Situated right in the middle of LandOLakes is the real jewel of the area, Bon Echo Provincial Park.
Most people who have never heard of this area, or don’t know where it is on the map of Ontario can usually pinpoint exactly where Bon Echo is.
My own childhood memories of summers past (more than I care to mention actually) always included a request from my Dad for where would you like to go camping this year? Invariably all of us kids would look at each other and without prompting we would yell, ‘Bon Echo’. It was always unanimous, and without collaboration or prompting.
We did not have to think about where we wanted to camp, we wanted to go to a place that had it all, and this very popular Ontario Park has it all. Great scenery with Bon Echo Rock topping the list of must see items, along with great swimming (actually our favorite beach in all of Ontario is the South beach at the park).
If it is swimming and scenery you desire be sure to check out the North beach too. Directly across from the Rock this is a bit of a steeper drop off, but it is so beautiful it is hard to resist. Don’t go out too far here though, pretty deep very fast.
From a canoe or kayak you can paddle right up to the cliffs which will tower above you almost 400 feet into the air. It is really hard to describe until you are right there and looking up.
You can check out our Bon Echo Canoe and Kayak Rental page for full details, if you would like to get up close and personal with this living piece of history.
It is called ‘Bon Echo’ for a reason, make sure you whoop it up a bit when you near the rock cliff that is famous for providing echoes. This is not the only cliff in the area this is present so be sure to try it on the other lakes too.
This is a big lake, the Mazinaw, very deep, reaching depths of nearly 400 feet deep. Look up at the cliff first, then look down at the water, it is that deep, pretty amazing. Imagine the sound, the energy it would take to move this rock along the fault line to create this place, pretty mind boggling.
We actually settled in this area because of those childhood camping trips. It stuck so deeply in my memory, that I had to share it with my own kids, and my canoe country loving wife Jane. They all loved it and we embarked on a great adventure. But, you can read about that in another blog post.
There are many other things to do in the Park as well. Canoe in campsites at Joe Perry Lake are very popular. As is the Abes and Essen Trail, we enjoy hiking it in September best.
If you enjoy panoramic views be sure to hike the Cliff Top Trail to the top. You can get there by Canoe, Kayak, SUP or Pedal Boat, as it is just across the lake from our Canoe Rental Office right on Mazinaw Lake at the lagoon. You can paddle over and hike up to the top of the Rock, uphill all the way, but it does have convenient stairs in the more difficult areas, well worth the effort.
In a week you could paddle the entire park and hike every trail, it would be a very busy week, but pretty exciting. We usually do that in sections, breaking it up so we can stop and look around, do some bird watching, or fishing, or just sit by the campfire. But I would like to try it though, hike every trail, and paddle every lake, in a week…
The real beauty of this area, that little extra we all search for… is right here. The real secret is that it changes every day. Some places you can visit 10 times and it will be the same every time… this is not like that. It’s subtle and seductive, never predictable, always beautiful in every season.
If you need any help with your trip planning, or need suggestions on what you can do at Bon Echo Provincial Park, just let us know, glad to help.