Related Post: The river system’s integral connection with Canada’s early history meant that when the newly formed federal government program named its first river in 1986, .
It was the French River that was chosen
In the mid-1980s I had also paddled the upper French River a couple of times – once with my wife Laila and another with my buddy Cyril. On both occasions, we started off in Restoule Provincial Park and paddled down the Restoule River to where it meets the French.
[Click for a 2020 Ontario Parks map of the Restoule river canoe route.] (click on his name to access his website) captures the feel of that stretch just south of the bridge in a Group of Seven kind of way: The plan was this: we would get to provide a shuttle driver, .
Whom we would pick up and then drive over to North Bay
He would drive the vehicle back to Hartley Bay while we set off on our little adventure
Our ten-day trip would end when we unloaded our gear on the marina dock.
At the west end of Lake Nipissing is Sucker Creek Landing
It is a one-hour ride from Hartley Bay Marina to just off Highway 64 at the west end of West Bay, a long narrow bay with a string of islands along its south shore .
Compared to the open water from North Bay to the top of the French
it is much more sheltered and we’d be paddling east, a more favourable direction given the prevailing winds.
A phone call to James Palmer at established a $140
shuttle cost, a reasonable expense that eliminated the #1 logistical problem of most canoe trips.
Our vehicle would be waiting for us in the Hartley Bay Marina parking lot (a $10
a day fee) and we’d be able to get our French River Park camping permits at the Marina main desk when we picked up our shuttle driver.
[You can also get your backcountry camping permits online .] I also phoned to see if we could put in at their dock.
Their response: no problem.
I figured we’d have lunch at their restaurant as a way of paying them back.
A GPX file of our route can be downloaded here: Click to access a kmz file of the 220-km route.
You can open the file in the Earth app found within the Google Chrome browser
Wind: Bugs: Given that it was June
we were expecting much worse.
Our did get put up twice in ten days, mostly so we could refresh our memories on the best way to put it up.
We sat inside the tent just once and that was to escape a shower which coincided with our first breakfast at Lafleche Point on Lake Nipissing.
Along with our copy of the Friends of French River map, we also had Max’s Garmin Etrex 20 GPS device with the Garmin Topo Canada 4.0 map set installed.
There are times when the paper map just does not provide enough topo detail and the Etrex helped.
I also b rough t along my iPhone 6 with David Crawshay’s app and the required topos installed.
On a few occasions, especially as we paddled th rough a maze of channels and islands, I fired it up to see where we were.
Another useful map is the , also available for $20.
in a waterproof plastic material – and downloadable for free.
It covers the French River from just east of Highway 69 to Georgian Bay
(Scroll down to the bottom of the legalese and click ACCEPT!) Just print the parts of the map that you need and slide into a clear ziplock bag – or invest in the hard copy for multiple use.
Here is a sliver of the map to give you an idea of the look – Access Bell’s coverage map Check out the website for more info, as well as a comparison of Bell and Rogers coverage.
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