We (a group of 4) have stayed at at least 18 fishing lodges over the last 30 years of trips to Canada, and I can say that we enjoyed our best lodge experience at Bear’s Den Lodge on the Lower French River. Brenda, Art, Joe, and Mike made sure all lodge essentials were top notch: well maintained cabins; boats gassed up and batteries charged every morning; restaurant quality food (spaghetti and meatballs to die for); attention to our every need (4th seat?Mike had installed one by the next morning).
Thanks Brenda, Art, Joe for an exceptional experience, the French River was as I remembered it was almost 60 years ago.Your hospitality went well beyond making us feel welcomed, from the hardy breakfast, the shore lunch and scallop potatoes to Joe’s guidance of the channel.
What an amazing spot Bears den is . The location is beutiful. Our hosts Art Brenda and Joe Barefoot were great hosts .The Fishing is truly something special . We stayed in the lodge and loved it . We opted for the American plan. Food was very good had Loved the breakfasts. Topped off with a great steak dinner on the Sat.Now the Fishing wow just wow . My target species was muskie and it did not disappoint. Over the weekend we caught lots of pike , seen so e real big 4+lbs smallies and both my partner and I both caught a trophy , I started the ball rolling with a sunset 52in piggy and my partner George caught a beutiful 54in monster . Both fish were released to fight another day . Thank you for the memories Bears Den and the French river already planing my next adventure back .…
Just returned from bears den lodge. The boat and motor were excellent and the cottage was clean. Everything else sucked. We were picked up at Hartley bay marina by, I guess it was Joe. He didn’t say a word to us the whole way, even though I introduced us to him. We were taken to our cabin and given a map of the river. The topic of breakfast came up and I said we would like to eat at 6am. I was told “the fish don’t bite til after 8 “so breakfast would be served between 7 and 8. The boat was never gassed up and wiped down until after breakfast. Coffee usually was delivered between 7:15 and 7:30. Breakfast between 7:30 and 8:00. We wanted to start fishing around 6:30 but never got on the water til the earliest was 8:20. American plan was supposed to include beverages,worms, boat and maid service. The boat was gassed and and the seats wiped but never cleaned. We asked for coffee twice, once after dinner, and once after lunch. We were told there wasn’t any and then told begrudgingly she’d make another pot. My grandson went to get some worms and was told it would cost $ 7.00.Finally she gave him some. Meals were served in styrofoam containers with the cheapest plastic utensils available, and three napkins for 3 people. Dinners were ok at best but try to cut a skinny grisly piece of steak with a cheap plastic fork. Same brownies for dessert every dinner. Lunch was another story. Some had lunch meat with cheese and mustard on the side, there was also peanut butter and jam. Six sandwiches the same cookies every lunch, fruit and three napkins.Monday she asked what kind of sandwiches we wanted packed in the cooler, so we told her bologna was fine. What a surprise when we opened the cooler to grab a sandwich and it’s two pieces of bologna between bread. No butter no mustard no mayo no cheese no lettuce. Also pop and the same cookies and yes,3 napkins.I phoned this morning to talk to the owners about the maid service that was never supplied and was told that the government won’t allow them in the cottage and if I want a rebate it’s never going to happen. I mentioned the other complaints to the man on the phone and he told me us yuppies have a sense of entitlement and expect too much. I happen to be a 64 year old retired autoworker who was taking his son and grandson away for a “memory”. He was even ruder on the phone than in person. I told him I was doing a review on trip adviser and he said he didn’t care he had 500 great reviews and people would know what kind of person I was by reading my review. I really didn’t expect a lot but certainly a lot more than I received. Good thing we caught lots of fish. The woman even ask my son where we caught some pickerel and when he told her she said no way and argued with him. Why would he lie? The bottom line is we stopped at french river lodge because they had an ice cream sign an felt more welcome there buying ice cream than we did paying big money at bears den lodge.…
I have been meaning to write this review for months. We booked a cabin at Bears Den this past July for the first time. From the extremely clean and well appointed cabin to the friendly outstanding dock service(even during covid times) our experience was outstanding. Fantastic boats, comfortable wide bottom boats and motors ran like a charm. We will definitely be back this summer once again. Thank you for a wonderful vacation.. P.s. Buddy the dog is a bonus..
My Husband and I visited in July. Had an amazing time!! Great fishing and so beautiful. Hosts were friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend taking a trip to Bears Den for great atmosphere and great fishing!
A beautiful stay at this lodge. Highly recommended for a clean, relaxing,lovely little spot. The fishing is great. I love this place! Thanks to the staff there. We will be back when those piles are larger!
I just want to thank Art and Brenda for their hospitality during our three day fishing trip. The food was awesome along with our cabin. You can tell they take pride in lodge and service. We caught more fish than we anticipated for being our first trip to the lower French river. Looking forward to another trip 2020
Spent a week at BDL with my son and 2 of our best friends. Having stayed in the area before and previously been provided with a tour of the lodge by Owner Brenda Barefoot, I was excited at the prospect of spending the week there. No disappointments!! The area is a fishing mecca and we caught lots of big Smallmouth bass, Northern Pike and Walleye during our stay with many fish caught on the live bait that is provided daily by BDL. Had one Muskie on that threw the hook and raised 2 others during the trip as well. Exciting!. BDL provided box lunches for us each day and Brenda accommodated any special requests we had for them. Breakfast and dinner are served "family style" and the company of other guests at BDL makes for very enjoyable meals while meeting new friends and participating in lively, memorable conversations. Considering the location in the Canadian wilderness, the food is quite good and we never left the table hungry. Our accommodations were a 3 bedroom cabin with large deck that overlooked the bay that was impeccably clean upon arrival and then cleaned daily. Being environmentally conscious, they even had recycle bins which made me very happy. We only used the refrigerator in the kitchen area (no cooking since we are on vacation!) and the plumbing worked very well with all men having hot showers daily. A couple of table lamps in the main living area would be a nice addition as the overhead lights are a bit bright and stark at night time. Other than that the cabin was quite nice. I brought my personal boat and we rented a 2nd boat with trolling motor for the trip. While not the most comfortable boats (after all they are rentals) they served their purpose well. We did have a mechanical breakdown one morning, fortunately not too far from BDL, and had to tow the rental back to BDL. It was apparent by the faces of Brenda, Joe and Mike that they were truly sad that we had experienced this incident and they were quick to provide us a replacement boat. By the way, Brenda, Joe and Mike are very attentive, extremely hard workers and have a desire for everything to be right for their guests. A great staff makes any stay more enjoyable. All in all, we had a great time and highly recommend. Watch out for Mississauga Rattlers though!…
The hospitality here is amazing! Brenda, Art, and Joe made us feel very at home. Compliments to the chef, the food was 10/10 everyday. My family and I went out boating for the day and they packed us a cooler with lunch, drinks, and snacks. And it has such a great location! Can’t beat the French river!