Day 39: Franklin Campground to Driftwood Provincial Park Campground

After you leave North Bay you will cycle on HWY 17 along the southern edge of Samuel du Champlain Provincial Park. This park is named after the 17th century explorer and celebrates the Voyageurs who tackled portages and rapids here. In the park you can view a replica birch bark freighter in the heritage centre or hike to lookouts to enjoy panoramic views of the area. Mattawa River flows through the park towards Mattawa, where it joins the Ottawa River. Two campgrounds with 215 sites are located in the park.

After Samuel du Champlain Park you will bike towards Mattawa which means “meeting of the waters” in Ojibwa. Traditionally, Mattawa was an important transportation intersection for people traveling from Montréal. They would leave the Ottawa River here and travel on the Mattawa River towards Lake Nipissing. Look for large wooden statues of historical figures in this area. Camping is available in Mattawa at Sid Turcotte Park.

From Mattawa you will follow the Ottawa River, which defines the border of Ontario and Québec for much of its length, all the way into Ottawa. Ottawa River’s source is Lake Capimitchigama in the Laurentian Mountains of central Québec; it terminates into Lake of Two Mountains and St. Lawrence River in Montréal. The Ottawa River played a prominent role in the Algonquin peoples lives as well as in the timber industry. Today, the river’s use as a cargo route has been eclipsed by railway. However, the river now generates hydro-electricity for the area.

There is a small general store near the entrance of Driftwood Provincial Park, but I recommend getting your supplies for the evening in Mattawa.

Driftwood Provincial Park has 80 campsites, most of which offer a view of the Ottawa River and the Laurentian Hills beyond. There is a sandy beach nearby and laundry facilities are available.

Kilometre Log
0.0Leave Franklin Motel and head north on Lakeshore Drive.
3.2Cross over railway tracks. Lakeshore Drive becomes Main Street E.
3.7From Main Street E turn right onto Fisher Street.
5.2Fisher Street dead-ends into HWY 17 / HWY 11. Turn right onto HWY 17 / HWY 11 and head east.
6.3HWY 17 and HWY 11 split. Stay right and circle 270º clockwise to access HWY 17 heading east.
17.3Intersection of HWY 17 & HWY 94.
49.8Enter Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
54.7Exit Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park.
58.8Taggart Lake Campground.
63.9Enter Mattawa on HWY 17 / John Street.
65.1John Street / HWY 17 becomes McConnell Street / HWY 17.
65.7Turn right off of HWY 17 / McConnell Street onto HWY 17 / Valois Drive.
117.9Bissett Creek.
134.1Morning Mist Resort & Campground.
134.6Stonecliffe. Small general store here.
139.7Driftwood Provincial Park.

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