A steep ascent to magnificent views on the Cliff Top Trail – Bon Echo Provincial Park

Only accessible by water. Paddle to the dock, take a boat or buy a ticket to ride the Mugwump Ferry to reach the Cliff Top Trailhead.

Bring water and stay hydrated! If you need to use facilities, there is an outhouse halfway through the hike on a short side trail with signage to point the way.

Dogs are allowed on this trail, but not on the Mugwump Ferry. I can honestly say that all the dogs encountered were petrified of the metal grate stairs, of which there were many. Unless you can carry your furry friend up and down many flights, please leave your pooch behind, pet parents!

Travel Date: August 2018

1.5 km

Moderate Difficulty

45+ Photos

You’ll hike up steel stairs, wood, and natural root steps, and walk around boulders and over the exposed rock faces. There is minimal flat terrain with this 100m ascension over a 750m trail. There is always an angle to the hike.

Shortly after the stairs and a small hike brings you to the first lookout platform.

A longer uphill hike through the forest on naturally rooted steps and steel stairs brings you up to the second lookout platform.

The View From Lookout Platform #2

Don’t disrespect the parks.

Not only are these people (pictured below) selfishly trampling on sensitive plants and across protected ecosystems, but they are also risking their lives but wandering so close to the edge of the cliff.

The ascent continues.

Only a little further and you’ll reach multiple viewing platforms along the clifftop.

There’s an incredibly breathtaking view of the Narrows plus, both upper, and lower Mazinaw Lake.

More views from the clifftop – there are multiple platforms once you reach the trail’s end.

This is a fragile ecosystem, not a sandbox.

Ontario Parks staff spend plenty of time taking apart the arts and crafts that hikers create along trails. While you are playing where you shouldn’t, delicate plant life is crushed underfoot, moss and lichen are killed by handling rocks, and the creatures that call these rock piles home have to live in this devastation.

You can already see that nothing grows here, except for this garden of Inukshuks. We can do better!

Return on the same trail

I recommend staying on the marked trails and using the designated three lookout platforms not only protects our park, ensuring the wild landscape remains beautiful but also keeps you on a safe path!

Leaving Cliff Top Trail dock on the Mugwump Ferry

📍 Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario.
🌲 Traditional Lands of the Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, and, Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin).

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More Bon Echo Adventures

High Pines Trail
Wanderer Boat Tour
Shield Trail
The Narrows at Bon Echo

More Hiking Adventures

Bonnie's Pond Trail
Loudon Peatland Trail
Quaking Bog Trail
Devil's Rock

#notsponsored – In 2019, Mike and I travelled for Lennox & Addington and created a two-part series, “Can You Hear the Bon Echo?” and  “Can You Hear the Bon Echo? Chapter 2” experience blog. I shot hundreds of photos over the course of our three days exploring Bon Echo Provincial Park, many of which didn’t appear in the blogs, and I wanted to share the images with you!