view of Georgian Bay from Franklin Island

may long weekend on franklin island

Entry Content

This is a GLSKA trip. You must be a GLSKA member to go on this trip. Membership is only $35.

Franklin Island Little Lake

Franklin Island, looking east from Little Lake

Meet at Snug Harbour and paddle to a campsite. Over the weekend we can do a circumnavigation of the Island (+/- 18 km), visit the Red Rock Lighthouse (5 km crossing), or weather permitting, paddle from Winkler to Green Island and the Northern Minks (+/- 7km). If the weather is too rough to attempt any major crossings, we’ll explore the interior of Franklin and the Shebeshekong Channel.

history of franklin island

Franklin Island is named after Sir John Franklin, the arctic explorer who died on the Erebus in 1847 while attempting to find the Northwest Passage. He passed by the island on his way north for his second expedition in 1828.

geology

The rocks that we’ll be camping on are part of the Canadian Shield, that was formed about a billion years ago when sedimentary rock was melted and twisted into the contorted shaped we can see now. This is igneous (volcanic) rock.

ecology

The soil is very thin here, or non-existent in many places, as a result of the glaciers that were here in the last ice age, 10.000 years ago, which left the great lakes.

flora

Trees on Franklin are mostly White Pine, Red Oak, Jack Pine, some Red Maple, White Birch, Alder. Look for  Sweet Gale, a traditional insect repellent and cure for stomach aches,  Cottongrass (Eriophorum), Lily of the valley (poisonous!), and Pickerel weed (Pontederia). Reindeer Lichen, Haircap Moss grows on the rocks and Peat Moss (Sphagnum) in wet areas.

fauna

Massasauga Rattlesnake

Massasauga Rattlesnake

There are poisonous snakes on the island. I was lucky enough to see a Massasauga Rattlesnake in 2014. They’re beautiful, very shy and nice enough to warn you when you get too close. The Eastern Fox Snake is harmless. You might see Bald Eagles, Osprey and lots of gulls, terns and ducks.

At this time of year, the mosquitoes and black-flies are not out yet, or only just barely, and you may have a nearly bug-free experience. I’ve seen occasional clouds of midges that are so thick they look like smoke, but those don’t bite or sting.

There is a fox that visits the campsite on Regatta Bay.

Parking and launching

Snug Harbour can be busy. Please park in paid parking spots ($7.50/day) at the marina. When unloading your boat, don’t leave it on the dock, but on the side of the road, park your car, and then pack your boat. We’ll carry the loaded boats (4 people) and keep our time on the dock to an absolute minimum.

Facilities

Gilly’s has a nice restaurant and store.

If you forgot, or need to replace or rent some paddling gear, the White Squall Paddling Centre is less than 30 minutes away.

 

Other

White Squall does their first-timers trip on Franklin Island

http://www.whitesquall.com/19-programmes/adventures/532-first-timers-trip-july-17-19-$545.html

References

Reynolds, Jonathon, and Heather Smith. Kayaking Georgian Bay. Erin, Ontario; Buffalo, N.Y.: Boston Mills Press, 1999. Print. pp. 87-93

Meta

destination

start
Friday May 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST (4 months and 29 days from now)
end
Saturday May 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM EST
duration
11 months 27 days 20 hours
distance
15km/day
from
Snug Harbour
to
Snug Harbour
classification
Beginner/Intermediate
group size
8
trip type

skill level
,
maps
,
charts