Bon Echo Provincial Park
Bon Echo Provincial Park
By Ontario Parks
Long a favourite destination for painters and photographers, this park north of Napanee is renowned for Mazinaw Rock. This 1.5-kilometre sheer rock face rises 100 metres above Mazinaw Lake, one of the deepest lakes in Ontario, and features over 260 native pictographs - the largest visible collection in Canada. Spend a day or plan overnight adventures in this hiking and canoeing paradise of deep, blue lakes, sandy beaches, granite outcrops and lush green forests.
Visit the Friends of Bon Echo web site.
There are 528 campsites at Bon Echo.
Campsites in the two main campgrounds at Mazinaw Lake and Hardwood Hill are almost all accessible by car and close to comfort stations, laundry facilities and water taps. For a semi-wilderness experience, pitch your tent in the maple-beech forest of Hardwood Hill. For a quieter experience, try radio-free Midway, Hardwood Hill, Joeperry and Abes and Essens Trail campgrounds.
There are eight group sites available, sites one to five accommodate up to 25 people, site six accommodates up to 15 people, site seven accommodates up to 40 people and site eight accommodates up to 30 people. Water taps are nearby and vault toilets are either on site or close by. A beach borders the group camping area. Reservations can be made by calling the park directly at (613) 336-2228.
Electric Sites - 132
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 Mazinaw Rock to a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.
To savour the beauty and solitude of the wilderness, hike to one of the five sites along the Abes and Essens Lake overnight hiking trail. Twenty-five canoe-in campsites are located on Joeperry and Pearson Lakes. At each campsite, you'll find a picnic table, tent space and a toilet nearby. Joeperry Lake has the added bonus of a sandy beach.
During the summer and fall, park staff offer guided hikes, evening programs, campfires and children's activities.
Lake trout, yellow pickerel, small and large mouth bass, lake whitefish and northern pike.
Due to its location, Bon Echo offers a unique chance to see species typical of both northern and southern Ontario, such as deer, moose, black bear, red fox and beaver.
Power boats are prohibited on all lakes in the park except Mazinaw Lake.
Two sandy beaches are good for swimming. There are no lifeguards.
Friends of Bon Echo Tour Boat
Take a boat tour of Upper and Lower Mazinaw lakes for a close-up view of majestic Mazinaw Rock. On its long, flat face, see native pictographs, ancient cedars and a chiselled Walt Whitman verse. Tours run daily during July and August and you can make reservations at Greystones Gift and Book Shop or by calling (613) 336-9863 a few days in advance.
Take this ferry across Mazinaw Lake to Mazinaw Rock and the base of the Cliff Top Trail. The ferry runs daily in the summer and on weekends in the spring and fall.
Fall Festival of the Arts
To celebrate the fall explosion of colour, the park hosts an annual fall festival featuring a craft exhibition and sale, hikes, boat tours, photography workshops, artist workshops and an outdoor barbecue.
For more information: