Elbow Lake, Frontenac Arch, ON (Photo by NCC)

Elbow Lake, Frontenac Arch, ON (Photo by NCC)

Frontenac Arch Natural Area

Misty morning on the Frontenac Arch, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

Misty morning on the Frontenac Arch, Ontario (Photo by NCC)

The Frontenac Arch, also called the Frontenac Axis, is a 50-kilometre-long extension of exposed Precambrian rock that runs through southeastern Ontario and upstate New York, from Westport, north of Kingston, to the Thousand Islands. The Frontenac Arch links habitats of the Canadian Shield in the Algonquin Highlands with those of the Adirondack Mountains to the south.

Habitat and conservation values

The Frontenac Arch is a unique area of biogeographic overlap between the northern Canadian Shield forests and southern Carolinian influences, compressed over a few miles on a rugged landscape with remarkable landform diversity. The result is a narrow band that supports a high diversity of rare species.

In addition, the Arch serves as a funnel for the movement and dispersal of wildlife, including wide-ranging mammals such as fisher, through the largely agricultural landscape of Eastern Ontario.


The Frontenac Arch is known for its high diversity of herpetofauna, including salamanders, frogs and toads, turtles, snakes and Ontario's only lizard, the five-lined skink.

The Frontenac Arch supports globally significant biodiversity, important ecological functions and a large number of rare and imperilled species such as: 


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) works with many partners in the Frontenac Arch Natural Area, including:

Multiple conservation initiatives focusing on the Frontenac Arch have been established as well, including:

NCC also works with Parks Canada. In 2005, this partnership helped to expand the St. Lawrence Islands National Park to 2,400 hectares (5,930 acres), doubling the size of the park.

Read about the great work being done in this natural area with the help of the Freeman family and at Elbow Lake.

NCC is currently raising funds for the long-term management of its properties on the Frontenac Arch.

To make a donation toward conservation efforts in the Frontenac Arch, click here.

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