GUIDE TO THE RIVER DOCHART
(Falls of Dochart)
NAME OF RIVER: Dochart.
WHERE IS IT?: Killin, on the A 827 at the West end of Loch Tay.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at the top of the falls, at the edge of the village (NN 57045 32332). There is usually space to park a couple of cars here and small paths lead down to the river. Take out where the river starts to flatten out, just before the second bridge, river right (NN 57418 32713). Walk back to the top and do it again!
APPROX LENGTH: 0.5 km
TIME NEEDED: 30 minutes or more - depends how many laps you want to do.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown. If you walk up the clan burial island you can get a key from somewhere in the village to save climbing the gate/wall. Or walk up the track on the right bank.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: You can judge for yourself when you get there, or there is a gauge here: canoescotland.org/where-go/wheres-water
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: It can all be inspected from the road, or by climbing over the bridge parapet. The nastiest bit is the stopper under the bridge.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A technical rapid leads down to a slide beside some low hanging trees - in low water there is a nice line under the trees!
The slide beside the trees. Paddler: Jon Harwell, Photo: Andre Phillips.
A bit of easier water lets you line yourself up for the crux under the bridge. The hole here can be pretty sticky and the cliff is undercut on the right, so left left left.
Lead in to the crux. Paddler: Andre Phillips, Photo: Kirsten Rendle.
The big hole under the bridge, probably the most successful line of the day. Paddler: Andre Phillips, Photo: Kirsten Rendle.
There is a pool below the bridge to gather pieces if you're quick. Below here, the river runs over several rocky ledges, one of which has a big hole on the right.
Below the bridge. Paddlers: Sam Faithfull and Andre Phillips, Photo: Kirsten Rendle.
Take out somewhere on the right bank before the second bridge and scramble up to the track. The walk up along the island is a bit easier but the gate is usually locked and climbing the wall/gate is maybe a bit sketch?
OTHER NOTES: Remember to wave to the tourists!
The river upstream of here from Crianlarich to above the falls is a good open boat trip with one section of grade 3 around Lix Toll.
See also Paul Cromey's article on paddling the Dochart and Tay.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Dave Bradshaw, Manchester CC and Jim Wallis.
EUCC doing it at a great level.
These images give you a good idea of the variation in levels.
The river above is a lovely 2+ trip! perfect for anyone preparing for 4* open canoe with open water, simple sections, rock gardens and a couple of bigger drops.
Lix toll rapid, 1 mile upstream of Killin can become a beast, with a meaty stopper to start, but a couple of oeachy waves at mid levels.