Canoeing the French River Delta to Georgian Bay

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My brothers, our sons and I decided to do a guys’ canoe trip.  Our party comprised 3 canoes and a kayak.  Our destination of choice was the French River Delta.  I was familiar with the route as we did this trip the previous year with our Bobcaygeon Port 32 group.  The French River is a great destination for canoe tripping.  The lower river splits into several channels where it dumps into Georgian Bay.  The French River Provincial Park encompasses this delta area.    The launch point is at Hartley Bay Marina off Highway 69 north of Parry Sound.  More about our Port 32 canoe group at Port 32 canoe trips .   More about the French River  at French River Cottage Country  .

On Day One we paddled into the park and set up camp for the next two nights.  For Day Two, we packed lunch, and went down one of the channels to Georgian Bay, paddled along the shore of the Bay, and then up another channel back to our camp.  It’s a full day of paddling, and you definitely live the paddler’s wish ‘may the wind be at your back’.  And if there is a strong west wind, then the waves pile up on the Georgian Bay leg and you end up turning around and returning the way you came.  Day 3 is a return to the launch site.

13-100_3102_00Thankfully for us the Bay was calm and so we got to enjoy this out-of-world landscape of wind-swept granite rock.  A big memory for us is paddling alongside a bear that was part way through a mile long swim across the channel.  The bear did not like the canoes and upon reaching the shore, it sprinted at least a quarter mile before looking back at us.  Here is a picture of it leaving the water in a hurry.

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