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Abes and Essens Trail is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Addington Highlands, Ontario, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 1,085 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Bird watching Forest Lake Views Wildlife Blowdown Washed out
Description
Waypoints (0)

The trail can be completed in a day-hike, or broken up into a backpacking trip. There are many elevation changes and the terrain can be rough at times. Depending on the season there can be lots of bugs, so plan to either cover up or bring bug spray.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (125)
Photos (138)
Recordings (96)
Completed (189)
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Ramiro Filipe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2020
Hiking
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Michelle Asselin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 20, 2020
HikingRocky

Rocky and rooty in parts, with lots of short up and downs. Well marked. Very pretty in early fall, with no bugs. Clutes and Essen loops done in 3.2 hours, with time for lunch and photos.

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Marissa Chase
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

We did loop 1 (Clutes) and 2 (Essen) of the 3 loops available at Abes and Essen Trail. There were some very scenic spots overlooking the lakes and the bridge along Clutes is a great picture spot. The trail is steep in places with a lot of rocky ups and downs. The backcountry sites look well situated with thunderboxes nearby. Didn’t see any poisonous plants.

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Jaymie Secord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Amanda Bolzicco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
CampingRocky

The trail was challenging but not too difficult. We did both loops in late August and the bugs were no more of a nuisance than you’d usually expect. Well marked and not very busy, we completed it in a little less than 4 hours

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Cameron Bush
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 26, 2020
Hiking
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Antoine GAUTIER
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 24, 2020
HikingGreat!

The 3 loops have really different sceneries. Took us around 6h with backpacks. The Abes loop as a tricky part i the wetland the rest was pretty dry. We spent the night on 529, a very nice site. In my opinion 530 look the best in terms of space and view.

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Ben Carson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2020
Hiking

It was a great day to do hike these 2 loops! After a hot July, late August has been a little more cool near Bon Echo and because of that there were little to no bugs on our trek. The path goes straight through Canadian Shield and is moderately challenging at times. You get some great views of the lakes. The first two loops took us a little over 3 hrs with many short breaks for water and pictures. Late August/early Fall is probably best for this trail to avoid bugs!

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Snowy Owl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail, all 3 loops have different scenery and terrain. The Canadian Shield is evident here. Third loop not as frequently used and trail is a little hard to find in swamp around third loop. Nice overnight or day trail. Hiked 4 hours day one and 3 hours day 2 with lunch, water and photo breaks. Worth a day or two.

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steff w
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
Hiking

Just completed thrle loop staying overnight at 528. Got caught in the rain, but such is life. Went clockwise, really washed out on the way to abes lake. Deer flies and mosquitoes were relentless. But survived my first backpacking adventure yay!

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Josh White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

I did this trail a few weeks ago with my brother and his girlfriend. Gorgeous views the whole way but I will reiterate what everyone else has been saying. Bugs were ruthless. Our second night on the Esson lake you could hear the mosquitos across the lake. Hopefully the link below works for anyone to check out the video. https://youtu.be/6x4eUFWz8tQ

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Les Pomeroy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 15, 2020
Hiking

We are in our mid sixties and not too unfit. Hiked the first two loops today. Moderate for rockyness, steep ups and downs ( not really that bad). Very nice lake views and generally well maintained. A bit buggy with mosquitos and dear flies but using deet helped. Some remote campsites along the trail. Overall did 11kms in 4 hours.

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Fee DeAngelis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
CampingBugsOver grown

We just came back from an overnight camp at 527 Essens lake. We were prepared to camp given the weather conditions (rain and thunderstorms) but we weren’t prepared for the mosquitos and black flies. Black flies were out for the majority of the day and then came mosquitos. The hike back to our car was about 2-3 km and ended up with over 100 bites, even with bug spray. It’s a beautiful camp site, with great hiking trails, but best to camp in the fall when the bugs aren’t so active.

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Jonathan McElhinney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingBugs

Due to high heat (over 31 degrees) and some of the worst mosquitos and deer flies I’ve encounter, I bailed on the third loop and only completed the second 9.6km Essen’s Lake Loop. The trail was beautiful, if a little overgrown in a few places. I took a break at campsite 527 which had an awesome view of Essen’s Lake and I will try to come back to camp there another time. I met a couple who had camped at Little Rock Lake site 530 last night and was told the Abe’s Lake Loop was extremely overgrown and hard to stay on trail, making it less enjoyable. Recommend later in the season when the bugs aren’t so bad.

