Explore the Thames! Event Series

Come explore the Thames River and Lake Erie with us this summer! Join us for one, or several, of these fun filled events for beginners.

Getting out and enjoying the Thames River can be intimidating, especially if you don't know where to access the river, what to do or what special things to look for. That's why we're hosting five beginner-friendly events that will have you exploring our local gems. Because we want everyone to be able to enjoy and appreciate the amazing river that runs through London! These events are geared towards absolute beginners...so if you're already an expert, please share with friends and family, and get them hooked as well!


Eagle-Eyed! Learn to Spot Riverside Birds

When: Saturday, June 1, 9am-11:30am (rain date June 2 at 9am)

Where: Komoka Provincial Park (503 Gideon Drive, London)

Click here to register

Did you know that London is home to many species of waterfowl, song birds, and birds of prey? Join us for a beginner birding walk along the Thames River and learn the basics of birding with the charismatic Gregor Beck, Senior Conservation Advisor at Bird Studies Canada. He will also point out any interesting reptiles we happen across on the trail. Park Warden Alana Durr will also be joining us to answer any questions you may have about the park or the Thames River. The event will take place on June 1st to allow us to see late migrants that might still be passing through the area as well as hear the songs of the local breeding birds. Bring your binoculars if you have them! We will also have extras that you can borrow at the event. Thank you to Bird Studies Canada for being our amazing co-hosts. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends!


Paddling with Pros: Canoeing on the Thames

When: Sat., June 8 at 9:15am-2:30pm (rain date June 9 at 9:15am)

Where: Riverside Drive Boat Launch (South of Riverside Dr & Wonderland Rd intersection, also called Springbank Boat Launch)

This event is full! Click here for the waiting list

The Thames River is a sanctuary that runs right through our city, but many of us have never experienced the city from the river's waters. Join us for a guided canoe paddle, lead by expert canoe guides Don Barrie and Rose Sirois. River ecologist Dr. Adam Yates of Western University will also join us, and will highlight important river features and water quality issues. At the end of the day, participants will learn as much about river health and conservation as how to wield a paddle! Be ready to spot some interesting wildlife in and around the water. Participants must be older than 12, and those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Canoes and all safety equipment will be provided. A big thank you to the London Paddle Shop, Nova Craft CanoeThames River Paddling Routes, and Grand River Rafting. Awesome community partners like you make these events possible. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends!


Tackling First Time Fishing

When: Friday, July 12 at 12:30pm

Where: Fanshawe Conservation Area (downstream of the dam)

Click here to register

Want to know what's in the water? Learn to fish from experienced angers, right here on the Thames River. For this event we are partnering with Learn To Fish to provide you with all the equipment and skills you will need. Dr. Tim Hain from Western University will also be joining us to talk about various fish species, habitats, and river health. This event will focus on the basics of fishing as well as the river itself. From setting up and baiting your fishing rod to proper casting techniques, we will be sure to cover everything you need to know to get started! Fishing licence for the day is also provided! A big thank you to Learn to Fish and Angling Sports for all of your help with this event. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends!


Nature's Fare: Edible and Medicinal Plants Tour 

When: TBD

Where TBD

Click here to be notified when registration opens

The native flora and fauna around the Thames River have sustained local inhabitants since time immemorial! You would be surprised at all the different edible plants growing all around us. Join us as we forage for and identify edible and medicinal plants along the Thames River. We will even share some great recipe ideas for your harvest! This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends!


Lake Erie Wild Water Swim

When: Saturday, August 3 at 8:00am

Where: Port Stanley, Main Beach

Click here to be notified when registration opens

Want to expand your swimming experience to outside of the swimming pool? Join us for this unique opportunity to swim wild on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie, on the Blue Flag designated Main Beach. Swimming in the open waters of a lake is a thrilling and freeing experience. At this event, you can swim wild on either the 1km, 3km, or 5 km courses, all the while knowing that you are in a safe and controlled area with safety crew on duty. Swim instructor Josh Reid and guest instructors will be on site to help out and give pointers. Participants must be 13 and older, and those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. This event will take place before the Mighty Minnows and learn to open water swim events. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends! Thank you to our co-hosts South West Ontario Open Water Swim and Point 2 Point OWS Events.


Explore the Thames is made possible thanks to the support of: