Trip Report: Backcountry Hike-In at Bon Echo

Once I received the news from my doctor that there were no torn ligaments involved with my knee injury, I made plans to head into Bon Echo Provincial Park.

I didn’t ask her if it would be okay. I figured if worse came to worse, I could hobble out. I only wanted to get into the first campsite on the Abe & Essens Overnight Trail and get out.

My ulterior motive was to film a little vignette about my tent for a University of Toronto class I’m taking.


I confirmed with my in-laws when our Canadian Thanksgiving gathering would take place. Then I booked my site through Ontario Parks’ online reservation system. I was the only one with a reservation on the trail for my one night out.

I picked up new hiking boots from MEC and a few other odds and ends. (Yep, I’m breaking all the rules. Breaking in a never-worn pair of boots and doing it on a knee injury, over uneven terrain.) My REI hikers had no traction left in them and I didn’t need to be slip-sliding all over the trail after the remnants of Hurricane Nate had blown through.

I packed everything up in my backpack and threw it on to gauge the weight. 40-45 pounds? No problem…


Map of Bon Echo backcountry trailPros:

  1. The trail is/could be beginner friendly. It’s just rugged enough that I was happy I had my hiking poles. (Keep in mind, I was dealing with a sore knee.)
  2. There is easy access to water. Bring a purification method.


  1. The trail markers change colors regularly.
  2. The maps isn’t to scale nor particularly technical.

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