Three and a Half Bridges

Three and a Half Bridges

Doug Smith  March 27, 2020 at 4:40 pm

In the right conditions paddling on the Thompson Rivers is great in March.   On this mid-March day, there was no wind and blue skies.   I paddled west from Pioneer Park, going under the Red Bridge, then the Black (CN) Bridge before passing through the Confluence.   The river is quite low at this time of year and there are gravel bars in the confluence area.   Much of the area is shallow because of silts deposited by the two rivers as they collide and merge.

Overlander Bridge is the third one on the downriver route.   The half bridge is seen to the west, with 3 pillars still standing in the river.

The section down to Rabbit Island is relatively calm.   Mara Mountain above cottonwoods reflected in the river as I approached McArthur Island.

I paddled down the north side of Rabbit Island to inspect the narrow channel.  At its narrowest spot it is only about 8m across and only mid-calf deep.   I was planning on wading over to hike around the island in the next week.

The return route is more difficult, paddling upstream for about 4 km.   A rhythmic paddle stroke yields slow progress toward the confluence.

Old pilings in the river are easy to spot in low water.   These ones were west of Overlander Bridge.


With no wind, it is easy to see how shallow the Confluence is.   Mt. Peter and Mt. Pail stand above the meeting of the waters.

The sandy beach next to the boat launch in Pioneer Park makes a fine place to launch and land.

When there is more water in the rivers we can paddle around Rabbit Island, already planned for another day on the river later in spring.

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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

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