GUIDE TO THE RIVER FALLOCH
(A82 Layby to Falls of Falloch)
NAME OF RIVER: Falloch.
WHERE IS IT?: Stirling in Scotland (2km SW of Crianlarich). If heading up the A82 from Glasgow you want the last long layby on the right before Crianlarich marked as a Parking space on the map (OS OL38 1996). If you reach Crianlarich from another direction head towards Glasgow on the A82 until you find the same layby.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: There is a steep spate section upstream of here for when the water is really high.
The Put-in is the layby mentioned above, the Grid Reference of where we parked is: NN3692623910 for GPS users, mortals should probably convert to a 6 figure reference! (NN369239). From the layby cross a style and a very wet field to a small bridge under the railway, the river is just beyond - check the level before carrying your boat down to it though! It looks as though it might be easy to pick up the end of the track under the bridge rather than crossing the field.
We took out at the bridge by Derrydaroch Farm (NN351218), and carried up the track to the car parked in the layby at NN350220. Be careful not to carry on over the Falls of Falloch.
From here much of the river looks flat from the road, but there is a significant fall marked on the map, and the gorge above the Falls of Falloch which is a very significant fall. From here to the Falls of Falloch are probably portages and that egress above the Falls of Falloch is difficult (a fact reinforced by people who have run the Falls of Falloch) so Derrydaroch would seem to be the best option as it has a good landmark (bridge) and a layby nearby for the car!
APPROX LENGTH: 2.75km
TIME NEEDED: Not long, allow for a couple of inspections / long portages.
ACCESS HASSLES: There have not been enough runs to develop access problems! Parking is in marked parking spots (rather than passing places) and you can stick to tracks/ footpaths and not damage any fields.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Once under the railway bridge you will find the river, and a small farm bridge. If it looks runnable here it probably is - note that a lot of water is required and the river starts with a flat section that does not hint at the falls downstream!
GRADING: 2 4 (5).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS:The Falls of Falloch, below the takeout. Two falls are very constricted. The river is very narrow and tree lined and needs to be run in spate, so figure out the tree hazard potential for yourself.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: There isn't much to say. It starts flat with a couple of awkward constricted falls (inspect horizon lines, don't get too close) which we were forced to walk - more water may make them runnable. There is some nice technical but not too difficult Grade 4 towards the end of the run, with another fall that is wide but rocky - think of your boat! We probably didn't have enough water, but ran it on a summertime spate and found it an enchanting little run with some interesting wooded scenery and mini-gorges.
OTHER NOTES: Very unlikely to be up, needs considerable water - you will walk away from the lower Falloch before this goes! If you want something properly hard either do the lower section, or follow the track upstream from the put-in and see what you make of it.
You will need a short boat.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Jim Wallis.