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  FRENCH RIVER: Schell's Camp to Hartley Bay

This is not a loop trip and requires a 1.5 hour car shuttle from Schell's Camp to Hartley Bay
We started the trip at Schell's Camp Zone 17 UTM 336963. It can also be started the highway 69 access point, and you wouldn't have to pay to stay at Schell's Camp.

Oct. 3:
Drive to Schell's Camp (#12 on park map) UTM 336963 and set up camp.

Todays portage distance = 0 m
Total portage distance = 0 m
Todays paddle distance = 0 Km
Total paddle distance = 0 Km

Oct. 4:
West on French River Main Channel
P30 River Left - Recollet Falls - Wooden Boardwalk
Lunch at Shore Lunch Site UTM 267956
P25 River left
Camp at UTM 188958 - Very nice site

Todays portage distance = 55 m
Total portage distance = 55 m
Todays paddle distance = 16 Km
Total paddle distance = 16 Km

Oct. 5:
West on French River Main channel to Ox Bay
South on French River Eastern Outlet
West at Whales Mouth UTM 132909
P180 River Left (Dalles Rapids)
Lunch at shore lunch site at rapids UTM 095905
South on French River Main Outlet
Camp at Obstacle Is. UTM 096861 - Very nice large site, excellent for large groups

Todays portage distance = 180 m
Total portage distance = 235 m
Todays paddle distance = 19 Km
Total paddle distance = 35 Km

Oct. 6:
North on Bass Creek
P240 River Right on an Elevated Boardwalk UTM 102873
North on Bass Lake
North on French River Eastern Outlet
Lunch at campsite UTM 126951
North into Wanapitei Bay
Campsite on un-named island UTM 156985 - nice large site with a nice bay for swimming. Good island for exploring (hike to end and back).

Todays portage distance = 240 m
Total portage distance = 475 m
Todays paddle distance = 18 Km
Total paddle distance = 53 Km

Oct. 7:
East into Hartley Bay to Hartley Bay Marina - UTM 185978 (#7 on park map)
Todays portage distance = 0 m
Total portage distance = 475 m
Todays paddle distance = 3 Km
Total paddle distance = 56 Km


Mr. Don Downing
Mr. Brian Brown
Mr. Lance Elliot
Jay Hainer
Valerie Wilkins
Holly Nadalin
Darren Cope
Phil Biloski
Laura Spence
Jim Mackesy
Dave Klingenburg
Dave Shenton
Geordie Schell
Amanda Cox
Sarah Durham
Shannon Waterfield


This is a short journal that we kept as a group to recall the events of the day. I will include only the points of interest.


- leave school at 2:00
- arrive at Schell's Camp by 7:20 after fine dinner at Wendy's/Tim's
- new experience on 407 - no toll
- tents up and fire started before dark
- beautiful sight looking over the river
- approx. 1 hour car shuttle to Hartley Bay


- woke up at 4:00 because of the trains near the campsite
- drove to the Hungry Bear for breakfast
- packed up and on the water by 10
- through 5 km gorge with carry-over (30 m boardwalk) around Recollet Falls
- paddled through a couple of small rapids
- it rained to make lunch of subs and cookies a soggy affair
- yummy dinner of chili, rice and buns
- Phil and Dave went swimming in the morning (COLD!)
- My reply to the question "What do you do on a canoe trip?" was "Paddle, sleep, eat and sit around!"
- slight rain all night


- up at 7 am
- breakfast of hot cereal and bagels with peanut butter and honey
- left camp by 9:30
- straight down the main channel and left at Eagle Nest Island
- 1 Hour paddle to Whale's Mouth, where we went west again
- 1 Hour paddle to Dalles Rapids
- Portaged around the rapids
- had lunch overlooking the rapids
- Paddled past the French River Camp, a thriving logging community between 1875 and 1922.
- wind picks up and the sky clouds over
- finally found a campsite on Obstacle Island by 4:30
- set up quickly before the rain
- rain cleared for a clear, cold night
- Saw a snapping turtle in front of the campsite


- Pancake breakfast
- broke camp by 9:15
- paddled due N to the 249 m, a elevated boardwalk to Bass Lake
- paddled up to "The Elbow", passing our previous day's route
- continued north and stopped for lunch at the intersection of the main channel
- the lunch site had a box, table, chairs, and a beautiful view
- paddled 45 to an island campsite with beach on both sides and lots of tent sites
- supper of garlic bread, caesar salad, mac and cheese with ham
- went swimming in the bay beside the site


- Woke up at 7 to a warm, dry nice day
- packed up and had breakfast of cereal and swill
- paddled east to Hartley Bay, approx. 45 min. paddle
- car shuttle again...
- Jim, Geordie, Shannon, Amanda and Sarah went swimming off the dock in their clothes
- home to school at 5:30 pm, a total of 5 hours driving
  This page was last updated on April 12, 2004 at 05:26 PM