What Is A Staycation? The term, Staycation, was originally coined in a market crisis in 2008 in our neighbor across the border. However, since Covid-19 has dictated the need for tourism to be faced to restrict travel plans for holidays of travel abroad or within our Canadian boundaries, Ontarian are now immersing themselves in immediate surroundings for a staycation near home, Northeastern Ontario. What Might Your Adventure Discover? Your adventure at Bear’s Den Lodge will make you more aware of your environment. Find peace and quiet in the wilderness expanse of the French River Provincial Park. The lower French River Delta has many offerings to explore with abundant wildlife such as: birds, reptiles and fish that inhabit the shorelines, skies, forests, and water of our area. What Benefits are Offered in a Local Staycation? Staycations are economREAD MORE >
What Is A Staycation? Staycation is a term that was originally coined in the market crisis of 2008. Now in 2020, Covid-19 has dictated the need for public health and tourism to restrict travel plans for holidays of travel abroad or within our Canadian boundaries. Ontarian residents are now immersing themselves in their immediate surroundings for a staycation near home in Northeastern Ontario. What Might Your Adventure Discover? Your adventure at Bear’s Den Lodge will make you more aware of your environment. You will find peace and quiet in the wilderness expanse of the French River Provincial Park. The lower French River Delta has many offerings to explore. Discover and see the abundant wildlife. Birds, reptiles and fish inhabit the shorelines, skies, forests, and water of our area. Benefits Offered in a Local Staycation? Firstly, it is econoREAD MORE >
Bear’s Den Lodge, a number one tourism full-service business in the French River, Municipality of Killarney area, has gone through a major transformation over the past 35 years. Since 1986, the daily operations and maintenance at the lodge located along Highway 69 now 400 North in Alban, Ontario have been managed by owners Art and Brenda Barefoot, along with their son, Joe Barefoot. The Lodge owners were born in two neighboring small rural communities in Southern PA and each were raised in large families. Their families were well-versed in traditional farming, housekeeping, and banking. When Art & Brenda Barefoot were married -- fishing, hunting, farming, and foraging became part of the new family’s way of life. The Dream Long hours and days away from each other lead the Barefoots to seeking an opportunity of hard work to their own entrepreneurial endeavors. ArREAD MORE >
Leave the city behind and challenge yourself with a remarkable French River Provincial Park getaway for Canada 150. Would you like to experience fishing in Ontario Parks? Canada was nominated as #1 Destination by the New York Times as the 52 Places to Go in 2017. Travel and immerse yourself in the history the French River Delta has to offer. Hike, fish & boat the amazing wilderness travelway lush and vibrant landscapes with our personal guides.READ MORE >
I must say that Alicia Moir-Raytrowsky and I have really enjoyed our time at #BearsDenLodge on the French River. Today I managed to catch my first musky! After searching all over for one... I finally caught one right off the dock. He came out from under the dock and t boned my swim bait. He was probably the fish that took Alicia's little pike she caught on our first night here. We weren't able to land him then because he wasn't really hooked and we didn't have a big enough net at the time to grab him. A couple days later and he was ready for another "meal"! - T.J. Raytrowsky [caption id="attachment_1572" align="alignright" width="400"] T.J. measuring his French River Trophy. Photo Credit: Alicia Raytrowsky[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1573" align="alignleft" width="400"] Elusive, but only a cast away.[/caption]READ MORE >
Our party of four from various parts of Pennsylvania (PA) traveled north for a week of fishing on the French River Delta near Hartley Bay, Ontario. Our destination was Bear's Den Lodge which we had been introduced to over fifteen years ago by members of the Johnson Family, who have been coming to Bear's Den for fifty-one years. We began the week of July 17, 2016 on a positive note with Bob Griffith, State College, PA catching a 52 1/2 " Muskie, his personal best ever. Optimism was high as we fished through the week with several smaller muskies caught. Then on Thursday, July 21, I caught and released a 40" Muskie after a thrilling fight. We fished the next day, Friday, July 22, our last day of this trip, with some nice pike caught, but no muskies. We agreed after a mid-afternoon meal to not fish late (10:00 PM normally) and be back to the lodge by 9:00 PM to pack for our tREAD MORE >
"It hit in three to four feet away from the boat. It was raining. The muskie gave me a real fight, it ran three times taking my black and chartreuse eagle tail under the boat. What a fight!" With a quick measure and photo of the French River musky, Bob Griffith of State College, PA, released his largest muskie to date during the group's 51st stay at Bear's Den Lodge. Since 1989, Bob reports that he has caught other muskies in past, but was concerned about releasing them quickly so "Not all fish were photographed". [caption id="attachment_1538" align="alignleft" width="625"] Larry William's Muskie from released 2 years ago (at the time of writing this).[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1539" align="alignleft" width="625"] Bob Griffith with a previous French River Muskie.[/caption] The 51st Year Johnson Adventure Tour Group from PA have enjoyed many other musky catches andREAD MORE >
