Little French River, Hall River, Mercer Lake

Submitter & Author Information
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Additional Route Information
33 km
2 days
Loop Trip: 
Portage Information
No. of portages: 
Total Portage Distance: 
160 m
Longest Portage: 
80 m
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
Lake Travel: 
Not applicable
Background Trip Info
Water Levels: 
Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Access to Mercer Lake – Highway 64 pass Monetville, take Dokis Road exit, about 0.5 k take left road that leads to Mercer Lake.

Put in at Mercer Lake travel West on Mercer Lake Hall River to 1st Portage 7.5 k

1st Portage travel West on Hall River and Little French River to Little Chaudiere Dam 5.5 k

2nd Portage, two options: 1) Portage directly from wharf at Little Chaudiere Dam to a spot below the Dam 80 m, or 2) Canoe through the swift on the Northwest side of the island 60 m, then portage to a spot below the dam and small waterfall 20 m.

Travel Southeast on Little French River 1.8 k, Sharp Turn to Southwest to Camping Area 2.5 K

Three campsites marked on the Map available via Friends of Killarney (Just South of Free-Flow Channel marked on Map, no camping on Okikendawt Island, Dokis Reserve)

From campsite head North towards the Free-Flow Channel 1.2k

The Free-Flow Channel is a rapid that falls approx 5m and flows from north to south, as you approach the rapids from downstream there is a nice landing spot on your right (west). The portage trail is due north from the landing spot and is easy to find and follow. Portage approx 60 m.

From the north side of the Free-Flow Channel head west to Little Chaudiere Dam (1.5 k) and retrace route back to put in spot on Mercer Lake (13 k).

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
Ontario Base Maps OBM # 2017550051100. OBM # 2017560051100. OBM # 2017560051000.
Other Maps: 
French River Provincial Park Map
Special Comments: 

Access to Mercer Lake – Highway 64 pass Monetville, take Dokis Road exit, about 0.5 k take left road that leads to Mercer Lake.

We did the trip in 3 days and explored around the campsite on the second day – the trip is easily doable in 2 days although a little strenuous for novice canoeists.

From the campsite to the Free Flow channel there are two swifts that must be crossed – as you head north you are going upstream. The first swift resisted our efforts to paddle up it – we saw power boats go up it though. We had to pull the canoes past it. The second swift is at the entrance to the bay/lagoon southwest from the Free-Flow Channel and can be paddled.

We also headed down the Little French River to the point where the Bridge to Dokis crosses it, there is another swift here that can also be paddled up.