This next Ontario park on our radar is full of history and stunning works of nature from a network of river routes to scenic cascades. What was once used by Indigenous people, French Explorers, fur traders, and Voyageurs, is now beloved by nature enthusiasts and parkgoers. Curious to know more? Here’s what to know about French River Provincial Park.
About three hours north of Toronto is French River Provincial Park, home to over 100 km canoe routes of interconnected lakes, gorges, and rapids from Lake Nipissing to Georgian Bay. In terms of historical significance, according to Ontario Parks, the French River was actually the first designated Canadian Heritage River.
An outdoor lover’s dream! Not only is it a perfect spot for canoe, kayak, and boating enthusiasts but for those looking to embark on a hike.
As a matter of fact, there’s only one official trail at the park and it actually leads you to a scenic vista. Take on the Recollet Falls Trail, a 1.5 km long trail that begins at the Visitor Centre. It then follows the edge of the French River Gorge, and ends at Recollet Falls.
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“The short portage around the falls has been walked by generations of First Nations, famous explorers, hardy Voyageurs, fur traders, and missionaries,” shared Ontario Parks.
The small yet mighty gorge is stunning and worth the short hike. It is formed by one of the many faults in the Canadian Shield that the French River follows down to Georgian Bay, according to OP.
“Glacial ice sculpted the bedrock and gouged out the fault lines.”
There’s a perfect lookout spot at the end of the trail for the best view of the falls.
According to Ontario Parks, the cost of a Day Use permit depends on the time of the year whether it be on or off-season, and by park. Entry fees for vehicles start at $12.25. “For park-specific fees, please contact the park directly.”
French River Provincial Park is open until October 22 so make the most of it before it’s too late.
Where: 20526 Settler’s Road – Alban, ON