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Scott Ng
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Pretty nice trail with low traffic (at least the day we went) with some pretty sweet backcountry camping spots right in the lakes. 529 and 528 on Abes Lake looked the nicest. Not a ton of elevation but some areas with tricky footing. The trail gets a bit overgrown on the backside of Abes but it’s really well marked. It’s really buggy so definitely wear long sleeves and pants. A bug net is helpful too. And tons of bug spray. The whole trail is also 17km long according to the trail map. It took us about 5 hours going at a moderate pace.

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Amie Bello
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 18, 2020
HikingBugs

This trail is actually closer to 10 miles long if you do all three loops. Trail conditions are excellent right now, no boggy bits to speak of; but holy moly is it buggy right now! Many sections of the trail are swarming with mosquitoes and/or black flies. Take your 40% DEET with you and reapply as needed. Lots of rocks and roots, but that’s typical of the Shield.

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Sally Pate
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HikingBugs
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Glen Barber
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 17, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail made up of three connected loops of increasing distance. The hike goes around a bunch of small lakes that would be nice for swimming. The trail is well marked and fairly easy to follow but has some rocky parts, fallen trees, and spots where you need to hop across rocks to get over streams. There are 5 campsites, the nicest of which are on Abe's lake. Completed the full outside loop in mid May. A few bugs. At the time, only the main administration parking lot was open, so had to walk up to the trailhead adding a couple kms to the hike. The full loop of the trail is about 18km, plus another couple clicks to and from the parking lot. Took 7 hours to do 22km all-in. The outer loop of the trail between Abe's lake and Little Rock lake isn't very exciting. Most of the nice scenery is on the east side of the trail.

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Lindsey Neto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2019
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

My first overnight hike. I did the long part, going past site 530, to stay at site 529 for the night. A bit overgrown in places, and no good spots to get water between 530 and 529, but okay if you're prepared. I loved the campsite, and the hike out was really nice with a bit more to see and more places to fill up your water bottle. A few bugs even in September, so bring your bug spray.

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Nicolas Pineault
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 16, 2019
HikingBugsOver grownRocky

I did the long loop in about 4.30 hrs and it's a very long hike. BR ng lots of water and food, also lot of bugs in summer time. the third portion is not as travelled so the trail was harder to find at times, would do it again if I get the opportunity. lots of nice scenery, and also you can cool off in creeks and lakes.

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Alex Wilkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking

First of all, let me lead with saying that the distance for doing the full loop (loop 3) is almost km off. Trail is roughly 18 km! Keep this in mind as the distance listed is not 100% accurate as of this posting! Left for an overnight trip to site 529 for the weekend. This trail is moderate, and increases in difficulty the further away you get from the trailhead. We went clockwise on Loop 3. While this trail is challenging to the casual hiker, it’s definitely doable if you pace yourself, and are prepared ahead of time with enough water and snacks. It’s filled with moss covered rocks and roots that make the trail equal parts picturesque and challenging. There was a little bit of rainfall while I was there, making everything very slippery. While overall it wasn’t bad, on some of the sections with large rocks you have to climb up it made getting proper footing a challenge. Brought my poles just in case and ended up relying on them heavily for balance. Saw some people in running (not hiking) shoes and could not imagine how they fared on this trail! We took frequent breaks to ensure we were pacing ourselves. After passing site 530, there was some beautiful marshland with some herons hanging out and butterflies. On this section it was hard to follow the trail as there were no visible markers, the grass was tall, and the trail was very overgrown, and it looks like some people before us carved out their own (wrong) paths - but again, manageable! Make sure to wear long pants and sleeves if you’re heading out past Loop 1, because they’ll help prevent scratches! And make sure to walk with some heavy duty 30 % deet bug spray even this late in the season. When we reached site 529 (about 10km in if you’re going clockwise) , there was a little part to walk to the water, with a flat area to pitch a tent. It was hard to get the stakes in properly as the area is on top of a rock with only 1 inch of soil on top, but no biggie, we managed to make it work. The toilet “pit” wasn’t marked super clearly on site or on our maps, but if you happen to find yourself camping at 529, it’s right behind the big mossy boulder! The on-site grill was broken, but we had planned ahead and brought our own. If you’re looking to do overnight hikes and don’t want to trek out too far, I’d recommend sticking to sites 526, 527, or 530 as they’re the closest to the trailhead. To get to the first two sites, it’s a lot faster to go counter-clockwise on the loop! Definitely would do this hike again!

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Brennan Bird
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 15, 2019
Hiking

This trail was incredibly underwhelming, and extremely boring. Did all 3 loops in less than 6 hours, stopped for about an hour to fish. Would have taken longer if there was something to stop and marvel at. The only thing that saved it was all of the great fishing. This place is a fishing haven. Would probably come back to fish the lakes, but would never hike this trail again.

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Alex Wilkinson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 14, 2019
HikingBlowdownBugsOver grownRocky
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