Frontenac County North
Uniquely situated along the southern section of the Canadian Shield, the rural region of Frontenac County is a splendid destination for nature lovers. Spend your time canoeing through the many lakes, try your hand at snowshoeing and go camping in any season. Frontenac Provincial Park is a highlight in the area, but a drive further north will lead you to countless lakes, a Dark Sky Preserve and even more great camping opportunities.
To learn more about all there is to see and do in Frontenac County North, scroll down or visit the area’s tourism website.
Where is Frontenac County North?
Located southwest of the city of Ottawa, the northern area of Frontenac County is the perfect place to enjoy the natural wonders of Ontario’s southeastern region. With the Rideau Lakes District to the east and historic Lennox and Addington County to the west, this area is the pinnacle of rural Ontario life. Following Highway 7 from the west, you will reach the center of Frontenac County in about three hours from Toronto. From the east, take Highway 7 from Ottawa or drive along the 401 Expressway.
Things to Know About Visiting Frontenac County North
Whether you’re still in the planning stages or you’re already on your trip to Frontenac County, it’s nice to learn what the locals know about the city.
Where to take Instagram photos
Where to go for a hike
Where to get a great cup of coffee
Shamrock Bakery is one of the best bakeries in North Frontenac. It’s a cozy, little coffee shop with daily soups, sandwiches, ready to go meals, preserves, cakes, and scones all made from scratch. Plus, they serve wonderful freshly brewed coffee.
Neighbourhoods & Districts of Frontenac County North
On the border of Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Counties, this small pioneer town is close to many lakes known for great fishing, including Big Gull, Kashawakamak and of course, Lake Mazinaw, home to Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Outside of Sharbot Lake Provincial Park, this town accessible by Road 38 and Highway 7 is a great place to stop and enjoy the views from the beach. Don’t forget to fuel up at Cardinal Café, those who know, know.
Plevna & Ompah
The village of Arden sits on picturesque Clear Lake and is home to several artist studios, including Arden Batik. Northern Frontenac County is home to many artists who enjoy inspiration from the lakes, trees, flora and fauna that make up this unique countryside.
Things to Do in Frontenac County North
Frontenac County’s southern region dips down to the shoreline of Lake Ontario, while the northern portion features more wilderness terrain with majestic views. Take a picturesque drive around the region to fully capture the beauty of the surrounding lakes.
Embark on year-round outdoor adventure in Frontenac Provincial Park. The park’s many lakes invite swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing in the summer. But the park truly shines in winter, when visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing and winter camping.
With over 100 km of trails, this hiker’s playground has something for every skill level. The 7 km Little Clear Lake Loop, for example, is rated for beginners yet is still rewarding. It circumvents the lake and passes by ruins of buildings from the 1800s. For more of a challenge, gear up for the 21 km Slide Lake Loop, which trails over rocky ridges and wet marshes with the payoff of lookouts over four of the park’s beautiful lakes.
Fishing opportunities abound, especially for trout and bass. Take a canoe, kayak or motorboat (on select lakes) out to watch the day go by from the peaceful tranquility of the still waters. Keep eyes peeled for amazing birdlife like warblers and the rare waterthrush.
Near Plevna, located in the county’s northernmost corner, you’ll find a dark sky area where you can marvel at how small even a vast place like Ontario really is. The North Frontenac Astronomy Park promises the darkest skies in southern Ontario — you’ll have to visit the dark sky reserve in neighbouring Lennox and Addington to know for sure! Take your telescope or simply bring a blanket and lie back as you watch for shooting stars and twinkling planets.
To the east, Long Schooner Lake and Round Schooner Lake offer hiking trails along the granite rocks, as well as water access only campsites, so you can shut yourself off from the real world and relish in nature. You might even get lucky and catch a walleye for dinner.
For those who crave creature comforts, book a few nights at Land O’ Lakes Lodge, located at the southern tip of crystal-clear lake Crotch Lake. The lodge offers rooms in the main hotel and private cabins groups looking for a weekend of swimming, canoeing and fishing. The lodge also offers dinner service and plenty of additional activities.
Rockhill B&B is a cozy bed and breakfast located in the heart of Sharbot Lake and within walking distance to the lake and restaurants.
North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve is among the darkest skies in Ontario, perfect for stargazing.
Frontenac County is known for its incredible trails, especially the rail trails that link it to neighbouring counties and communities. The K&P Trail travels the length of Frontenac County, with its southern start in the City of Kingston and its northern terminus in the Town of Renfrew. The K&P intersects with the Tay-Havelock trail in Sharbot Lake, running east and west of the village—both of these iconic trails form part of the Trans Canada Trail. Recently rehabilitated, you’d be hard pressed to find a better trail experience in Eastern Ontario, whether you hike, bike or ride an ATV.
Last updated: August 22, 2023