Trip Reports

French River Trip 2012

French River Trip July 2012

The annual French River trip ran from July 28 to August 4.  There were four French River veterans on the trip along with two members who were going to experience the wonders of the French River and it's delta for the first time.






The water levels on the river were very low and there was a fire ban.  So rather than do a circular route from Hartley Bay down the Old Voyageur Channel to Green Island Bay and then back along the Fingerboards and up the Bass Lake boardwalk, we decided to go down the Bass Lake boardwalk, go to the Fingerboards and Green Island Bay and then return the same way.  

The water levels were somewhat lower in the delta than normal.  This caused us to have to go further out into Georgian Bay than we normally would.  Luckily the weather gods blessed us with remarkably calm weather when paddling in the delta. The marine forecast received on my VHF/UHF radio, however, gave us sufficient warning that we were able to paddle back to Hartley Bay from Green Island Bay in two days and thus avoid the high winds and large waves (2 meters) that occurred on Georgian Bay on August 5.   


Launching from Hartley Bay Marina

Paddling down the Main Outlet of the French River - note the wonderful clouds

After the Bass Lake boardwalk, the scenery became even more rocky in the French River delta.

We were lucky enough to get the Obstacle Island campsite near the Bass Lake boardwalk and Mike made (as he always does) a pineapple upside down cake.

Obstacle Island has many interesting rock formations.

A couple of days later, we paddled west into the Fingerboards which are so named because of all the "fingers" of rocks reaching into Georgian Bay.

In the Fingerboards, we nearly, but not quite, ran out of water.

After a brief rain storm at the Fingerboard campsite.  The campsite is a hugh slab of rock.  Small boulders have to be used to guy out the tents.

Relaxing after supper!

The next day, we paddled on to Green Island Bay.  We took the outer passage since it was remarkably calm as the next two pictures show.


Once we got to the campsite at Green Island Bay, we enjoyed a pasta salad for lunch.

Rocks smoothed by glaciers with relatively few trees are typical of the French River delta.

We were very impressed, why even jealous, of the state of the art water filtration system (Platypus GravityWorks) used on the trip.  

Another example of the interesting rocks to be found paddling in Georgian Bay.

Fresh made bread made during a rest day.  The chewy crust went very well with cheese for lunch the next day.

Impressive cumulus clouds.  Luckily, they did not come our way.

Paddling back through the Fingerboards.

Holding onto a rock while taking a rest.

Supper is nearly ready.

Paddling up the channel to the Bass Lake boardwalk.

Above the Bass Lake boardwalk and on our way back to Hartley Bay and home.