NAME OF RIVER: Hindburn.

WHERE IS IT?: About 15 miles up the Lune Valley from the M6 near Lancaster. Try here for a map.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Start at the highest road access, near Lowgill village (SD 6504 6400), see map! Take-out is in the village of Wray (SD 6055 6746), or at a bridge half a mile above village.


TIME NEEDED: 2-3 hours.


WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I've paddled this in lowish levels, which was pleasant. However, apparently this river is best in spate. I don't know of any indicators other than looking at the amount of flow in Wray village.

GRADING: In low water, it was grade 3 BUT with one notable fall, grade 4. I understand that in high water many sections reach grade 4 and the big fall is grade 5.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There is a stepped 4-5 metre waterfall...see below. Trees in the river are not uncommon.

Jo Sayers (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)...'We ran the river on 9 Feb 2002 at low-medium levels. Due to the recent heavy rain and storms, there have been number of new landslides into the river with potential for more areas of the bank to collapse and trees to block the river. At higher water levels these trees could be a problem, particularly in the middle section before the main fall. There was one river wide strainer on a blind corner (after 2 bridges and the first house on the right bank). We had to portage about another 4 of these and managed to sneak past another 3, it was a rather tedious trip.'

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A good trip in low water, I understand it's storming in high water! Notable falls include a series of natural weir slides forming a long steep rapid with good play waves/ stoppers at the ends of the slides. The one to watch for is near the end of the trip; a stepped 4-5 metre waterfall at 623675 (OS map 97). The river bends right below a MUST get out above the bridge or you're probably committed to running the fall blind. In low water it was straight-forward but I'm told it's fearsome in high water..."it was okay, I just got looped a few times". Below the fall are some little drops which form play stoppers.

Mike Hayward (Dec 2003)...'The so-called class V fall on the Hindburn is formed by ledges in the river bank. It is always sensible to inspect as stopping after the footbridge 100m upstream is extremely difficult. The top fall is onto a bedding plane in the rocks and it would be impossible to backloop there as the water can not be deep enough. With any water at all you go so fast that you can not do much besides run it flat. I have run this drop at all levels, the higher the water, the more intimidating but I have never seen anyone ever capsize on the drop - so although it looks V paddling skills, probably III as long as you can point your boat straight down river.'

Nigel Crompton paddled the river recently (Dec '99)...'There are a great many trees in the river. Most have been in the river for some time and fetched up on the outside of bends. Apart from these it would be a good river for the not too experienced. Your memory of the waterfall drop is accurate. Pass the bridge and you're "doing" it. It was a funny water level yesterday, in that we couldn't see a clear, good route down. Insufficient to run it on the right as advised by the member of our group who'd done it before, but too much to run "hey-diddle-diddle" without a backloop on the first drop. Wouldn't want to run the second drop anything other than in a boat and upright. Second drop seen from the river is MUCH bigger than it seems from above. Any way we walked, crossed the fence by a fisherman's stile, lowered boats to a ledge 4' above river, tricky seal launch (balancing boat) then 50m downstream came across a ramp leading down to riverbank. Doh!'

Nigel adds (June 2000)...'As of 04/06/00 there is a river wide strainer formed by a newly fallen tree completely spanning the river 50m below the second road bridge at 614676. To avoid it eddy out river right _immediately_ after the bridge and portage.'

OTHER NOTES: Don't do this trip without also doing the nearby River Roeburn.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley, also Nigel Crompton, Mike Hayward and Jo Sayers.



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: RIVER HINDBURN -- Mark Dillon
2013 Dec 22 05:43:16 AM
Ran the river on Friday, still plenty of trees in the water so keep on your toes, however we didn't run the big falls as there is a tree bank to bank about 10m below it...mostly under the water but could be bad for a swimmer.
Re: RIVER HINDBURN -- Lancs_lad
2012 Nov 25 05:19:51 PM
Vid showing the falls in low levels (wouldnt paddle it this low again) - click click
Re: RIVER HINDBURN -- ollieboat
2010 Sep 23 02:01:30 PM
Ran this on Monday with a few padlers from Lancaster uni.

Still lots of tree hazards, but most can be seen coming up - the big tree after the main drop (mentioned in the link above) is now gone.

There is a major tree hazard not long after putting on - after passing under the first wooden foot bridge the river bends sharply to the left and the flow is blocked by a extremely large oak. Once you pass the footbridge hop out on either side and inspect. It's not visable until you round the corner and in medium-high flows this'll mean you're commited - not nice!

There were a few uprooted trees on various beaches which might be washed downstream at a later date, so be careful!

Ollie M
2009 Dec 06 03:15:23 PM
Couple of new hazards since the floods see rainchasers:

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