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The Bata Island (Frankford) Trails Review
In the middle of the Trent River, at the North end of Frankford, lies (completely unoccupied) Bata Island. It can only be accessed by walking across a dam from a parking lot at the end of an unsigned driveway about 60 meters North of Huffman Rd., right after 248 Trent St N. (Cty Rd 33 from the 401 at Trenton). This link will open Google Maps at the parking lot :
I was surprised to find three unmarked (but clearly obvious on the ground) trails on the island. One circles the outer rim of the island (1.7 km loop), and there are two shorter ones inside the loop. I really didn’t expect much from this outing, but I certainly walked away suitably impressed.
The outer rim trail afforded numerous photo ops of the river and opposite shores, as well as a highly varied, mixed forest.
A personal thrill for me was a coupla pure white Bottle Gentians. The Wife had heard of them, but I never knew the variant even existed.
Another thrill for me was the proliferation of Shagbark Hickory trees. Or should I say … the proliferation of Shagbark Hickory nuts. We only saw two squirrels on the entire island, so I finally got a chance to gather some hickory nuts.
At the South end of the island, there are the remains of an old dam that used squared timbers to control the water flow level. UPDATE – March 20, 2021 –
Someone had provided a home-made bench over-looking the river from the dam.
The Final Take
Other than ample free parking, there are no facilities here. The trails are level and for the most part, wide enough for two to walk side by side, but not much over two kms in length. We walked it in early September and so enjoyed the late Summer bounty of wildflowers and hickory nuts from that season. However, we saw enough evidence of Spring to Summer wildflowers (including cypripedium orchids), that we’ll be returning this Spring to confirm.
The single access dam has barriers preventing ATV access so they’ll never ruin the trails for us. There was evidence of numerous campfire sites, but they were, oddly, fairly tidy. There was a smattering of garbage here and there, but nothing really serious. As well, the sound of Cty Rd. 33 was audible all over the island, but I didn’t mind. Now that’s a major endorsement right there ‘cause I hate invasive noise on a trail.
I wouldn’t make a long trip for this one alone, but combined with The Lower Trent Trail and The Bleasdell Boulder Trail being 20 minutes away, you could make a whole day out of the drive. The bottom line is … Heay ! Yer on an unoccupied island less than 10 kms from the 401. That’s just plain cool. I don’t care who’s your Daddy.
Have a nice walk,