“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” — Kahlil Gibran
I went on a 4 day weekend trip to French River Provincial Park in Ontario to canoe, camp, and try fishing (for the first time!) The French River Provincial Park is a beautiful paddler’s paradise. The scenic landscapes of the Candaian Shield is breathtaking. What I enjoyed was the minimal portaging and the numerous channels of rivers to explore. The park is made up of a 105 kilometre canoe routes of interconnected lakes, gorges and rapids from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay.
Our trip began at Hartley Bay Marina which is located off of Highway 69. After what felt like driving for a full day, we were finally off the seemingly never ending stretch of highway and on this dirt road that would take us to our adventure. We arrived at the marina to find out that we were the only people at the Provincial Park, since it was early in the season the cooler water temperatures deterred people from visiting. We had beautiful weather that made me think that a lot of people were missing out!
Along the rivers were stunning views of Canadian Shield scenery with rocks and endless trees. We decided to try climbing the flat face rocks. It was mostly successful until I took a plunge into the water with my camera. Good news, both camera and I are okay! I was shocked that my camera didn’t get water damage. A self-reminder to be more careful because next time I might not be so lucky.
We paddled along Wanapitei River in hopes of discovering the mighty Sturgeon Chutes waterfalls. It took us a while to find the falls because we kept stopping to say hi to sun-bathing turtles perched on rocks, or eagles and hawks flying above us, or beavers and other water creatures floating swimming around us. Once we found the waterfalls we tied up the canoe and hiked as close as we could. It was peaceful observing the running rapids and hearing the sounds of water rushing below our feet. Finding space for solitude comes easy in nature.