Choose your structural metaphor to describe the land between the Adirondack Mountains and the expanse of rugged Canadian Shield terrain across northern Ontario. It’s commonly called the Frontenac Arch, but it is also a sort of bridge of wilderness and glacial rock. The arch sweeps across the North Country between Gouverneur and Watertown, through the Thousand Islands and north through places like Perth and Westport. The arch is actually a designated United Nations World Biosphere Reserve because of its unique ecosystems. Most of the land and water is privately owned of course, but there are protected places too. One of them–a sort of keystone in the arch–is Frontenac Provincial Park north of Kingston, near the quaint village of Sydenham.
The nearly 13,000 acre (over 5,300 hectare) park includes 22 lakes. It’s a rarity among parks in the southern half of Ontario because it only offers campsites accessible by trail or canoe. There are over 60 miles (100 kilometres) of trails. I recently took a short hike on the Arab Lake Gorge Trail and took some photos to get a small look at just how unique the park and its land are.