WHERE IS IT?: Peak District, a small spate river flowing into the East end of Woodhead Reservoir, running west alongside the A628. Easily accessible from Manchester.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There is easy access from the A628 at the road bridge at Salters Brook (SE137002, Multimap). Park in a layby just before the bridge. It looks as though there is some good paddling if you walk up stream from here, but be wary of fences across the river.

Take out above a 6 foot weir a little way above Woodhead reservoir. There is a small road leading down to a good parking spot here just off the A628.


TIME NEEDED: Not long, once on the river theres no hanging about, about 30mins.

ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown. It only runs when very wet, the likelihood of anyone being around anyway is slim.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It needs to have been raining for a few days and still be raining as you put on. If the tributaries flowing off the hills to the South are looking full thats a good sign. There is a (broken) gauge at the weir at the take out, we got on when it read approximately 4, by the time we got off it read just under 7 this was a good level.

GRADING: Continuous 3/4. The continuous nature of the river makes it more demanding than the grade would suggest. Not a river to take a swim on.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The weir at the take out appears to have various bits of debris in it but can be shot river right. A little way below this there is a very low road bridge make sure you get out above this.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river starts as a narrow fast stream of no more than grade 3 and swiftly picks up in volume and intensity as a number of tributaries join on the river left. The middle section is steep and fast with some tight turns. Eddies are few and rarely big enough for more than one boat. At the weir take out River left and follow the footpath along the river and over the bridge to the parking spot. The Black Clough which enters river left a little way above the get out is accessible by footpath and looks as if it will provide similar spate entertainment.

OTHER NOTES: A great little run just outside of Manchester, perfect for those wet afternoons when you can get off work early. If the Etherow is at a good level and you fancy something thats more of a challenge then it may also be worth taking a look at Hayden Brook which flows into Woodhead Reservoir from the North.

Pictures of the Etherow

CONTRIBUTED BY: David Fairweather