Georgian Bay - Lower French
The granite archipelago of the Lower French River is a perfect kayaking environment. Tracing part of the historic fur trade route, we will start at Hartley Bay and descend the Old Voyageur Channel to Georgian Bay and into the 30,000 Islands. There is very little soil in this area, and most of the vegetation on the coastline consists of wind-twisted and gnarled trees that are far older than they look. It's a harsh and fragile environment - the least-settled wilderness on the great bay.
After meandering through the “Fingerboards”, we'll make the open crossing to the Bustard Islands, a few kilometers off shore. Later we'll cross back to the shoreline and head inland via the main channel of the French River. There will be easy “portages” around swifts and rapids as we ascend the river. Each night we'll set up camp on a beautiful rocky island, gathering around the open fire to create an amazing dinner. After lunch on the final day, we'll re-cross Hartley Bay to our take-out point.
Kayakers of all skill levels can enjoy the Lower French River / Bustard Islands trip. The sheltered route at the start allows the novice to gain confidence before we head out onto Georgian Bay. For those who wish to experience a more advanced adventure on the Bay, check out our Georgian Bay Islands trip.
In 2021, you will have the opportunity to combine this trip with a 3 day Georgian Bay Getaway trip to warm up and refresh your paddling skills. The Getaway trip will run directly before this one, August 7 - 9, 2021. Sign up for both and receive $75 off each listed price!
"The water was warm for swimming and practicing our rescues, and there were few mosquitos! It was great to get out to the Bustard Island lighthouse!" Jane, Ontario, Canada
Recommended Skill Level And Dates
Guides 5:1 ratio
• excellent meals from Day 1 lunch to Day 5 lunch
• sea kayaks with rudders, waterproof hatches
• spray decks, paddles, PFDs (you may bring your own)
• throw lines, pumps, and other safety accessories
• tents: free-standing, custom expedition dome tents - 2 per tent
• "kitchen": tarp, fire box, cooking stoves, utensils, dishes, etc.
• dry bags and containers for food and group equipment
• first aid, safety, kayak rescue, and repair kits
• emergency communications equipment
• transportation of guides, group gear, kayaks, etc. to and from trip
Trip Rendezvous Point: French River, Ontario