabric. Do not apply repellent under clothing. If you don't like to use a repellent containing DEET there are some alternatives on the market. I have no clue how effective those are though.
Another good tip is to limit the use of colognes, perfumes, and scented body lotions that can attract mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Ontario Parks has a special section about the mosquitos and West Nile Virus on it's website. You can find lots more info and answer to many questions on this website :
I have been concentrating on the mosquitos in this tip, hahaha, but I forgot to mention those irritating black flies! Phew, those know how to bite you as well! But luckely they can't give you West Nile Virus. If you use these tips mentioned above you'll be protected against the black flies as well.
It all may sound very complicated and not inviting to go to the parks, but please don't let this stop you. The bugs are irritating, but with these few simple precautions I am sure you will have a fantastic time and it will be safe to visit :-)
I only had one day in Bon Echo, so I didn't have time to do any of the hikes. But I certainly will return to this park and do some of these hikes. The Friends of Bon Echo have produced interpretive trail guides. Ask for them at the Park Office, Main Gate or Greystones Gift and Book Shop.
High Pines Trail - 1.4 km (1 hour) moderate
This trail takes you past tall pines, through groves of hemlock and beside forest ponds.
Shield Trail - 4.8 km (2 hours) moderate
This trail follows a section of the old Addington settlement road and penetrates the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield.
Bon Echo Creek Trail - 2 km return (45 minutes) easy
Follow Bon Echo Creek to where it enters lower Mazinaw Lake.
Abes and Essens Lake - 4-17 km (2-7 hours) strenuous
This trail features three loops of four, nine and 17 km. Make this an overnight hike and camp at one of the five campsites along the trail.
Cliff Top Trail - 2 km (1 hour) moderate
Take the Mugwump Ferry or your own boat across Mazinaw Lake to the start of this trail. Stairs and a pathway lead up Bon Echo Rock to a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
Canoeing is popular here in the Park, especially if you want to see the pictographs, or go on top of the cliffs.
Just beware of the motorized boats that share the lake, as they can create quite a rough ride!
Equipment: You can rent a canoe from the Park if you don't have one.
If you enjoy camping but are either new to this activity or are hesitant to spent few nights in the wildiness, I highly recommend to stay minimum of 2 nights. I happen to come here for 1 night but wasn't as enjoyable as it should. Just setting the camping gear and cooking the meals takes most of the afternoon. Takes another afternoon to pack. Let...more