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Author Topic:   Georgian Bay / French River Winter Trip
matthughes posted 02-17-2010 09:22 AM ET (US)   Profile for matthughes   Send Email to matthughes  
I know there are a few on this site that have spent some time in the French River / Key River area of Georgian Bay. This past weekend, we were up for a few days by snowmobile to do some fishing / exploring. We came out of the Key River and stay at a cabin in the outer Fox Islands near the Bustard's. It is beautiful country in the summer but equally as stunning in the winter. Glare black ice and little snow to be seen. In some spots there was close to 3 Feet of ice and just beside that open water due to the flows between islands etc which makes for tricky navigation..I'd take rocks in the summer any time over open water but it is easily negotiated with the right equipment. Just like in the summer, there is little precipitation in this corner of GB and lots of sunshine. NE wind really drops the water level in this area. Looks to be down about 2 feet from summer and the locals suggest an early ice out based on current conditions which is good news for boating.

In any case, I've posted a couple of shots that some may enjoy that are familiar with the area.



Buckda posted 02-18-2010 08:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'm amazed that there is still open water up there.

Great photos Matt. I'm jealous of your trip up there this time of year!


GBayWhaler posted 02-18-2010 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for GBayWhaler  Send Email to GBayWhaler     

When posting in Trips and Rendez-vous it is often customary to post details of a trip BEFORE departing, and inviting others to join in!!! LOL, just kidding, kind of...

What an awesome trip! I spend some time south of Key Harbour at the mouth of Henvey Inlet. It is truly an amazing area. One of my favourite parts of Georgian Bay certainly.

This is inspiration to nudge my Key Harbour host into considering a similar expedition.

What amenities does the cabin have- hydro etc, or just a shack with woodstove and snow drifts to cool the beer?

Great news about early boating season- I often break ice on my forst trip out to Family Cottage in Sans Soucis area. Hoping to go very early April!


matthughes posted 02-18-2010 01:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for matthughes  Send Email to matthughes     
Dave - Thanks for the comments. Plenty of open water in the narrows etc and in the continuous flows. We took a ride over to the French River one day (which is a pretty continuous out flow to the big water) and we dropped some ice fishing gear on the ice. Let's just say we wrote that off and kept moving. It isn't the wide open bays that are the concern, but as I metioned the deep water flows running between islands that get dicey.

GBaywhaler - The cabin is decent. Obviously no hydro out there - daily trips with auger and bucket to get water. The cabin isn't winterized but has a large wood stove that after a day or so will become quite comfortable. Small generator for electricity for spinning some vinyl at night. We tow toboggans behind the snowmobile on the way out for water, food, drinks, gas, and by the end it really is quite comfortable - you just don't want to let the fire go out. A sheet of foam board insulation helps with the outhouse situation, while not overly pleasant, better than the alternatives. It's like being a pioneer....with beer, records, a chainsaw and a least as close as I'll get.



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