french river ontario

This might be the best place to go canoeing near Toronto

When it comes to provincial parks, the French River Provincial Park is one of the very best for a handful of reasons. Not only is the natural, untouched beauty of this park spectacular, but it’s also a canoeists’ dream.

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Located three hours north of Toronto near the shores of Lake Huron, the French River is of historical significance as the first of only 11 designated Canadian Heritage Rivers in Ontario.

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The massive French River is 105 kilometres in length, running from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay, which makes the area ideal for anyone up for a multi-day canoe trip along the picturesque waters.

Being out on the rivers will take you back in time, as you paddle the same routes of Indigenous people and French explorers of yesteryear.

There are 13 access points along the French River where you can unload your canoe, kayak or boat. With the vast coastal views of Lake Huron to the west, it’s also the best possible spot to catch an epic sunset.

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Once back on the water, head over to the Bustard Rocks Lighthouse that will have you thinking for a second you’ve landed in PEI. The small island of Bustard Rocks has not one, but three beautiful lighthouses that are each between 25 and 40 feet tall.

Along the route are tons of secluded campsites where paddlers and boaters can find some R&R, while getting some swimming and fishing in as well.

If staying on land is more your thing, the provincial park has a very walkable Recollet Falls Trail that’s only a four kilometre round trip.

Another popular trail will lead you to the highly Instagrammable pedestrian suspension bridge that offers a 360-degree view of the gorge below.

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The campgrounds inside the provincial park are open from May until October, so make sure to get a weekend trip in before it closes for the season.

Lead photo by

@myinnerwild


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