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 read the recap of this sold-out event!

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)

Click here to read the recap of this sold-out event!

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: Greenway Park (399 Wonderland Rd S)

Click here to read the recap of this event!

Want to know what's in the water? Learn to fish from experienced anglers, 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! Please note: participants must be 10 years of age or older, and participants under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult. 


 

Nature's Fare: Edible Plants Tour 

When: Saturday, July 20 at 9:00am (rain date June 21 at 9:00am)

Where: Dan Pulham Field (815 Windermere Rd, London)

Click here to read the recap of this sold-out event!

The native flora and fauna along the Thames River have sustained local inhabitants since time immemorial. You will be surprised at the variety different edible plants growing all around us. Join us as we learn about the basics of identifying edible plants along the Thames River. This plant tour will be led by Andrew Judge, professor and coordinator of Indigenous studies at Conestoga College, and Katherine Puzara from Growing Chefs! Andrew will focus on plant identification, how we can respect the natural ecosystem of the Thames River, and the cultural and historic contexts of these plant species. Katherine will focus on the many different culinary ways that these plants can be used in, share some great recipe ideas you can try, and even bring a homemade snack for us to sample. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an expert, share this event with your friends! Please note: participants must be 10 years of age or older, and participants under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult. 


 

Lake Erie: Try An Open Water Swim

When: Saturday, August 3 at 11:00am

Where: Port Stanley, Main Beach

Click here to read the recap of this event!

Want to expand your swim experience to outside of the pool? Join us for this unique opportunity to try the sport of open water swimming on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie. Ask anyone who has ever spent a day at the Main Beach in Port Stanley, and they will tell you – this is a World Class Beach! You will receive a tutorial on open water swimming by experienced open water swimmer, coach and race coordinator Josh Reid, and special guests. After the tutorial you will get to swim a 400m course. The swim will occur in a safe and controlled area with safety crew on duty. Please note: you must already be a decent swimmer to participate in this event, and we encourage parents to accompany participants younger than 18 years of age. This is a beginner event, so if you are already an experienced open water swimmer, share this event with your friends, and register for one of the longer courses. 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: