Upper Thames River

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Additional Route Information
22 km
1 days
Loop Trip: 
Difficulty Ratings
River Travel: 
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Background Trip Info
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Route Description
Technical Guide: 

Start at the small village of Innerkip. Paddle SW to Woodstock. Once you reach Woodstock, you will find yourself at Gordon Pittock Reservior. This is a large man-made reservoir (6 km long). Paddle SW to the dam. Portage around the dam and back into the river (approx 100m). Paddle SW for as long as you wish. I have paddled the section from Innerkip to Centerville, but you could go further.
This could be made into a "loop" easily enough, since you can easily paddle against the current in almost all places.

Water levels below Innerkip are fairly low until you get close to Pittock Reservoir. It may be best to start at Pittock, then you can paddle either upstream (towards Innerkip) or downstream (towards Centerville).

Downstream from the Pittock dam to Centerville, you will encounter many log jams, shallow water and other obstructions. This area also passes through the industrial part of town, so it is not the most scenic (in fact it is downright ugly in places, especially near the Beachville Lime quarries.) Be prepared to wade a lot!

Maps Required
Topo Maps (1:50,000): 
40 P/2 Woodstock
Special Comments: 

Bring your own water!

The section just upstream of Pittock Reservoir is very interesting. You will most likely see Great Blue Herrons, turtles and other interesting things in this swampy, slow moving area.

Number of portages depends on conditions: there may be many obstructions to the river not noted here.

Darren Cope


Post date: Mon, 03/24/2008 - 09:48


I canoed from Pittock lake in Woodstock to London and found that there was only a few areas that was low. there were a few trees across the river in the flat near beachville and around the old mill as you enter beachville but other then that I had to walk my canoe in areas getting near Dorchester and as you enter it. After that it was clear sailing, Lots of muskrats, blue herons and ducks, I saw a few deer and a couple of eagles. One good rapid east of the Beachville Museum bridge. Thought it was pleasurable.

Post date: Sat, 10/11/2008 - 09:20


We like to canoe/kayak from the carwash in St.Marys to the hwy.7 bridge.Best run in the spring.Easy paddle but fun for novices at the start.Keep an eye out for the bald eagle.Great after work trip.If you dog it,it can take 2 hours.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


In reality this section of The Thames is The South Thames River,not The Upper Thames.

Post date: Sat, 01/01/2000 - 07:00


June 26, 2004 - we put in at the John Larson Park in Ingersoll. We portaged the canoe about 200 yards from the parking lot. Paddled from there to Dorchester in 5 hours under windy conditions. We saw many herons, cedar waxwings, american goldfinches and waterfowl. There was sufficient water but we did encounter some low spots where we had to pull the canoe through. The river varied in width and bank height, lined with ancient black willows. We would recommend this as a long fun paddle.