Kennebec Wilderness Trails near Arden: Trail Report

Kennebec Wilderness Trails in Central Frontenac is one of those gems that you whizz by driving likely too fast on hwy 7 and think – I should stop and check that out one day. Well, I finally did and it was well worth it. With over 7kms of ridiculously well marked trails that go up and down and up again! Through wooded areas, open fields, past creeks, ponds, and view points – this is an overall fantastic trail to enjoy.

Kennebec Wilderness

All The Trails Details

  • Distance from Ottawa: 140kms (1hr 30 mins)
  • GPS Coordinates: 44.74845905544222, -76.91832479630094
  • Address: 936 Hwy 7, Central Frontenac, ON K0H, Canada
  • Directions: Take Hwy 417 West  to Hwy 7 and continue on Hwy 7 for 115 kms. Destination is on the right (and super easy to blow by).
  • Entrance Fee: Free.
  • Parking: Small parking lot, if you’re the first there kindly park in a manner that maximizes space for others.
  • Trailhead: Located at the parking lot.
  • Number of Trails: 5
  • Total Distance of Trails: 7+kms (total of approx 5kms outer loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 83m
  • Washrooms: None. Use Leave No Trace toileting etiquette if necessary.
  • Cell Reception: Yes.
  • Season: All seasons. Dawn till dusk. 
  • Features: forestlands, fields, ponds, abundance of wildlife (do not approach).
  • Activities: Hiking, snowshoeing, birding.
  • Dogs: Permitted on-leash. See the Ultimate Guide to Hiking with Dogs in Ottawa and Region.
  • Suggested Stops: Cardinal Cafe and Shops in Sharbot Lake
  • Nearby Hikes: Sharbot Lake Provincial Park, L&A Community Forest, Sheffield Conservation Area
  • More Information: Visit the Central Frontenac website for more information and trail map.

Land Acknowledgement

These are the lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Mississauga, Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin), and Wendake-Nionwentsïo people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com

Land management

Located within Frontenac County, Kennebec Wilderness Trails is a 156-acre property that’s owned by the Township of Central Frontenac. A group of community volunteers care for and maintain the trails. No motorized vehicles, camping, hunting, or fires is permitted.

What To Bring

Besides the 10 essentials and what I would normally suggest for hikes, here are the highlights for this particular hike:

  • Trash bags: As every hiker knows, we must hike out what we hike in. However there are still times where trash is found on the trails and we can help out by picking it up. Not only does that help to keep out trails clean but also positively supports the environment.
  • Wildlife safety + knowledge: Well, I am, it’s not something you can physically bring but you can search on great resources like Parks Ontario or under the GirlGoneGood Learning Centre to review safety, trail etiquette, and wildlife insights/actions.  Kennebec Wilderness is know to have Bear, Moose, Deer, Coyote, Fox, Wild Turkeys, Grouse, and Porcupines. The Township asked that you avoid contact with the wildlife, give wide berth, take only pictures, and know how to recreate responsibly.

Kennebec Wilderness Trails

To make the most out of hiking the area, I opted to hike counter clockwise for a large 4.5km loop. There’s no worries about getting lost as all of the trails are extremely well marked. The terrain can be rough in spots and the elevation dips/gains (80+m) can be challenging for some. Good hikers is recommended.

Because of the lower terrain and fields, best to avoid this trail during spring’s short ‘mud season’ so that no damage is done to the environment (or yourself from slipping). It get very muddy here.

Stops and Shops

There are so many great stops nearby, if you wanted to add another hike – check out the Trail Finder Map to see what the options are. Otherwise I’d suggest either stopping at Cardinal Cafe & Shops in Sharbot Lake or any place in Perth for some post hike fuel.

Wrapping Up

Remember that, as hikers, we are guests on the trails. We should aim to minimize impacts, follow Leave No Trace principals, and if there’s a chance – help out by cleaning up trash.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures, challenges, and the chance to earn badass badges (achievement tabs) then check out The Challenge Series.

Have you hiked this trail recently? Comment below with trail conditions and your own insights!