GUIDE TO HEBDEN WATER
NAME OF RIVER: Hebden Water.
Put-in...Blake Dean SD 958 313 or From the footpath halfway between Blake dean and Hebden Hey Scout Hostel.
Take out 1...Hardcastle craggs car park.
Take out 2...Hebden Bridge SD 992 272.
APPROX LENGTH: 7 km.
TIME NEEDED: 90 mins - 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: No current known access problems, Put in is a public path on open moorland, Take out is a public car park.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs heavy prolonged rain in the area, probably best paddled when still raining.
Indicator...bottom car park on Bridge gate; look at the river, on the opposite bank a pipe comes out of the riverbank wall. If the water is less than 4 inches below the pipe then it will run. Pipe covered - ace!
There's an online EA gauge at Nutclough. Does anyone have any calibrations for this?
GRADING: Generally grade III plus weir
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: 2nd weir after the middle egress has a strong towback. Fallen trees a regular issue. Stepping stones a hazard in low water.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A lovely rural wooded valley with continuous gradient and regular rapids. Boulder formed rapids no harder than grade III, all read and run. Probably the best local run of its kind in West Yorkshire. It does however need the level to be up. The start is on open moorland and we hear has been paddled as high as Widop reservoir.
Quickly you enter a picturesque wooded valley and the theme remains rural all the way into the town centre. The second half eases in gradient and grade.
From open moorland quickly into woodland several drops of grade III
Footbridge and easy angled weir. followed by more grade III and two more easy gradient weirs to an old mill and bridge. Just after the bridge beware the stepping stones!
Grade III through the woods, easy angled weirs and stepping stones to take out #1. Hardcastle Crags National Trust car park.
Easy weir followed by a harder one which is in open fields not woods, can be seen from the access road? We portaged this recently, the towback looked ugly!
Easy rural section then towards town centre.
Into the town centre two more weirs, first easy angled and leads into a short tunnel, second is diagonal from right to left and can be shot most areas. Short paddle to take out, use the eddy after the main bridge or you'll end up in the Calder!
OTHER NOTES: It took us ages to get the water level right for this one, but it was well well worth the wait. See also 'White Water Lake District' pg 321.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Craven, Paul 'Heffy' Heffernan. Nov 2005.