GUIDE TO THE RIVER LENY
(A84 layby to Lade Inn)
NAME OF RIVER: Leny.
WHERE IS IT?: Above Callander, Central Scotland, OS sheet 57. Map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The car park (lay by) 587095 on the main A84 road next to the river, Take out after the bridge next to the Lade Inn, a handy place for a pint, 609084.
APPROX LENGTH: 2 miles?
TIME NEEDED: Anything from 20 minutes (our record!!!!) to a few hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: I know of no problems.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The River has to LOOK high at the Falls of Leny to be good. When you look at the Falls of Leny, if the left hand side looks bony, the river is low. If there is plenty of water on the ramp on the way down the left, the river is good. If there is water lapping over the ledge at the top of the left hand side, the river is high, it is a storming run like this!
GRADING: 3+ (5).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The Falls of Leny.
Craig Henderson (November 2005)...'Yes! I ran (river left) the Falls of Leny after a full day of rain. It is worth noting that after the first drop into the big pool/ boily eddy you need to try and stay upright. I was far river left and got capsised at which point a hole was ripped in my deck and my front pocket (Nookie BA) was ripped off! I lost a sling/ krab and spare car keys but did manage to roll up and still have my face intact. Beware of very sharp rocks.'
Roland Bone adds (21/5/00)...'Slalom paddlers have made temporary installations of lines across the river in the lead in rapid to the falls. At present they are high and out of the way. But... They are not attended and have sagged into the water creating a potential drowning hazard. So if paddling in high water conditions check the run first. You'll have more fun being relaxed to play down the rapid without getting all hung-up. If there are lines sagging in the water feel free to remove them. Ideally there should be NO lines at all. Happy Boating.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Leny is not just a one rapid wonder, though it is memories of the Falls of Leny that will linger. The river starts wide and flat skimming stone heaven), and moves on through the grades until a long bouncy grade three above the Falls of Leny. In high water, this is an excellent stretch. Inspection of the Falls of Leny can be made by exiting just below the disused bridge stantions that you will pass in the above rapid. There are eddies on both sides, but if you want to run the left hand side of the Falls of Leny, inspect from the left bank. The Falls of Leny can be run left or right, though in high water the right becomes something of a challenge.... Below the Falls of Leny a final grade 3/4 (the S bend) is the last major rapid, there is a fun hole at the end. The Leny flows into the River Teith and you might consider a trip on this river.
OTHER NOTES: The Leny is only short, and does not have the classic day trips out like the River Roy and River Orchy, but in high water (which is not uncommon, as it is Loch fed) it is a great trip. It is hard to get bored of the Leny, and a run down the Falls of Leny in high water will long last in the mind.
Jim Wallis notes...'There are actually 2 sets of disused bridge stanchions above the falls of Leny, they are quite close together and you need to take out very close to the second (less obvious) set. It's easy enough to inspect the falls from the carpark signed for the falls, and of course check your inspection/portage egress! Other runs in the area would include the Falls of Dochart, and the River Lyon, either or both of which could be combined into a good day by a swift team! Alternatively, if you are spending a day travelling to Pitlochry, or even Fort Bill, you could break the Journey with the Leny'.
See also, Mike Buckley-Jones' trip report.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Adam Sawyer, also Jim Wallis, Craig Henderson and Roland Bone.
From George Fell - Falls of Leny, left of the island - there's a bit of walkway fallen into the river left. Easy to avoid, but it is just where folks end up if it's all going a bit wrong for them. Looks to have a bit of pinning potential if you are hard river left at that point. Sorry no pictures - I'm a luddite.
Pictures from Jason Sharp -
Today (20/2/15) there was a tree in the wee drop at the end of the gorge below the falls. At today's levels it went fine over the river left rock, but a lower levels the normal river right channel would be completely blocked. Easy to see from the river bank as long as you stop to inspect.
As for levels, others will be more knowledgeable, but from memory, it runs from 0.6- 1.0 and most locals would run the right (waterfall) side of the falls, above 1.0, the left rocky ramp becomes nicer. I am not a fan of the right, was once reciculated in highish water against the central rock several times and managed to pick up 3 stitches in my eyebrow - not even as much fun as it sounds!
In summary, almost always runnable above 0.6, take care approaching the falls in higher water levels. It is fed by a reasonably large loch, so levels are generally delayed after rain and maintain levels longer than other rivers.
Anyone know what's a good not-too-scary level on the SEPA gauge and what SEPA level is similar to the 4+ "Falls and gorge now grade 5" level ?