Returning to the French River Bill and Nancy Hamblin talk to the lodge owners, Art & Brenda Barefoot, before the hunt for the elusive French River Muskie. The weather conditions for the day were spotty with high winds and choppy waters but no musky can be caught without putting effort into it. In their search for the massive monster, Bill trolls his chartreuse bladed black bucktail and bam, the fight begins! Within the first two hours after to their arrival to the Bear's Den Lodge Bill hooked into an impressive 45.5 inch Musky, creating the first of another successful muskie hunt. [caption id="attachment_1465" align="aligncenter" width="578"] Bill's first day French River Fishing , an impressive 45.5 inch Musky[/caption] On day two, just after breakfast at the Lodge, Bill and Nancy went searching for another French River Musky. Once again after several hours of dedication in flailiREAD MORE >
TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THE MASTERY OF NATURE BUT OF THE RELATION BETWEEN NATURE AND [HUMANITY]—Walter Benjamin NATURAL RELATIONS TECHNOLOGICALLY TRANSFORMED University of Waterloo - Architecture students venture to the great Canadian wilderness of the French River to explore the classroom for inspiration. During their stay, their project was to document two feet cubed of nature then build a model that would fit snugly inside a two foot cubed container. The model material should be sourced from the Cambridge Rona or Home Depot. As suggested by their professors, it is worth considering that all matter is of the earth. It is also easy to conceive of the two feet cubed that you have documented as nature. While it is more difficult to conceive of the materials of the model as also natural, they are merely natural relations technologically transformed. The natural relations of tREAD MORE >
Have you ever wondered what birds see? Imagining yourself flying over any obstacle and taking in the vastness that is the open skies? We always look for ways to immerse ourselves, to reconnect with that of our roots and get connected with nature. However, sometimes the absolute beauty of the French River Provincial Park is not only where you stand but what's surrounds you. To traverse the rugged terrain and watch out over the sparkling water is an aspect many can enjoy, but what so few before could witness is seeing the French River wilderness with a bird's eye view. We decided at Bear's Den Lodge was to help provide a richer experience to an area many have returned to. By reaching out to our friends at Snow Drift Media, Sean DeCory Photography and Monkey & Machine. They collaborated with us to provide an experience all can enjoy, who are planning their vacation for the FrenchREAD MORE >
Bear's Den Lodge, a "historical" museum, was built in 1925 for a New York Banker, H. Martin. Mr. Martin hired Bud West, local tourist lodge operator, to build a lodge on the property were an old logging camp used to stand. Bud hired Sandy Mower, Sylvester Ritchie and some of the Thompson family to help with the project. Photos indicated that 1924 construction started on site. Two years after the lodge was finished, Mr. Martin was unable to continue to visit the lodge due to his involvement in some financial and legal problems. According to Bill Maxwell, a previous owner of Bear’s Den Lodge, shared that Mr. Martin used the C.N.R. Railroads’ supplies, equipment, and employees that lead to being jailed. His wife, Elizabeth, and her sister turned the property into a commercial resort catering mostly to New York clients who arrived by train wearing “fancy dresses, top-hats aREAD MORE >
"Ever since I was a young boy I always had fond memories heading north and fishing with my brother in Ontario," says Art Barefoot (Co-Owner of Bear's Den Lodge). "From the people, the sights, and even the thrill hearing the reel squeal from another fight with a fish. It was paradise and I wanted to be part of it." "Life wasn't always easy growing up in a humble Pennsylvanian farmstead, but I knew after my first voyage north that I wanted to be an outfitter." [caption id="attachment_1093" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Owner & Chef Art Barefoot providing laugher and warm meals[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1094" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Line Class World Record Muskie Holder Art Barefoot explains the Muskie fishery and structure of how to fish the French River to Bill Hamblin (center) and long time guests Chris and Harry.[/caption] "Through high school I wREAD MORE >
