Hiking the Cliff Top Trail in Bon Echo Park
Bon Echo Park is a nice day trip for us as it’s only about an hour north of our home in Napanee. We’ve also camped in the park and now you can enjoy even rent your own cabin in the woods at Bon Echo Lake.
The Cliff Top Trail is one of many in the park, but it’s our favourite and I think you’ll soon see why. Getting there is half the fun.
If you don’t have your own, you can rent canoes and kayaks at the dock. Or take the Mugwump Ferry Boat operated by the Friends of Bon Echo Park. The ferry runs each day but Tuesdays and Thursdays until August 31. Beginning September 6, the ferry will operate Saturdays and Sundays only until October 19. Passengers on the Mugwump get an unusual treat this year. They are helping with a trail rehabilitation project by carrying cans of gravel and dropping it off at designated locations.
Cliff Top Trail provides some challenging climbs, but it is easy enough for just about anyone. One of my early memories of the climb here has us trying to keep up with our three and seven year old sons. There are variations in elevations, but parts of it are almost flat, giving you a break from the climbing.
Sturdy footwear is definitely recommended for this trail. The trail consists of some rocky parts and there are fairly quick changes in elevation and terrain, Sets of stairs with handrails help on the steeper sections. These can be challenging in their length but, of course, they are much easier going down.
On the way up, take your time to catch your breath and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to bring some water.
Although the park tabloid suggests that you can do this trail in an hour, allow more time than that. We like to take a snack to have when we reach the lookouts atop the cliff, and you just want to have time to take in the magnificent views of Mazinaw Lake and the park.
Christine Peets is a writer, writing instructor and event planner. She and her family visit Ontario Parks each summer.