GUIDE TO THE RIVER LOY
NAME OF RIVER: Loy.
WHERE IS IT?: Near Fort William Drive out of Fort William on the road that takes you to the Spean and turn left at a big set of traffic lights. Then soon turn onto the B8004. Eventually you will find the river.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Access is by driving almost to the end of the road and putting in at a small 'car park'. Or...put-in at Inverskilavulin Bridge (NN 1256 8314), and take out before the tunnel, unless you are feeling brave. Below the tunnel (NN 1499 8170) you can continue to the Lochy, see below.
APPROX LENGTH: 1 1/2 miles from the bridge. Longer from the carpark.
TIME NEEDED: 1-2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown, but see also the SCA notes on Access.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Best directly after rain.
GRADING: Grade 3 when at moderate levels, but in high conditions some of the drops reach grade 4.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There is a tunnel at the end of this trip, described below.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The upper section above the bridge is easily paddleable in heavy rain. Access is by driving almost to the end of the road and putting in at a small 'car park'. Generally it is just a fast moving body of water and a nice way to see the glen, however it does have one or two grade 2 falls and there is a weir halfway down. The weir can be paddled on the far right and offers an interesting 2-3 section. The left hand side should be avoided as it is a concrete step.
The first bit from the bridge is quite tame (grade 2) but fast, then the drops come at you. There are about four or five in all. In fact they are all very easy to inspect on the way up as the road follows river on the way up. After the take out there is a tunnel 40m long and who knows what's inside! Any takers?
Andy Evans adds: 'The tunnel does go. Quite exciting and dark! I remember there being a wave in the middle of it but the last time I did it there were no obstructions. You can take out river right just below and walk back up through the access tunnel, which if you have the river at a good level will have a minor stream running along it. Certainly a novelty.....'
An alternative finish (after running the Loy a couple of times) is to continue onto the River Lochy.
OTHER NOTES: There is some steep grade 4-5 at the head of the glen, if you walk in during spate conditions.