Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Inland paddling
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Ulsterman81
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:42 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by Ulsterman81 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:28 pm

Hi all.

I'm very new to kayaking but I've already enjoyed a few outings on the River Stour in Suffolk and some paddling off the Essex coast after purchasing an Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 while visiting family over there.

Now I've returned home to Northern Ireland and I want to continue exploring the many rivers here. While www.canoeni.com offers some information on a few canoe trails on larger rivers and lakes, it offers no information on smaller rivers which I'm feeling a real need to explore. I've been unable to find any information on here re Northern Ireland's waterways while there is much with regard to the rest of the UK. Are there any NI contributors to this forum? If so, have any of you attempted paddling the Foyle, Strule or Colebrooke Rivers for example? To what extent are such rivers navigable using a sit on kayak?

Any help, information or advice would be appreciated.

Mal Grey
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:55 am
Location: Surrey, UK

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by Mal Grey » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:22 pm

If you get little joy on here, there is a bit more of a Northern Ireland contingent over on Song of the Paddle, and they won't mind that you're not paddling an open canoe.

The community over there is small but thriving, and I went to the Ulster Canoe Festival last weekend, my first visit over there. This was based on the Lower Bann, I also paddled briefly on the 6-Mile Water. The main thing to be concerned about over there is weirs, they seem to be a regular feature of the rivers, and form most of the interest, and the danger.

Also look on Paddle Points for ideas: http://www.paddlepoints.net/paddlepoint ... ion=sussex Its not extensive yet, but growing as people add stuff.

spynappels
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Newry, Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by spynappels » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:29 am

I'm based on the other end of Northern Ireland, (Newry, South East coast) so I can't help with specifics on the rivers you speak of. I would however echo Mal and suggest going to Song of the Paddle where there are a few more locals floating about and they're a friendly bunch. They've not kicked me out even though I kayak rather than canoe!

I think Mal is right, that weirs are something to be aware of, that and the fact that many of our rivers are small and narrow. Your Ocean Kayak Scrambler will help you there, at 11ft it's able to manoeuvre more easily, even on a narrow stretch of water.

There was a blogg on SOTP last night about someone paddling the Blackwater on an inflatable, I know it's further from you but a lovely river for a first outing.

Enjoy the paddling, we have some awesome stretches of water here too.

Ulsterman81
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:42 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by Ulsterman81 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:20 pm

Mal Grey wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:22 pm
If you get little joy on here, there is a bit more of a Northern Ireland contingent over on Song of the Paddle, and they won't mind that you're not paddling an open canoe.

The community over there is small but thriving, and I went to the Ulster Canoe Festival last weekend, my first visit over there. This was based on the Lower Bann, I also paddled briefly on the 6-Mile Water. The main thing to be concerned about over there is weirs, they seem to be a regular feature of the rivers, and form most of the interest, and the danger.

Also look on Paddle Points for ideas: http://www.paddlepoints.net/paddlepoint ... ion=sussex Its not extensive yet, but growing as people add stuff.
Thanks Mal. I'll check out Song of the Paddle. Paddle Points looks like a great site which I will add to myself.

Ulsterman81
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:42 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by Ulsterman81 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:28 pm

spynappels wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:29 am
I'm based on the other end of Northern Ireland, (Newry, South East coast) so I can't help with specifics on the rivers you speak of. I would however echo Mal and suggest going to Song of the Paddle where there are a few more locals floating about and they're a friendly bunch. They've not kicked me out even though I kayak rather than canoe!

I think Mal is right, that weirs are something to be aware of, that and the fact that many of our rivers are small and narrow. Your Ocean Kayak Scrambler will help you there, at 11ft it's able to manoeuvre more easily, even on a narrow stretch of water.

There was a blogg on SOTP last night about someone paddling the Blackwater on an inflatable, I know it's further from you but a lovely river for a first outing.

Enjoy the paddling, we have some awesome stretches of water here too.
Thanks Spynappels. I've been aware of the Blackwater Trail for a while but I haven't tried it yet. I have heard it's a little challenging between Benburb and Moy put plain sailing after that. I have an errand to run in Offaly at the weekend so I'm considering the River Inny from Finnea for my first solo river run. Any experience of it?

spynappels
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Newry, Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by spynappels » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:43 am

I have no experience of it, but I would preach a little caution to be honest, try and get a look at the river, including any weirs, before getting on the water, and make sure there are egress options before each hazard, whether you think you are capable of running it or not.

Above all, enjoy the paddling, and don't push yourself outside of your comfort zone at first. Play it safe, get some miles under your belt and enjoy the progression.

Ulsterman81
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:42 pm
Location: Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by Ulsterman81 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:12 pm

Thanks for the word of caution. I checked out Paddle Points and got a nice calm day on the river yesterday. Finnea to near Coole with just one weir to portage and only swans and herons for company. I'd highly recommend it.

spynappels
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Newry, Northern Ireland

Re: Inland Paddling in Northern Ireland

Post by spynappels » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:43 pm

Awesome! I've been laid up in bed with a viral infection and it's pretty certain I'm going to miss the day paddling I'd planned for Tuesday, so I'm very jealous indeed.

Swans and herons sound like the best kind of company to be honest anyway, and any time spent on the water beats any time spent elsewhere, so by my reckoning you're a winner.

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