The Full Frontenac (200/117/90km)
Updated: Feb 1
Location: Frontenac Provincial Park, County of Frontenac, Ontario
Estimated Gravel Time: 85%
Full Route Map:
Full Distance: 199.7km (124.1 miles)
Alternate Route Options: Not quite up to taking on the Full Frontenac? These alternatives allow riders to split this epic route into two manageable portions. The 117km option is made up of the lower portion of the full route. While riders will miss out on the historic Frontenac Colonial Rd., this section is arguably the most scenic, with multiple lakeside views and ample unmaintained and single lane dirt. The link to this alternative route can be found HERE. Meanwhile, the second option is 90.2km long and sees riders taking on the upper portion of the full route. This alternative features a trip along the Frontenac Colonial Rd., and by starting from the village of Sharbot Lake, this option also allows riders to avail themselves of several restaurants, as well as the public beach, at the end of the ride. The link to this alternative route can be found HERE.
Suggested Tire Width: 38mm
Amenities: General stores can be found in the villages of Godfrey and Arden. Meanwhile, the town of Sharbot Lake is home to a grocery store, several convenience stores, restaurants, as well as a pub. The route also passes by several public beaches, perfect for a mid-ride dip including Long Lake, Big Clear Lake, Sharbot Lake, and Crow Lake. Finally, several camping options make this route the ideal weekend dirt tour.
Parking: Anyone looking to ride this loop over two days are advised to park at the lot found at the north end of Frontenac Provincial Park. By starting here, riders will have access to Sharbot Lake Provincial Park. Meanwhile, the Sharbot Lake Country Inn or the Rock Hill Bed & Breakfast are also available for those travelling light. Looking to complete the route in a single day? Start from the ATV parking lot in Sharbot Lake.
Full Route Description:
This route links together several of RideGravel.ca's favourite dirt loops including Before the Devil Knows You’re Dirty; the Frontenac Flyer; What About Bob’s Lake?; the Frontenac Folly; the Central Frontenac Circuit; and the Filthy Frontenac, combining some of the best Frontenac County gravel into one epic loop. While it is certainly possible to complete this route over the course of a single day, it is best enjoyed as a two day dirt tour.
Starting from the parking lot located north of Frontenac Provincial Park, head west on dirt via Devil Lake Rd. until it intersects with Canoe Lake Rd. Make a right here and head north, riding the loop counter-clockwise as the road parallels the length of Canoe Lake.
Continuing on Canoe Lake Rd., head north for approximately 8km. Shortly after passing Yankee Lake, the route changes from gravel to pavement before eventually reaching Westport Rd. Make a right here, followed by a quick left as the loop returns to gravel via Lee Rd.
Soon thereafter, the route makes a sharp left onto McNeil Rd., a 3km stretch of glorious unmaintained doubletrack, before eventually exiting onto Burridge Rd. Head west, then south via Green Bay Rd., as the route passes several bays and inlets that make up the southern shores of Bobs Lake, before eventually reaching Bobs Lake Rd.
Here, the route transitions to pavement as it continues north on Bobs Lake Rd., a sublime stretch of twisty tree-lined asphalt, dotted with several small lakes, before eventually reaching Bradshaw Rd. Following a right and a quick left, the route returns to dirt, remaining on Anderson Road North for 8km, past the Meisel Woods Conservation Area to the hamlet of Crow Lake.
After a brief stretch of pavement along the northern shores of Crow Lake, the route returns to gravel and heads north on Cross Rd. Continue north via a 7km ascent, past a primitive Crown Land campsite before making a left on Armstrong Rd. and continue on a series of dirt roads to the Tay Havelock Trail. Proceed west on the trail to the town of Sharbot Lake. While only 60km into the route, Sharbot Lake makes for an ideal extended rest stop and features several restaurants, a pub and a public beach.
Depart Sharbot Lake by heading north on the K&P Trail for 5.5km. Upon reaching Bell Line Rd. Make a left, continuing past Townline Rd. (head south here to access Sharbot Lake Provincial Park) as the route follows this rollercoaster section of gravel for 13km to Swamp Rd. It should be noted that in early spring, Swamp Rd. lives up to its name and can see some severe flooding. Unfortunately, the only option for anyone not prepared for a bit of hike-a-bike is to continue on Bell Line Rd. to Highway 7 (here it is highly recommended that riders remain on the outer edge of the gravel shoulder to Mountain Grove Rd.)
Exit Swamp Rd. and ride briefly on Highway 7 to Mountain Grove Rd., followed by a quick right onto Price Rd. The route continues south-west, remaining on this dirt road for just over 6km, eventually hugging the north shores of Big Clear Lake and passing a small public beach (with a privy), before reaching the hamlet of Arden (home to a small general store and chip stand).
Continuing briefly south on Arden Rd, the route returns to dirt via a section of the Central Frontenac Rail Trail. Shortly thereafter, riders make a left onto Clark Rd., continuing on gravel before making another left onto Brock Rd., an extended section of not quite asphalt, not quite gravel (graphalt?), which takes riders to one of the route’s highlights, Frontenac Colonial Rd.
Turning right at the cemetery, route follows a 10km section of Frontenac Road, featuring a heady rollercoaster of ups/downs and twists/turns, guaranteed to put a smile on your face. At the 105km mark, riders will pass the O’Reilly Lake Family Campground, which might be the best option for anyone seeking a publicly available camping spot close to the halfway point. Otherwise, continue descending as the route passes close to the shores of Long Lake (providing access to a lovely large public beach/boat launch, complete with picnic tables and restroom facilities) to Elgin Young Rd.
After crossing Long Lake Rd., the next section of gravel continues for another 20km, as the loop meanders north, then south, via Babcock, Fox and McLean Roads before the route eventually transitions to pavement prior to Fifth Lake Rd. Remain on this quiet stretch of pavement for just over 2km to Fourth Lake Rd. What follows is undoubtedly one of the route’s most scenic sections as riders descend for approximately 11km, passing multiple lakeside views, before crossing a set of railroad tracks and continuing on asphalt for another 6km to the hamlet of Chippewa.
Head east on Church Rd. to Clair Rd., returning to gravel for the next 7km before passing Pero Lane southbound on Leveque Rd., marking the beginning of another brief section of tarmac. Upon exiting the village of Bellrock, head north on First Lake Rd., returning to gravel for the next 5km to Snider Rd. Make a left here as the loop transitions from well maintained chip seal to quiet country pavement before reaching Oak Flats Rd., continuing a mix of gravel and asphalt to the village of Piccadilly.
From Piccadilly head north via the K&P Rail Trail for 6km, passing through the hamlet of Godfrey to White Lake Rd. as the loop remains mostly on gravel before reaching James Wilson Rd. With it’s glorious mix of rollercoaster unmaintained, lakeside views and technical terrain, James Wilson Rd. is an epic way to finish this one-of-a-kind route.