Canoe Route to the West, The

The French River formed a vital link in the historic canoe route via the Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers and Lake Nipissing, which connected the settlements on the St. Lawrence with the upper Great Lakes and the far West. Most of the famous Canadian explorers, missionaries and fur traders of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries followed this waterway. Here passed: Brûlé, discoverer of Lake Huron; Champlain, "Father of New France"; the Jesuit martyrs, Brébeuf and Lalemant; the colourful coureurs de bois. Radisson and Groseilliers; La Vérendrye, pioneer explorer of the prairies; Mackenzie, first European to reach the Pacific by land north of Mexico; Thompson, the great explorer and cartographer.


In French River Park, just off Highway 69, beside the southern approach to the French River bridge

Region: Northern Ontario

County/District: District of Parry Sound

Municipality: Township of the Archipelago