GUIDE TO THE WATER OF MINNOCH
(Stroan Bridge to Brogan Bridge)
NAME OF RIVER: Water of Minnoch (lower section).
WHERE IS IT?: South West Scotland near Newton Stewart.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in : Follow the A714 out of Newton Stewart, turn off towards Glen Trool village, and then follow the road to Loch Trool, get in where Stroan bridge crosses the river, a large car park and picnic area are adjacent to the bridge.
Get out : the get out is at Brogan bridge which crosses the river on the minor road which runs parallel to the A174 on the opposite bank of the river Cree.
APPROX LENGTH: 5 km.
TIME NEEDED: Approx 1.5 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: This river holds water for a short while after rain. At Stroan Bridge looking up stream of the first rapid the level can be gauged. The lower section is still paddleable if the river up stream looks very low (see picture).
GRADING: Grades 3, 4 and one section of 5.
Mike Hayward adds...(April 2002) 'The description says two grade 4s, they are probably grade 3 but the dogleg fall is 5 in higher water. The photo shows it at low water levels.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The first G4 section marks the get in and gives little time to warm up. It consists of a short rocky double drop with a stopper half way down. A short twisty section of flat water then leads to the G5 dog leg. This dog leg 2 metre fall looks no more than a G 3-4 and is probably a G 3 at low levels. However at low/ medium level it has been known to suck in and hold deep a Creek and paddler (me) for many seconds, much to the concern of those on the bank (if not to the paddler, who was oblivious to the depth he had gone and was just waiting for the turbulence to stop to strike a roll). At high water levels a straight forward straight run down may be possible thus avoiding the dog leg. A long section of flat water, 2.5k, then follows! The monotony is broken by a river wide rocky 1 metre drop which can be taken anywhere. This is then followed by another three or four sections of interest, G3, which lead to the final G4 rocky drop at Brogan Bridge. There are a number of route choices on this section including a river left technical twisty route. Get out is on river right.
More photos of this river can be found at www.gla.ac.uk/medicalgenetics/whitewater.htm
OTHER NOTES: The section described is the lower section. At higher water levels there is a more difficult upper section which can be accessed at Palgowan Bridge, the next bridge up from Stroan Bridge. This upper section has a number of G5 sections and possible portages and doubles the length of the trip. Another nearby 'paddling' possibility is Pulhowan Burn.
Mark Lyons...'At high levels this was a great run culminating in a superb long, very meaty rapid at Brogan Bridge - keep an eye out for a small constricted waterfall on river left half way down, one for the topo. I found the Minnoch to be one of the most satisfying rivers I've done for a while, something in it for every kind of paddler, short constricted technical sections, full on adrenaline sections, and big meaty bouncy sections, only beaten by the Kinglass.'
CONTRIBUTED BY: Bob Evans, also Mike Hayward and Mark Lyons.