GUIDE TO DORBACK BURN
NAME OF RIVER: Dorback Burn.
WHERE IS IT?: Near Forres and the River Findhorn, Scottish Northeast.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: To reach it, travel on the A940 towards Forres. Some way down there is a turning towards Relugas on the left, although it isn't signposted. Take this turning and you will pass over a little stone bridge high over a gorge, containing a stream. This is the burn. Park off the road on the right, just after the bridge. Although there are fences to climb to get to the river, there are no access problems that I know of, and as long as you are in a small group, you should be just dandy. Cross over the road and make your way down to the river, just as it heads river right, above a bony drop. Get on here and head down!
To finish the trip, you carry back up to the car.
APPROX LENGTH: 500 yards.
TIME NEEDED: Five minutes!
ACCESS HASSLES: None that I know of, but see also SCA Access details on Scotland.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Unknown.
GRADING: The whole thing is grade ?, depending on water. Judge for yourselves.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Steep and rocky.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: I thought I'd write in and tell you about this fun five minutes worth of paddling, comparable to a scaled - up garden centre water feature.
It's a tributary of the River Divie, which flows into the River Findhorn, just below Randolph's Leap. It's about 500 yards long, if that, and pretty steep.
There are 6 drops (I think) to do. The first 2 are pin-ball affairs (full - face helmet sir? suit you). The third looks dodgy but is easier than it seems - I'll let you see for yourselves. Another pin-ball sort of thing leads to a twisting freefall into a pool - I went deep on this one. More pin-ball stuff ends with a small drop into a pool. Smashing. Get out river right and walk up the convenient path to the bridge.
OTHER NOTES: Anyone paddled the rest of this down into the River Divie and into the River Findhorn?
Mark R notes...(Easter 2000) 'We looked long and hard at this when it was flowing at a high level. It was certainly paddleable, but perhaps Grade 5+ and very committing...after you run the entrance drop you are very much on your own. There is also an awkward tree causing problems on one of the first drops (upstream of the bridge). We bottled out but will certainly return in lower water levels, it looks great!'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Tom Parker, Southmere Boating and Mark Rainsley.