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 >
We did not have too many highlights this year, but here are a few photos from our 37th year. The first 2 photos are of the biggest pickerel caught (and released), a 23", by my boat partner, Terry. The next 2 are of Eric and his battle in heavy current to hook & land a rare species called a 'Rock Fish' (or a chip off the old Canadian Shield block). Weighing in at approximately 2 lb., this epic battle ended with expert netting by his boat partner, Murray. Terry is a little upset, as he had held the previous 'Rock Fish' record! However the 'Rock Fish' had the last laugh as it somehow managed to eat his minnow! The last 2 photos are of pan-size pickerel caught by Carl & Adam.Thanks for another great stay at Bear's Den & see you next year!- Carson.READ MORE >
Ashley Rae of shelovestofish.com, is a multi-fish species female angler and an accomplished well known Canadian outdoor writer from Ontario. Between the times writing as a newspaper/magazine columnist, freelance/travel writer and blogger she travels to different parts of Canada sharing her fishing adventures with all. Ashley joins us, Bear's Den Lodge, this Friday for her next fishing adventure on the French River! Keep watching as she loves to fish! Authored by: Joe Barefoot, M.B.READ MORE >
It was a 1967, Canada's centennial year. Our neighbor, Ross Hoover, was selling real estate. He had a listing for fishing lodge on the French River. Ross, his wife Pat and my husband, Don, were all avid fishermen. That ad sounded interesting and Labor Day Weekend was coming up. The four of us were heading north. We drove down to the Harley Bay Road into the bush. There were lots of twists and turns, lots of trees and rocks before we, finally, were at the marina. We hired a water taxi to the Bear's Den. It was a dark dull fall day. I remember the first view of the lodge. It was very impressive. There it sat, red and white on its perch, high above the water. It looked massive. We landed at the dock, climbed the many stairs and entered the main lodge. The large open area was dominated by the wood burning fireplace, surrounded by stone. A balcony was around the room. They were animals heREAD 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 >
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 >
The water was still; the scene just sublime with rock and trees, our mood did combine The cusp of the season lay just ahead Trees green and gold, were shocked by the red. Billion year old granite, the most elegant of rock One lone mosquito our mood tried to mock. Parallel lines of pollen, engraved there in gold. Secrets of past water levels were "outed" in bold. And now as we leave the magnificent French The pickerel will be safe from our deadly clench. So thank you Brenda, Art & Joe To us, you just won the "BEST IN SHOW" Lorne M. Evoy Klaus Kuck Sept. 28, 2015READ 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 >
We did not have too many highlights this year, but here are a few photos from our 37th year. The first 2 photos are of the biggest pickerel caught (and released), a 23", by my boat partner, TerryREAD MORE >
Trophy Northern Pike fishing in Canada is among the most exciting experiences any angler should hook into. In my experience fishing the French River, Pike that grow to 28+ inches develop personalitieREAD 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 evenREAD MORE >
List of ingredients needed: Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake: 12 ounces gingersnaps 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped* (optional) 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted 2 tablespoons paREAD 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 sREAD MORE >
2870J Hartley Bay Rd.
Alban, Ont. P0M 1A0
Tel: (705) 857-2757
124 Shagbark Rd.
Alum Bank, PA 15521
Tel: (814) 839-2443
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects – big and small, rural and urban – that stimulate economic recovery and growth, job creation and skilled workforce development.
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Destination Northern Ontario is one of 13 not-for-profit regional tourism organizations funded by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. We are the largest tourism region in geography, the second largest in expenditure and the only region that includes sub-regions.
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Situated at the entrance to the North Channel amidst sparkling white quartzite peaks and pink granite
Make sure you check the Ontario Parks before heading out
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