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 Post subject: French River campsites
PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 10:29 am 
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A friend and I are doing our usual every second year paddle of the French from Hartley to the bay via the voyageur route and back through Bass Lake. Our only worry is that forest fire and how many campsites were destroyed.
I know that 729 to 731, 800 to 805, and 603 t0 605 were closed for a while, but what's left of them, I have no idea.
Does anyone know what campsites were burned out last year and not decent camping this year?
Thanks, Ted

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 11:04 am 
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My bro and I just finished a 10-day trip from the west arm of Nippising and ending at Hartley Bay on June 17 - 28. Your route should pose no problems. If you are looking for a slight route detour I would recommend doing the Fox Lake route. We went down the Fox, across the cross channel, up by Lily Chutes, down the Old Voageur out to CS 822 then up/down Batt Bay towards Washerwoman Rapids. Met some paddlers there who said the ports were difficult due to high water levels and so we went back down and then up the next channel over (Mills Channel? with Boston Falls) instead.

If you do do the Fox (highly recommended) plan it so that you can end up at CS 633. Fox was the west edge of the burn and when we went through on a cloudy day it was apocalyptic. Keep in mind that there will be some portaging (3 if I recall - the last takes you almost right across from 633) and sets you up for an easy ~12k paddle to Hartley Bay. Campsites to the west of the Fox Lake/Creek should not be an issue as they were not affected by the fire. Enjoy whatever route you decide on!

Our trip report should be up in a couple of weeks which doesn't help you now.

The Stern Paddler


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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 5:29 pm 
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You sound like True North's buddy!

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 6:25 pm 
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That is a relief to hear that Fox Lake was not destroyed by the 2018 fire! I had assumed that the east and probably west side and maybe islands got the worst of it.

I agree going through Fox Lake is a great way to do the loop. Highly recommend it. Very quiet.

Note that Fox Lake has no 'official' camp sites on it, and yet I have been told it is part of the park, so in theory you're not allowed to camp in it (crown land rules do not apply). All the same, there are some rough camp sites (2 I know of), although fairly modest!

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 8:22 pm 
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thanks everyone.
Fox Lake sounds like a great idea.
Cheers Ted

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 9:22 pm 
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|"That is a relief to hear that Fox Lake was not destroyed by the 2018 fire!"

I think you missed the 'apocalyptic' part; like a Model T you can paddle the Fox in any colour you want as long as it is mostly black. The Pickerel River side which we had also hoped to go see would likely be even worse. Plan to do the whole Fox leg in a day, most of the green is at the southern

G-Bay end or at the north end portages the rest is bleak with signs of hopeful. Sunshine as we went through might have helped foster a cheerier outlook!

wotrock wrote:
You sound like True North's buddy!


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PostPosted: July 18th, 2019, 10:00 pm 
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M Eh wrote:
|"That is a relief to hear that Fox Lake was not destroyed by the 2018 fire!"

I think you missed the 'apocalyptic' part; like a Model T you can paddle the Fox in any colour you want as long as it is mostly black.


Ah! I only read the good southern end bit... glass half full (of charred wood).

It was pretty sparse going down before, I can only imagine now how morose it would be. I've paddled by bears picking berries in that section before... I suspect not so much now.

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PostPosted: July 19th, 2019, 12:03 pm 
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The campsites affected by the 2018 Henvey Inlet Fire are all located in the Pickerel river corridor.

It is a half-day paddle from Pickerel Bay (and the A+ campsite 633) to Georgian Bay via the Pickerel with only one portage. Given the impact of the fire, it would make for an interesting trip.

There are campsites available in Fox Bay just a couple of kilometers to the west of the mouth of the Pickerel. We stayed at a good one - CS920 - nicely sheltered with an elevated rock outcrop patio!

From the French River website - https://www.ontarioparks.com/park/frenchriver/alerts

Park Advisories

1 Campsite Closures:

- Effective April 26th, 2019 camping is not permitted at the campsites located within the area of French River Provincial Park that was affected by forest fire activity in 2018 (PAR033). This area includes campsite numbers 910, 911, 912, 913, 914, 915, 916, 917, 926, 925, 929, 930. Camping at these campsites or areas within the former fire perimeter is strictly prohibited for park users. This restriction will ensure the safety of park users due to the hazards presented as a result of the fire.

- All other areas of French River Provincial are open to the public.

- For more information on visiting French River Provincial Park Please contact 1-705-857-1630



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