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Cleaning up the Beaver River & Metcalf Rock (Posted On: Tuesday, May 08, 2007)

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Free Spirit Tours has been operating since 1998 offering innovative programming in outdoor pursuits. Whether your interest is on water or on land we have something for everyone.

All our programs take place in the picturesque Georgian Bay area surrounding Collingwood. We offer hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, caving and sea kayaking tours to all age groups. We also offer team building programs and retreats for corporate groups, clubs and schools as well as a Kids Camp.

Since all our programming takes place outdoors we start the season off by giving back to the environment in which we play in. There are 2 events that we host in the Spring that have become annual traditions. One is called “Clean & Climb” the other is “The Beaver River Clean-Up”.

The “Clean & Climb” event is always held on the weekend that follows the Victoria Day holiday weekend and this year will be the event’s 7th year running.

Free Spirit Tours encourages volunteers to come out and donate some of their time by helping to pick up some of the garbage that has accumulated in the Metcalfe Rock area. In return for a couple hours of work, rock climbing and caving opportunities are offered as a reward.

All are welcomed; young and old, climbers and hikers, environmentalists and naturalists and those who have never been to the area before. To add incentive to giving up part of your day – local sponsors, such as Red Devil Sports, Squire John’s, Skiis & Biikes and A&P pitch in with prizes as well.

Blue Mountain 4 Seasons, a local landscaping company, donates their trucks, wheelbarrows and other gear to help collect and dispose of the garbage. Last year they donated a full ton of wood chips to spread along the trail to help reduce the erosion that was occurring.

Then on the following weekend Free Spirit Tours will be hosting their 4th annual Beaver River Clean-UP on June 3. The volunteers meet in Heathcote at 9:30am and get outfitted with a life jacket and their choice of a canoe or a kayak. The group then loads into the Free Spirit van and is shuttled up to the Kimberley put in.

This event was originally started to clean up garbage at the boat put-ins however it has now expanded to clear dams that had been created by fallen trees. Each year is different because there have been storms and floods that make for more work. So what started as a project to clear a few dams has now grown into an event that requires a good number of volunteers to haul and carry out large sections of trees.

Volunteers who come out to help should be prepared to get wet and dirty as this is all apart of the fun! At the end of the day we head back to Free Spirit Tours’ home base where there’s a barbeque and local sponsors give more prizes away.

We look forward to starting off the summer season with both events, as it’s always a positive experience for everyone who comes out.

For more info contact: Matt at 519-599-2268 or Jennie at 705–444-3622

If you are interested in any of our programs, take a look at our brochure.



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