Fall camping on the Pickerel River
I love camping. But fall camping, is by far the best.
Why ?? Let’s review.
No bugs. Fewer people. Lots of fish and wildlife. No scorching heat, or waist-deep snow. Colourful trees. Pristine, fresh cool air and water. It gets no better than this.
So, my buddy Bill and I decided on a fall camping trip to the Pickerel River. We loaded up his 16 ft. fishing boat, and headed about an hour north of Parry Sound, hung a right on Highway 522, drove about a half hour east where we found this wonderful, free boat launch right next to the highway.
After loading up the boat with all our gear, including a highly anticipated dinner of freeze dried beans and rice, fishing gear, tent, sleeping bags, a few pints, etc. We’re on the way to the campsite.
We zipped along the Pickerel River under a beautiful blue sky, for about a half hour, before finding this gem of a campsite, on Crown land, just west of the dams that prevent any further passage on this stretch of the Pickerel. Being fall, we found the site empty, and inviting for our set-up.
After setting up camp, having a beer and a snack, we jumped back in the boat to do a little fishing and exploring. We eventually covered about 40 kilometers of the pristine, eye-catching Pickerel River.
With no fish in the hold, but having spent a glorious couple of hours patrolling the shoreline of the river, we headed back to our campsite. It was a gorgeous day, with some wonderful views from our site, which was on a point of land and therefore had a 270 degree view of our surroundings.
You’ll be happy to know the freeze dried meal of beans and rice was supreme, but then again, everything seems to taste a little better when you’re surrounded by nature. We cranked up a lovely fire (brought our own wood since the site offered very little). After a few after-dinner bevvies, and a good chat about our 35 years of friendship, we turned in. After a chilly night, where the temperature was threatening the Zero mark, we awoke before sunrise, to find a chilly, misty, but spectacular morning.
After a breakfast of fruit and granola bars, and Brian’s requisite spiked cooler, it was time to pack up camp for departure. Our vessel was waiting quietly along the jagged shoreline. Sadly, we loaded up and left this paradise for our final trip down the river, back to the launch.
If you have ever considered taking off to do some fall camping, time is running short, and after my trip along the Pickerel River, I would give the entire experience at least two thumbs up.. !!