Sharon Creek Conservation Area (click link here) popped up on my radar while searching for some close to home day paddle destinations. It’s the home of the London Canoe Club and is frequented by people in the London / St. Thomas area. I decided to make the drive there, just over an hour, to check it out and do some fishing with my son. We got there early and were the first vehicle in the lot. There is no dock to launch from, just carry your gear from the parking lot down to the “beach” and put in.
We set off in a counter-clockwise loop, stopping in a few places to try our luck fishing. There is a lot of clay in the soil here and it made for muddy water. We had a few bites but in the end didn’t catch any fish. Paddling around the reservoir is nice and relaxing, the water is calm as the surrounding trees keep the wind on the lake down. We spotted a number of fish jumping and even a turtle in one of the feeder streams. When we got back to the launch area the parking lot was nearly full and lots of people were getting their kayaks and SUP’s in the water. We sat on the hill and ate our lunch, watching everyone launch their boats, before packing up and taking the scenic way home.
One sad thing I did notice while there was the amount of garbage strewn about the shore everywhere. Anytime we came close to a fishing hole, especially along highway #15 at the East end of the lake, there were styrofoam worm containers and fishing hook baggies with tangled wads of fishing line all over the place. Along the North West shore, near the hiking trails, the water was polluted by floating beer cans and bottles, empty water bottles, and lots of food wrappers. The lack of respect for nature that some people have is appalling. I don’t like to generalize but it seems the closer a conservation area is to a city, the more likely it is that it will be a dumping ground. End of rant.
All in all, it was a nice way to spend a few hours paddling around and trying to catch fish with no luck. Now that I’ve been, I don’t think I’ll make the hour+ drive to go there again, as I have much nicer areas to visit that are closer to home. If you are local to London / St. Thomas area it would be a great day paddle destination to spend a few hours.
Trip Rating 3/5
Suitability – Canoes, Kayaks, SUP’s
Launch – Sharon Creek Conservation Area beach, GPS co-ordinates 42.886007, -81.401481
Cost – free
Distance Paddled – 5.5km
Time – Approx 2.5 hours
The Good – Free and easy to access
The Bad – Muddy water made for tough fishing
The Ugly – Garbage tossed along the shore everywhere