GUIDE TO THE FOWEY RIVER
(Two Waters Foot to Bodmin Parkway Station)
NAME OF RIVER: Fowey.
WHERE IS IT?: South east Cornwall. River Fowey, Approx. 4 miles west of Liskeard, 1 mile west of Trago Mills! The river follows the A38 towards Bodmin.
Here is a map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put-in at The Halfway House Pub near Two Waters Foot. OS Landranger 201. Park in the pub car park. Use overflow car park if possible. Use the steps, which are signposted BCU access etc. right hand bank, right outside pub front.
Take out is at Bodmin Parkway train station. Turn into station road off A38 and park by the British Rail gate just before the railway bridge. There is room for 2-3 cars at a push.
APPROX LENGTH: Approx. 2 1/2 miles
TIME NEEDED: You can blast it in 30 minutes but with Playing 2 hours
ACCESS HASSLES: This area is very popular for the fisherman in season.
I have only ever met one person on the bank and she waved and said hello whilst walking her dog.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There is a gauge half way down the river which is easy to look at from the road before getting on. On the A38 there is a small crossroads by a creamy/ orange painted cottage. One way is Lostwithiel the other is signposted Cardinham. Take the Cardinham turning and the gauge is on river right just below the bridge. Top red line is 3 ft and bottom is 2.5ft. Below 2.5 is a scrape and not worth it really.
At higher levels the smaller weirs get washed out but the larger of the drops get better.
GRADING: Mostly grade 1 with some great grade 2 drops and small rapids. Dont be gutted by how flat this river is. For Cornwall it has two great playspots.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: All of the weirs/ drops are pretty easy and can be read from your boat. There are two large trees on the river though (winter 05/06). The first being only 300 metres from the start which is passable on river right. The second is half way down the river after a big right hand bend. It can be passed underneath on the left hand side in low water. In high water, paddle over it on river right.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river is quite small and is suitable for small groups of four or five at the most.
From the get in the river is flat for approx 500 metres and winds its way into the woods of the Glynn Valley.
After a small broken weir/drop, The river flattens out again with various fishing walls and well placed boulders creating some good eddylines for squirting and beginners to moving water.
After a small tributary from the right, the river bends left by a large house and another drop produces a great hole for playing in. Nice and deep with two good eddies. The higher the level, the better the hole.
Following on from this the river has a couple of small grade 2 rapids which flow down under a small stone bridge that can easily be flushed out depending on the level.
The next point of interest on the river is the second play wave. A lot smaller and friendlier than the top one but also gets better the higher the river is. After a small metal footbridge the river continues with small grade 2 rapids. There are not many eddies on this river apart from the odd fishing wall. But at the grade they are not really needed. After a while you reach the gauge bridge. Gauge on river right, after bridge. If you are on the river just for the play waves then this is a good point to get off. Egress river left after the bridge. You can park about 100 metres from the bridge by the forestry commission gate. Room for 4 or five cars either side of gate.
If you decide to carry on the river quietly winds away from the road and then back towards it with mostly flat moving water and the odd grade 2 bimble.
The only other significant drop is not far from the end. A rocky route on river left or a small slot like drop next to the right bank. The choice is yours. You will then come across the main A38 road bridge with a small weir underneath the bridge which creates a fun surf wave and nice stopper in higher levels. Get out river left straight after the bridge in a nice big eddy. You can follow a fishermans track up to the gate. Get out is possible below this but you will have to get up the steep bank and walk through the woods and brambles etc. I think this is British Rail land so be careful, discreet etc.
OTHER NOTES: Anyone done the river Fowey between the Golitha falls section and this? Should be a slightly steeper version of this I guess.
If this section is running at 3ft then the Camel is definitely worth a look for another quick river.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Dan King and Simon Medlyn.
Hope this helps anyone looking at paddling the river.
"theclimberguy" wrote:I'm looking at doing this trip in open boats fairly soon, but also continuing on down past Lostwithiel. What is the river like below Bodmin? Any hazards, access issues etc. Is the river big enough for open boats? Hoping to do this trip at the beginning of December.
Have you done this stretch yet in open boats? If so, what were the river conditions like?
i am looking at paddling this stretch with a couple of friends from uni, i read a few weeks back that some oaf had put barbed wire across the stream at some point but cant find the post. is this true and if so how far down and on river left or right?
anything i need to be aware of majorly that isnt on the guide?
cheers guys much appreciated in advance :)