Kevin regularly writes for Explore Magazine and has won several National Magazine Awards. Despite Kevin’s busy life he still manages to find the time to discover new adventure, and his recent trip was definitely an adventurous one! Kevin paddled his canoe down the Thames River, totalling over 300km. Along the way he met some great people, visited a few local businesses, and stayed at some comfortable hotels! Follow him along while he journeyed down the Thames River and documented each day of his 8-day trip!
Day One: South Branch, Woodstock to Dorchester
Day one is paddling the South Branch, Woodstock to Dorchester. The south branch is a tranquil, twisting waterway alive with wildlife. It's an incredible paddle - and home of the Upper Thames Brewing Company.
Day Two: Dorchester to London
Day 2 Kevin paddled from Dorchester to the City of London. The gang at Thames River Paddling Routes joins Kevin and shares their volunteer work on mapping possible canoe routes - and water level issues - on the entire Thames. The Happy Camper stops by Toboggan Brewing Company and grabs himself a cold brew after a long day's journey. Kevin then portages up to his night two campsite, Idlewyld Inn, when in Rome... LOL
Day Three: London to Delaware
Day 3 takes The Happy Camper from London to Delaware, through Komoka Provincial Park; one of the prettiest sections of the Thames.
Day Four: Through the First Nations Reservations
The Happy Camper's day 4 on the river takes him through the First Nations reservations - joined by Clinton Sickles of the Oneida reserve. He also chats with turtle specialist Scott Gillingwater of the Upper Thames Conservation Authority. The day ends at Arrowwood Farm where Kevin pitches his tent in the field for the night.
Day Five: Camping at the Big Bend Conservation Area
The Happy Camper leaves the blueberry farm - after a breakfast of blueberry pancakes - and continues to paddle down the Thames River. Day 5 finds him camping at Big Bend Conservation Area - and learning a little bit about the rich history of the Thames River.
Day Six: Camping at Tecumseh Monument
The Happy Camper continues down the Thames River in southwestern Ontario, stopping by the last First Nations reservation on the river to chat with Bruce Stonefish. Kevin makes camp at the Tecumseh Monument.
Day Seven: Paddling Towards Chatham
The Happy Camper continues to head down the Thames River in southwestern Ontario towards Chatham. He's getting close to the end of his journey - and time to freshen up and book a "theme" hotel room at Retro Suites, and a pint at Sons of Kent Brewery. Never a dull moment on the Thames.
Day Eight: The Happy Camper Reaches the end of His Journey at Lake St. Clair
The Happy Camper finishes his 8 day paddle down the Thames River in southwestern Ontario at Lighthouse Cove on Lake St. Clair. A journey of over 320 km on a river full of history, culture and ecological diversity.
Did The Happy Camper's journey intrigue you enough to want to paddle the Thames River yourself? If you're a novice, or a veteran paddler, be sure to checkout our other blog post on paddling the Thames River.