French River Canoe Trip - French River Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors

French River Delta

French River Provincial Park

June 13 - 16, 2009

French River Provincial Park - Loon Island Outdoors

Canoe Trip Reports

French River Delta

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Photo Gallery


Day 4 - To the Whale's Mouth & Hartley Bay

Heading home from The Elbow, French RiverLike all good things, even canoe trips have to come to an end. With the weather we'd been having we would all have been happy to extend the trip. In fact Scott was continuing on with vacation for the week, but the rest of us had to suck it up and head home to get back to work.

Since we really did have to go somewhere today, we were up at a decent time. In fact we were packed up and on the water by 10:30am. I'm not sure that any of us had actually been up that Endeavour Sea Kayak in the wild. early the last couple of days. Starting out from our campsite at The Elbow we headed east through the channel on the south side of Merranger's Island towards the Whale's Mouth. I don't know who came up with all the wonderful names or how old they are, but you have to like it when you're paddling past Moosehorn Bay on your way to the Whale's Mouth. This channel is really cool as it narrows right down to probably less than 12' wide at one point. It might have been a touch wider with the high water on this French River Provincial Park Canoe TripJune trip, but it had been really narrow when Scott and I paddled through it in early October on our previous trip.

I'd particularly planned this return route because I'd had some luck catching Northern Pike along here during our fall trip a couple of years ago. The good news today was that the weather was gorgeous once again. The bad news was that fish had better things to do on a bright sunny day than to chase my lures. Oh well, they'll be that much bigger the next time back.

Once we were through the Whale's Mouth, we turned north and headed up the Eastern Eastern Outlet, French River, OntarioOutlet towards Canal Island. One of the nice things about a trip into the delta area of the French River is that you can count on that constant wind off of Georgian Bay to help you along on your way home. We paddled too, but we had lot's of time so I'll admit that I didn't work too hard, at least not until we got closer to the Main Channel.

Now there is one down side to tripping with a couple of kayakers. Ok, actually there are 2 drawbacks. You see, sea kayaks are built French River Lodgelong and narrow to be fast. That means that they tend to leave the canoes behind, which makes the guys in the canoes have to do a bit of work to keep up. Not a big deal, but you might also find that there is a bit of extra gear that doesn't quite fit in those long narrow kayaks that ends up being added to the canoe. Anyway, since the kayaks had pulled ahead, Josh and I gave in and started working, not just drifting along.

Coming up this route, you go past the French River Lodge, whichCanoe Bay Channel, French River Provincial Park looks exactly like what I think a Canadian fishing lodge should look like. We also had to give it bonus points for having the solar panels. Continuing north past the lodge, we worked our way through the Canoe Bay Channel and back west out to Wanapitei Bay.

Back on Wanapitei Bay we followed the eastern shore up to Hartley and then it was an easy paddle along Hartley Bay to the marina.

Our last bit of excitement as we finished packing up the trucks was seeing a black bear scavenging at the garbage trailer. The trailer was caged and would be locked up at night, but during the day it was open and the bear was helping himself to some takeout.

Packed up for the drive home.After that it was just the long drive home down Hwy 69 and the 400. It's amazing how empty those highways can be on a Tuesday afternoon!



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