Many of our guests enjoy a workout before or after a day on the water. We keep on hand 4 mountain bikes for free use by our guests. There are many miles of bush roads (most with no vehicles) of varying difficulty in Beauchêne that offer plenty of challenge for ardent bikers.
Along the way you may see some of our wildlife and certainly you will come across a lot of tracks. If you plan on biking, please bring your own helmet.
Beauchêne’s water is sweet, clear and clean (it’s perfectly potable, but we advise caution in drinking from the smaller lakes – too many beavers).
The big lake warms (at least on the surface) around the beginning of July each year.
From then on, its wonderful for swimming.
The beaches at the Foley Bay Outpost and the Bear Bay Campgrounds are particularily appealing on a warm summer afternnon.
Their gentle, clean sand bottoms are heavenly playgrounds for children.
Because the water is irrisistable in summer, we ask parents to keep an eye on their families.
There are no lifeguards on duty.
For guests who wish to burn some calories while taking a more intimate look at our forests, we offer a woodland trail.
The trail starts at the Lodge, winds up over a steep hill past majestic white pines, northward toward Foley Bay. It then swings eastward through a magnificent sugar maple park and steeply down into “the Valley of Giants”, a mysterious grove of ancient arbor vitae (cedar). It then winds upward again toward the Foley Narrows, from where it is down and uphill by road back to the Lodge.
There is a shortcut through a grove of massive hemlocks for those that would like to pass up the last loop. Many of the specimen trees bear identification tags, adding to the interest. You will find most of the species indigenous to Beauchêne.
Bring good hiking boots or at least lug-soled runners. There are some fairly steep spots, but we have been told by one our woodsmen that “his grandmother would have no trouble making it in her wheelchair”. And, there is nothing to stop you from using the miles of bush roads for your hike or jog, as many of our guests do.
Located on the interface between the St. Lawrence and Boreal forest regions and close to the Ottawa River, the spinal chord of one of the most important eastern migration routes, Beauchêne provides plenty of opportunity for ‘Birders’.
From early spring, Great Blue Herons begin to congregate at one of the largest heronries in the region, located on a small island (Ile des Oiseaux) in the east end of Lac Beauchêne.
The Island is also home to many nesting families of Herring Gulls and some American Mergansers and Black Ducks. Large flocks of Brant Geese rest on the Big Lake for a week or two in late spring before heading on to the high Arctic. In addition to Wood Ducks, Hooded Mergansers and American Mergansers, you may find Red Throated Grebes on the water. You will doubtlessly see various Sandpipers and Belted Kingfishers along the edges.
Happily, most of our lakes have their families of common loons. Lac Beauchêne is used as a staging area before fall migration by this wonderful bird and so we enjoy the annual September spectacle of flocks approaching 100 individuals, an extraordinary sight.
Osprey, Broad-Winged Hawks, Goshawks and Merlin live here and we are regularly visited by Bald Eagles. Ruffed and Spruce Grouse are common and, in season, Ruffed Grouse hens and their large families of chicks are often seen scuttling across the roads and sometimes around the Lodge.
As you would expect, the woods are home to many varieties of warblers, sparrows and thrushes and often ring with the work of various kinds of woodpeckers, most notably the spectacular Pileated Woodpecker, the famous ‘Cock of the North’.
For ardent canoeists Beauchêne offers several loops within its territory.
The most popular starts at the Lodge, enters Foley Bay from where the longest portage leads up McDonald Creek to McDonald Lake. Paddle up McDonald, take a short portage (on the road) to McConnell Lake, paddle across the west end of McConnell and portage into Fox Lake. After crossing Fox, a short portage leads to Birch Lake. Then paddle eastward on Birch and take the short portage into Little Birch and from there to Little Beauchêne. Paddle down Little Beauchêne and take the short portage into Noah’s Bay on Lac Beauchêne and from there hug the east end of Lac Beauchêne to our Bear Bay Campground.
The campground keeper will telephone the Lodge to arrange a water ferry back to the Lodge for you.
A second loop mainly through Brook Trout country) leads from McDonald Lake through David, Taggart, Jeffrey, Foley, Rainbow and Laurie Lakes, then to Foley Bay and home.
At the Lodge we have available waterproof, practically indestructible maps of the territory printed on “Tyvec” with the portages marked. Individual hydrographic maps of the big lake and almost all of the back lakes are also available.
You will find no difficulty locating or managing the portages. They are kept open, most are short and both ends are marked with arrows.
Canoe trippers are asked to restrict their camping to two or three convenient campsites that are sensibly spaced along the route. As a security measure, we like to know where you are so we ask you to leave a trip plan at the Lodge before setting out.
Campsites are for use by “trippers” only, i.e. they are restricted to overnight use and are not intended for longer stays.
Our campground in Bear Bay on Lac Beauchêne is intended for longer stays.