Exploring the GBBR: A Guided Kayak Trip on the French and Pickerel Rivers

Book this trip now

For assistance with booking call 705.342.5324

Join Biosphere guides to kayak the Pickerel and French River outlets and explore an ecological gem within the biosphere reserve. Geologically, glacial melt waters have carved wondrous formations in the rock. Learn about the role of coastal wetlands and biodiversity, cultural harvests and trade routes and see how this ecosystem responds to the recent forest fire.

The myriad islands of the French River delta are a delight to paddle and entertain a desire to get just a bit lost, knowing that our comfortable camp is waiting. The site of a recent fire is our teacher, showing how nature is changed and responds under these conditions. Our five days will be divided between paddling and relaxing: reading a book or playing guitar, swimming and just soaking up that Georgian Bay feeling. This trip is generously hosted by White Squall Paddling Centre and will be a partial fundraiser for the Georgian Bay Biosphere with some proceeds donated to GBBR.

Photo taken after the fire, November 2018.

Route: Eastern Georgian Bay is situated in Anishinabek territory: we will be paddling with respect for the Indigenous people who have paddled here for thousands of years.

Our exact route is created based on group needs and desires, shaped by wind, waves and our collective energy. You can anticipate a maximum length paddle of 18km but most days, no more than 10km to 15 km. Having at least two nights in one location lets us relax and run at our own pace.


Day 1           Meet at White Squall 8:45 a.m. Convene and carpool to boat launch.

Day 2, 3, 4     Paddling the coastal islands, with plans to be determined in

consultation with the group each day. Layover days expected.

Day 5              Paddle out and return to White Squall for approximately 4:30 p.m.


Prerequisites: This trip will consist of some paddling days of 10 to 18 km, others with

shorter distances. There will be some open crossings of max. 3 km, so good boat handling and a strong sense of self- and group rescues are required.


  •  Kayaks and safety equipment
  • Food, tents
  • Guides, en-route coaching
  • Meal and camp set-up orchestration
  • Camping fees for Provincial Park
  • Boat shuttles and launch fees.


You Provide:

  •  Personal clothing and outdoor gear
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Personal items – books, musical instrument etc.
  • A willingness to help with basic camp chores

(e.g., assisting with meal prep, dishes and other basic tasks).

  • A personal vehicle to drive to the put-in and take out, plus parking fees.


Greg Mason has been a senior guide and instructor trainer for over 20 years and has spent a lifetime plying the Bay in a variety of watercraft. He is the General Manager of GBBR and has a landscape planning and ecology background.

David Bywater, a conservation scientist with GBBR, has been a kayak guide with White Squall for the past 15 years and is never on trip without his binoculars.

Emara Streich is GBBR’s ecotourism intern and new to sea kayaking but has grown up on Georgian Bay at her family cottage in the Snug Harbour area.

For more information click here.