GUIDE TO BLACK BROOK
(Princetown to West Dart Confluence)
NAME OF RIVER: Black Brook.
WHERE IS IT?: Princetown, Dartmoor.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at the Oakery Bridge just outside Princetown SX 5950 7419, within sight of Dartmoor Prison.
This flows into the West Dart SX 6179 7413, making for a great long trip. It is possible to paddle right through the West Dart and down the Upper Dart and beyond...but when Black Brook is running, the Upper Dart will be massive and scary.
APPROX LENGTH: 3 km.
TIME NEEDED: 1 hour max.
ACCESS HASSLES: Middle of nowhere.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It needs to be bank full at Princetown with all boulders well covered.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: A narrow beck with bushes and a couple of wire fences.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: If this is running, it's a big day on Dartmoor. Launch at the bridge in Princetown (note the wire fence under the bridge) and off you go, a continuous boulder dodge down to the West Dart. It flattens off towards the end.
Note that there are at least three fences and a low bridge to negotiate. We only had to make one portage, but be careful.
The West Dart comes next, and will be excellent big Grade 3-4 at these levels.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.