GUIDE TO THE CUILEIG RIVER

(Lower waterfall section)

NAME OF RIVER: Cuileig River (Bottom Half of the Bottom Section).

WHERE IS IT?: North West Scotland, 12 miles South of Ullapool on the A832. OS Sheet 20. Tributary to the River Broom.

Map.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Turn off the A835 at Braemore Junction take the A832 towards Gairloch. Follow this road until it crosses the Cuileig River about 2 miles after the junction. Check the level under the bridge.
The easiest access to the river is from a forestry/ hydro track leading down to the river, this is about half a mile back towards Braemore Junction. Walk down the track heading to the right until you reach the hydro outlet. Then follow on up the river right for about 500m until you reach the topmost of the three main falls. Put-In just around the corner, above the fall on river right.

It is easiest to take out once the Cuileig has joined the River Broom. Drive back towards Ullapool on the A835 you can see the river from the road. If the level is high enough you should be able to paddle down until an old steel suspension bridge crosses the river, there is a Forestry Gardens car park opposite. If the level is low then try to find somewhere higher up river paddling wont work.

APPROX LENGTH: 500m.

TIME NEEDED: 3 hours including the walk.

ACCESS HASSLES: None make sure you know your rights under the Scottish Land Reform Act.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The falls in this section can all be run in pretty low conditions. If it looks barely navigable under the bridge at the road then it should be passable. If dam/weir is overflowing and there are no rocks showing then it's high.

GRADING: Totally dependant on levels - 4 to 5.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Take a scout on the walk up.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Cuileig is listed in the SCA Guide book, its divided into two sections. These instructions are for the bottom half of the Bottom section. The upper section is good fun and we have run it a couple of times, it can also be run in pretty low water. The rest of the lower section, above these three falls is even more severe than the Top. I really wouldn't go in high water really.

This section is much more accessible due to the fact it's out of the gorge. Really its the best bit on the Cuileig three falls of around 3m in short succession. Good fun in low water, challenging and good fun in high.

OTHER NOTES: You might also consider the upper section, lower section or combine with a section of the River Inver (Near Lochinver), the River Runie (In Strath Kanaird) or Abhainn Mhr (Near Elphin)

CONTRIBUTED BY: Sam Planterose, Alasdair Boyce and Matthew Dawson. 

If you would like to submit updates, new guides or photos, email ukrgb.scotland AT gmail DOT com

Tom Hodge on the first of the brilliant lower falls (low water). Photo by Duncan Stewart.

 

Seori Ormiston on the last fall (low water). Photo by Duncan Stewart.

More pictures of the Cuileig

Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: Cuileig River - Lower section -- Kizzie_St-As
2018 Apr 16 02:56:19 PM
"Duncan Stewart" wrote:

"norhtern boy" wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the top two pictures from the upper section, a little confusing for a guide.

Top 2 pics are definitely from the lower section, I took them last week. First is the straight leading to Boyakasha, the second is the last drop in the gorge about 100m before it opens out, which is currently blocked by a tree. Cracking wee river though!


Duncan has just given me a full guide for the lower gorge, so I've rearranged the photos.
Re: Cuileig River - Lower section -- Duncan Stewart
2018 Apr 15 11:15:29 AM
"norhtern boy" wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the top two pictures from the upper section, a little confusing for a guide.

Top 2 pics are definitely from the lower section, I took them last week. First is the straight leading to Boyakasha, the second is the last drop in the gorge about 100m before it opens out, which is currently blocked by a tree. Cracking wee river though!
Re: Cuileig River - Lower section -- norhtern boy
2018 Apr 15 09:58:20 AM
I agree with Dr Robin. easier to paddle across at the confluence then walk up the river left. Shame not to paddle the full section though, its an incredible gorge. With the right water level its quite clean. Too low and its a bit chossy. If the upper is a nice medium then the lower will be a nice level. Not one to paddle too high the first time as its very committing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the top two pictures from the upper section, a little confusing for a guide.
Re: Cuileig River - Lower section -- Dr Robin
2014 Feb 27 09:07:30 AM
It's a fair hike down the hydro track. I think it's easier to walk up a farm track to the confluence with the Abhainn Droma, ferry across the river, and then walk up river left. The rapids are not far above the confluence.
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