Kayaking - French River

Access/Launch:
Wolesley Bay (east of hwy 69 past Noelville)
Hartley Bay Lodge
French River Marina (south of bridge, west of hwy 69)
Pickerel River Marina (south of bridge, west of hwy69)

Difficulty Level:
Novice
The river is gentle (flat) and there are many opportunities to take shelter. Aside from the Bay shoreline, there are several marinas and many boaters throughout the season.

Length:
2 days
Minimal paddling necessary but many options for exploration and R&R. Probably enough to keep your interest for a week.
20 km

Description:
The river mouth is filled with shoals, making this a sheltered area. Pick your way among the channels and shoals, gufaw at the pink and teal fishing resorts, languish in the warmed water and rocks, spot all manner of wildlife, and listen to the ghostly screams of the spirits on Head Island.
The shallow, sheltered water makes for some warm swimming, good fishing, and secure paddling in not-so-nice weather.
The net of channels through the shoals can produce some frustration as you get "beached" repeatedly in dead ends. Consider it like a maze at an amusement park and it could be fun.
Exploring the various channels and bays of the three river outlets is peaceful, as long as the horse flies don't get into your cockpit.
Camping on the outermost islands leaves you with a sense of isolation, a terrific view of the sunset, and gets you away from the biting insects. However trees out there are few to none, making shelter hard to find. Crashing waves can also making landing/launching difficult.
Many of the islands are owned. Almost every island seems to have a building on it; usually one of the garishly stained fishing camps. (They do make good landmarks though.)

Maps/Charts:
topo — 41 H/10
Marine chart — 2203 Parry Sound to Byng Inlet
NOTE: water level forecasts for July for Lake Huron – Georgian Bay are 0.22m (8.6in) above chart datum, which is the marine chart indicated depth.

Fees:

  • launch and shuttle fees vary — about $5
  • parking fees vary — about $5 per day per vehicle

Other:
This is rattlesnake and poison ivy territory.

Much of the land in this area is owned. Get a current land tenure map to be sure, and look for buildings, signs, and other indications that land is private.
Killarney Outfitters
1076 Hwy 637, KILLARNEY, Ontario. Canada, P0M 2A0
1.705.287.2828 or Canada & USA - 1.888.222.3410
Fax: 1.705.287.2691
( located just 4 minutes West of the Killarney Park main gate )
paddle@killarneyoutfitters.com
 

Need a first night?

Visit..Killarney Mountain Lodge
Celebrating 53 years! - a resort like no other - on the waterfront
1.800.461.1117 - 1.705.287.2242
www.killarney.com

"the quintessential Canadian Experience on Georgian Bay"