(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.


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.

Trees on Black Brook



CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.



Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: BLACK BROOK (Princetown to West Dart Confluence) -- jmmoxon
2012 Jun 11 10:01:14 PM

Re: BLACK BROOK (Princetown to West Dart Confluence) -- hardy
2012 Jun 11 09:35:42 PM
A few of us did it in error recently.We limbo'd under the two fences,just,and the footbridge.I can't say it was white water (3rd arch at NB),but walking thru the patchy fog,high on the moor,late in the day;Quietly getting on a fast lonely stretch of water,just the sound of water rushing under the boat,an occasional lamb bleating as it ran up the bank,whoosh of a startled duck or two,hawks hovvering,cows chewing as they watched us go by;Onto the West Dart and the little rapids there,ducking the green tree branches,patchy sunlight filtering through as we dropped down the valley;Steepening,flowing faster,boofing holes and playing waves;We saw no other people at all,and barely spoke to each other.Warm evening sun as we got out at Dartmeet to an empty carpark.The only drawback was that i drew the shortstraw and had to run back to the car.Happily,a local farming couple pulled over and took me right to it.

Great.Be a shame if it got spoilt,but it is a lovelly run.
Re: BLACK BROOK (Princetown to West Dart Confluence) -- Mark R
2012 Jun 11 06:07:46 PM
There is plenty of whitewater, Simon - I recommend re-familiarising yourself with it soon when levels are appropriately high, you'll love it.
Re: BLACK BROOK (Princetown to West Dart Confluence) -- Simon Westgarth
2012 Jun 10 07:42:38 AM
"jmmoxon" wrote:
A cracking extension to a West Dart trip.

From what I recall, there is little white water and several fences to portage, what makes it a cracking run? I prefer the get in 400m down river form Two Bridges.

Note also it's an important slalom spawning ground, October through February, which the EA have asked us to avoid.
Re: BLACK BROOK (Princetown to West Dart Confluence) -- jmmoxon
2012 Jun 10 07:21:50 AM
Get on below the road bridge as there is a fence on upstream side. After next stone bridge is another fence that may be possible to duck under (depending on level), shortly after is a wooden footbridge with another fence downstream that has a hole on river right that is just paddler sized (otherwise it reaches the water). A cracking extension to a West Dart trip.

Login to reply