View topic - French River - Shuttle or Ridesharing Options?

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PostPosted: September 5th, 2020, 8:00 pm 
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Hi folks - in October we are planning to paddle the French from Nipissing all the way to Georgian Bay. The original plan was to pick up a shuttle driver at Hartley Bay, and then travel to our put in at Dokis and have the driver bring the truck back to Hartley Bay, where we would pick it up when the trip is completed. However due to covid, Hartley Bay is not offering shuttle service this year. I'm thinking that now we will park at Dokis and start the trip from there, but I need to find a ride back from Hartley Bay (or another pickup point on the Georgian Bay end of the river) to get the truck at Dokis. Does anyone have any suggestions? Another local shuttle service possibly? Uber or Taxi could be options as well (if Uber operates in that region...) Any help would really be appreciated!

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2020, 1:26 pm 
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Drop off an extra set of keys to a willing couple in Hartley bay & pay them to shuttle your truck from Dokis to Hartley Bay while you're paddling. No ride sharing and very limited contact.


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PostPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:31 am 
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Location: Barrie Ontario
Just forwarded this to a friend in the area who is very canoe friendly. Do not know if he is interested but no harm asking.

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:39 am 
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Thanks guys for the responses! Rob H - thanks so much for forwarding this! I've contacted a few local spots and no luck so far.

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PostPosted: September 7th, 2020, 9:54 am 
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P.M. sent.

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PostPosted: September 10th, 2020, 4:39 pm 
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That answered one of my questions! It sounds like there is access at Dokis? No restrictions by First Nations due to COVID? Have always put in at Hartley Bay, but thought this time we would try access at 45 on the French River Map. If there is access there, anything we need to know? Do we still need to purchase our permits online? Is parking expensive there?
Thinking of heading via the "free Flow channel", or Little Chaudiere Dam (or perhaps we should be heading down :)

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PostPosted: September 10th, 2020, 6:24 pm 
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The office at Dokis sell permits. they must be operating----it's a marina with lots of customers. Why not put in right there?

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PostPosted: September 10th, 2020, 8:09 pm 
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Just wanted to check the status given covid. Friends just came off the river, and several times as they approached no camping FN land, to pass by a narrows, someone appeared to ask their intentions i.e. make sure they were not landing. Friends said it sure seemed like there must be camera's or lookouts. I was able to find information on FB about the Marina and the current rules, so we should be okay. Launch & Parking
Fuel Propane Bait Cigarettes .. no mention of permits, but their was a phone number.

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PostPosted: September 11th, 2020, 9:49 am 
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Hey Cheryl - last time I accessed at Dokis was about 20 years ago... the folks at the store were friendly and helpful back then. No idea what conditions are like now with COVID.

FWIW, the loop around Dokis on the Little French was not a spectacular trip for me back then. Hoping you enjoy the trip more than we did.

DYK that there are 2 "Little French Rivers"? The one at Dokis is not the same one your friends were on last week.


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PostPosted: September 11th, 2020, 12:07 pm 
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Hi C.! good to hear from you. No, you were down at the "little French Rapids" river (fabulous picture). The "Rapids part is what is on my old maps and unlostify down Trestle Gully Lake. by My friends from Orillia were at a cottage up in the Dokis area last week and looped into the area of down to Chaud. Dam/Little French River.

I know you did not make Blue Chute, but was your planned route? Maybe PM/email me. Looking for ideas and sites.

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2020, 6:03 am 
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario
cheryl wrote:
Just wanted to check the status given covid. Friends just came off the river, and several times as they approached no camping FN land, to pass by a narrows, someone appeared to ask their intentions i.e. make sure they were not landing. Friends said it sure seemed like there must be camera's or lookouts. I was able to find information on FB about the Marina and the current rules, so we should be okay. Launch & Parking
Fuel Propane Bait Cigarettes .. no mention of permits, but their was a phone number.


I think it's been a pretty busy summer on the French and I wouldn't be one bit surprised that people have been setting up camp on FN land either in ignorance, obliviousness or just out of a lack of options. Locals and FN people are probably just doing their part of help educate new campers.


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