Make Your French River Kayaking Dream a Reality with Hartley Bay Marina
French River kayaking offers paddlers a unique opportunity to enjoy the open waters of this kayaker's paradise, which leads to Georgian Bay. The pristine blue waters of Georgian Bay is speckled with thousands of granite islands of various sizes, known as the Thirty Thousand Islands that form a protective maze for paddlers. Very little soil and vegetation can be found along the coastline, apart from ancient, gnarled, wind-twisted trees. Spectacular sunsets, windswept islands and beautiful camping areas make the Georgian Bay the best place to escape from the city rush and become one with nature.
The waters are easy to navigate for kayakers with some kayaking experience. Although there are thousands of inlets, there is no white water; however, experienced paddlers may steer towards the less sheltered channels where there are open crossings that lead to distant islands and open bays.
Two of the most popular day trip routes for French River kayaking, are:
Boom Island Loop - This great paddling trip is perfect for those you are looking to test the waters of the French River for a few hours.
What to Do & See during Your French River Kayaking Trip
Travel exactly where the Voyageurs paddled with our exciting French River kayaking packages.
Located down the Western Outlet, the Old Voyageur Channel is said to be where the Voyageurs accessed the Georgian Bay from the French River. This tranquil trail can only be paddled during the times of higher water (spring-summer) so do it when you can!! Another option the Voyageurs had was the Black Bay Channel, which runs parallel to it.
Bustard Island's lighthouses were built in 1875 to guide boats into the mouth of the French River. These magnificent lighthouses can be found on the Georgian Bay rim of the French River Provincial Park. Still functional, but unmanned, these structures add ambience and beauty to the Georgian Bay and the French River, and is a popular stopping point for paddlers during French River kayaking adventures.
There are two ways to reach the lighthouses from Hartley Bay Marina: Paddle in either a canoe or kayak. We don’t recommend taking your own boat for the first time, as there is a series of rapids one must navigate.
Fearless kayakers can visit Copenanning, one of Ontario's most prolific ghost towns. Located below the Dalles Rapids, you will find the site of the village that housed as many as 1500 people during the summer months, when logging was the major industry on the French River. Ruins and relics from this early 1900s settlement can still be seen scattered along the banks of the river.
French River Kayaking & Camping Trips
Consider renting a canoe for up two two people, and sleep under the stars - see canoe rates.
Don't enjoy sleeping in a tent under the stars? You could stay in one of our comfortable, well-equipped cottages.
Get in touch with Hartley Bay Marina today for all your French River kayaking requirements. We'd be happy to help make your dream a reality.