GUIDE TO THE RIVER TEITH
NAME OF RIVER: Teith.
WHERE IS IT?: Callander, Central Scotland, OS sheet 57.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: See below.
APPROX LENGTH: The two sections described are 4 km and 6 km long, respectively.
TIME NEEDED: A whole day or two half-days.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, but see SCA access notes on Scotland.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Unknown.
GRADING: Grade 1 and 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees. Car crime.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The River Leny flows into this river at Callender. The Teith can be done as two possible sections (about 2-3 hours each) or 1 long-ish day. It's good for beginners; especially the top section where the only rapid which is at all tricky (The slalom site grade II) is right at the end of the section. However, in high water there are few eddies as trees overhang. The other problem is that there have been quite a few break-ins (in the non-paddling sense) to cars at the 1/2 way layby. Situation got quite bad a couple of years ago. Not sure how it is now.
Start at riverside carpark in Callender (on the left off the main street going N).
From there it's pretty straightforward for about 4 km until the Slalom site rapid. This is a channel on river left which tends to push you further left into a small rock wall. At low water it can be portaged over slabs on river right. The get out is just below this, but not very obvious. Last time I was there (about a year ago) it was marked by a bit of tape hanging off a tree. Probably worth checking landmarks at the getout when running the shuttle. From the get-out walk about 10m up the bank to the A84. There is a layby just across the road (on the right travelling N). It's near a sign for a quarry, and I think its the only layby between Doune and Callender.
About 6 km. Get in at the get out for the top section. As far as I can remember (I've only done it once) this is Grade I, except for the weir just below the burnt out house on the right bank, which needs inspection, especially in high water. Get out by Deanston distillery just before the A84 bridge. (From the road going N take the right turn sign-posted to the distillery just before Doune).
Jim Wallis adds...'Paddled this with a group of beginners last year sometime. It was high (almost up to the car park in Callander, it gets higher - into the car park!) and one lad swam a lot and got off after maybe 1/2 mile (mistake - I shouldn't have taken him but I didn't know until he got on!). We paddled to near Doune in one go, using the egress point in the SCA guide I believe, which I thought was by a sewage works. The second weir mentioned in the guide appeared to have been breached, perhaps recently, and the only evidence was a sloping wall to the right of the rapid and the fact that it was quite shallow. This is within sight of the take out where baskets are used to hold the bank together around the sewage works (or whatever the place was).'
OTHER NOTES: The River Leny is only short, and offers a harder additional paddle in the area.
Earl Monteith Whyman (Nov 2005)...'The land area - near aberfoyle - is where the family of Monteith originated. From the Gaelic: Monadh Teith, meaning land/hills near the River Teith.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Janet Moxley and Jim Wallis.
Later (still before the layby) there are a set of small islands preceeded by a very obvious very large boulder. The main channel initially appears to be river left, but this gradually narrows (making communication more difficult) and water flows fairly strongly between the islands over to river right. Once again not a big issue for those with experience at normal river levels but I know of one potentially (but not actually) bad incident here where a beginner was washed/capsized against driftwood on the top of one of the islands - and another where an open with beginners was close to a similar event.