View topic - Upper Thames Access at St Marys.

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2009, 8:45 pm 
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Joined: May 29th, 2006, 10:14 am
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Location: Guelph
Hello all,

Am looking to do the Upper Thames from St Mary's to Thorndale tomorrow. UTRCA map talks about access at Blue Heron Drive and Thomas street. The former does not appear on Google maps, the latter runs along the river for a good ways with no clear put in point.

Tried search the routes and forums. No luck.

Can anyone offer insight into the parking and put-ins for St Mary's?

Thanks,

J

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2009, 9:04 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
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Location: Milton
Lots of free parking in downtown ST. Mary's
Above the Dam in the ball park area. east side
It is a public lot in behind the buildings at Water and Queen,You can carry around and put in on the north west side below the dam.
Or you can go down and Park at the overflow lot for the
Baseaball hall of fame (diamond entrance) on water street just south of the quarry swim area or parking at the Tennis courts at the swim area (I think their town) or or at water and Maria.
Jeff
(and how would I know... my son played for the PBLO ball team there for 2 years and I was there for almost every weekend spring and fall, filled my time hiking, checking out the town and Pic taking..)
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/3424826
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/3424777

Edit PS: The ice cream place at John and Queen is Awsome and well worth the stop on the way home!

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PostPosted: April 26th, 2009, 3:37 pm 
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Location: Brampton
You know, Jeddi Jeffi, you have hit the nail on the head for places to park. In fact, all of them. I am from St. Marys, grew up there and know all the hidden gems.

Great canoe route you have planned, and lots of herons to see. Still a little early for fishing, but they are there.

Don't give away our secret on the ice cream, you will have flocks of people rushing to town and there won't be any left!

Don't forget the leisurely paddling available above the dam downtown which takes you north of town on the scenic route. But then again, all routes north or south are scenic 8)

Good Luck.

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PostPosted: April 26th, 2009, 6:25 pm 
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Joined: July 12th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Bigwood, Ontario
hey Palomar........how was the run?
I'm heading down that way on Wednesday to run the Thames.
I've never run that section, do you recomend the St. Mary's section? Where did you take out? How long did it take?
Thanks


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PostPosted: April 26th, 2009, 8:55 pm 
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Location: London, Ontario Canada
I ran that a week or two ago. Dropped in at River Valley golf course right at the bridge, and took out at the Thorndale bridge. Took two or three hours, saw some nice wildlife. A fox, beaver, osprey and lots of other waterfowl.

Tried to run from Thorndale south to Fanshawe Lake on Sat, the water was a little low in some places and it got cut short by the storm.

Hope you enjoyed it.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 7:49 am 
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Do they still run the Bunny Bundle canoe race there from St. Marys down to Fanshaw? I participated back in 1971 - good memories.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2009, 11:27 pm 
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Joined: May 29th, 2006, 10:14 am
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Location: Guelph
Hello all,

A successful trip.

Put in at the tennis courts in St Mary's. Not great access there (you kind of half to bushwack along the shore) but manageable (100m portage maybe?). Certainly lots of room to unload the canoe. Found a massive cactus growing in an embankment. At least a meter across. Seriously. An unexpected hazard for my sandalled feet, usually I'm stepping around broken Coors Light bottles.

Wanted to be well below the damn as much of the river through the stone town of St Marys seems to be a rock garden. Go figure. The river moving fast enough to be unforgiving. 50 cms according to UTRCA. Lots of splashing through standing waves. 30 cm easily, a few approaching 50. Was soaked with an 1/2 inch of water in the boat in less than 5 minutes.

Once below the aqueduct-esque structure serving the quarry the river grew fat, we slid along at an effortless 10 km/h, as much as 12 through the swifts. Like the posters above, saw lots of heron, what I think was an osprey, a raccoon, and a swimming rodent that could have been an undersized beaver, oversized muskrat, or an ambitious opossum.

Below highway 7 the river was featureless. My canoe and I could get used to not hitting rocks every 100 meters. Quite the luxury on a river south of Barrie.

Pulled out at the Thorndale bridge after 2 1/2 hours, with a break. Saw no other paddlers, one fishing boat that had launched from one of the luxury homes along the west bank. Friendly folk.

Would recommend the St Marys section for anyone with a plastic boat, an enthusiasm for mildly technical paddling, and a willingness to leave paint streaks to follow back to the car. Those looking to float would do better to put in on the north east side of the hwy 7 bridge. From there it's one to two hours to Thorndale and the takeout on the bank southeast of the bridge where there is a trail leading up to a few parking spaces--expect some of those to be taken by Fanshawe CA trail riders. There's also a parking lot a little farther south, it's on google maps (east side of river) but I did not check it out.

Thanks for the tips above. Didn't have time for ice cream. Next trip.

J

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PostPosted: June 3rd, 2020, 6:51 pm 
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Location: Stratford, Ontario, Canada
I know I'm replying to a very old thread but I'm curious as to whether it has to be a one-way trip from St. Marys, or can you paddle back up to the car?

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PostPosted: June 4th, 2020, 6:15 am 
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water levels can be tricky in that section.

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PostPosted: June 5th, 2020, 12:07 pm 
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Joined: June 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm
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Location: Milton
I would advise against trying to come back upstream, (you won't be able to get your paddle in the water) mostly just shallow class I's but with the very low levels right now even going downstream will be tough through the shallows.
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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