Walleye fishing in the French River Delta and Georgian Bay has one of the highest rod hours in Ontario Canada. Ever increasing numbers, these fish naturally spawn in the Delta of the French River under the protection of slot limits since 1994. Walleyes or Pickerel, as locals call them, grow large and fight hard in this great Canadian wilderness river system. They have large cloudy light sensitive eyes. Walleye have adapted the stained waters of the French River Provincial Park and Georgian Bay. They tend to feed at sunrise, sunset or at night in the clearer water areas. Migrating walleyes head for the Georgian Bay by late summer. They begin to return late August to prepare for spawning in the spring. Many large walleye remain in the French River all summer, providing fisherman trophy walleye fishing all season. We recommend using live bait rigREAD MORE >
Know Your Cast, Fall Pattern Fishing. Northern Pike are an aggressive freshwater fish with an attitude of its own. These predators chase, attack lures and are very territorial. As fall approaches, weeds tend to die causing these fish to establish new habitats and hunting grounds during the cooler waters of autumn. During this period, they hang over hard bottom with green weeds until vegetation wanes and depletes oxygen necessary for aquatic life. This puts strain on pike in the noxious environment, causing northerns to seek new cover habitats over saddles, points, rocky reefs or shelves that descend into deeper water. [caption id="attachment_1084" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Catching Pike on the Cast[/caption] Weed edges over muddy bottoms normally die faster than solid bottoms. Cast for pike on weed edges of green vegetation. Often times in the fall, trolling spoonsREAD MORE >
A Pink Salmon Ends the Fall Season Fishing on the French River Delta is home to some the most diverse freshwater species of game fish, known most predominantly for its muskie, walleye, pike, large and smallmouth bass fishing. However, these waters and fishery are also a home to the pinks, chinook, and coho as they migrate from Lake Huron to Georgian Bay and into the French River Delta to lay their eggs. The salmon make their journey into the system as early as July, but are very rarely seen before September through November. Often times anglers snag salmon while fishing for walleye or even muskie. Fisherman are surprised and often do not recognize their catch and confuse it for a different species, such as trout. Trout normally are not . Average pink salmon weighs 3-5 lbs at maturity and can reach as high as 10 lbs. The fins have large oval black spots onREAD MORE >
Imagine waking to the sounds of song birds chirping happily in the first rays of your summer morning. Splashes rippling through the crisp mirror reflection, while the busy beavers and otters continue their work and play. Can you feel the soft pine tingling your senses as the gentle breeze brushes pass? Bear's Den Lodge shares a collection of beautiful photos from a long time guest as he was immersed and enraptured by the French River, during his vacation. French River Photography at Bear's Den Lodge, Ontario, CanadaREAD MORE >
French River Delta landscape of granite rock, pine trees and more to appreciate. Does nature inspire you? If yes, Bear's Den Lodge would like to share an inspiring "place" some call a "special place", a "simple life" and to others, it is a "bit of heaven on earth" for the past 90 years. This diamond, or jewel in the North provides you the opportunity to become a part of a significant part of Canadian history some 400 years ago during Champlain's journey through the French River. Imagine journeying these corridors 400 years ago in a canoe with Champlain. New and adventurous waters lay ahead; not knowing what nature had in store. Between these magnificent granite rocks with white quartz blazes were sparkling diamonds in the blue water reflecting the magnificent sky and landscape it enjoyed. Today, being a protected and the first Canadian Heritage Provincial Park it remains much uncREAD MORE >
It's official, French River makes the record books again! Dick Sprenkle's musky is recognized by Muskies Inc. for the Men's Top 25 for 2016. Dick's 54 inch French River trophy fish was successfulREAD MORE >
Every fishing season, many Ontario anglers who went jigging for walleye (pickerel) may have caught sauger without ever blinking an eye. Sauger are great impersonators of their larger cousins. Often sREAD MORE >
"Nothing like catching musky in your front yard!" said Chris Burnette to the start of his and Harry Haddix’s week at Bear’s Den Lodge. The seasoned West Virginian muskie hunters had fisheREAD MORE >
Our party of four from various parts of Pennsylvania (PA) traveled north for a week of fishing on the French River Delta near Hartley Bay, Ontario. Our destination was Bear's Den Lodge which we hadREAD MORE >
We just wanted to say 'Thank You' again for the wonderful hospitality! Had a great week at Bear's Den Lodge. We love it there….. Morning Glory It’s so peaceful and beautiful and you areREAD MORE >
2870J Hartley Bay Rd.
Alban, Ont. P0M 1A0
Tel: (705) 857-2757
124 Shagbark Rd.
Alum Bank, PA 15521
Tel: (814) 839-2443
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Situated at the entrance to the North Channel amidst sparkling white quartzite peaks and pink granite
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YOUR Canadian COTTAGE FOR YOUR NEXT GETAWAY! French River Cottages available May, 2023 - 0ctober 2023. 3 day minimum charge per person applies. Prevailing rates available for shorter stays. Less than 3 days have added charges and are available. Make memories with family and friends on the French River, arrive as guests and leave as family!View Promotion