GUIDE TO THE AFON NYFER
NAME OF RIVER: Nyfer.
WHERE IS IT?: Pembrokeshire. Flows into an estuary next to Newport, which is on the A487 between Fishguard and Cardigan.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in is at Castell Clwyd. From Newport head east along the A487 towards Cardigan. Take a right onto the B4329. Follow this until it crosses the river, then take the first right onto a smaller road.
Follow this for a bit until it drops down really steeply, and you cross a small stream. This is the put in, SN112373. Getting in on the side stream is probably easiest, and some creative parking is needed not to block the road.
The take out we used (see OTHER NOTES for an alternative) is down a small road out of Newport, sign posted for Moylgrove. There's a layby where the road bridges the river at the top of its estuary.
APPROX LENGTH: 8 km.
TIME NEEDED: Three hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: A small river so we didn't bother asking about access, and encountered no problems.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It's a small spate river, and has to look high at the get in to be worth doing. The small side stream was runnable and not scrapey when we paddled it.
GRADING: 3 for the first 4 km, then 1.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees are a problem, there were 3-4 river wide strainers to sneak/ portage when we ran it. Overhanging trees are considerably worse in the last 4 km than the first half. There's also one large weir about 3.5km in - this is quite noticeable as it backs the water up a fair bit.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A smallish but very worthwhile river. The first 3km or so is about as good as grade 3 gets in Wales. There's lots of boulder gardens which are quite continuous and produce some really nice holes for playing in. You need to be careful to watch for any downed trees though.
After this the river flattens out considerably and backs up. This is because of a large weir. Get out and inspect on the left. There's a smooth ramp on both the left and right of the weir, and a set of fish-steps down the centre. At the level we did it all routes were runnable, though the fish-steps were a bit stoppery.
After the weir the A487 road bridge is reached, this is about 4km into the run. From here on down it's just grade 1 or 2 with a few rapids interspersed with long flat sections and lots of tree-dodging.
OTHER NOTES: The first bit was really good at the level we got it. It was a lot of fun for grade 3, but would probably be a pain at low-levels. I can't really recommend the second half below the A487 bridge as being worth the bother. We bumped into some local paddlers who got off at that road bridge, and I think they had the right idea.
According to Mr Sladden the km above the get in described here is a grade IV+ gorge, but we didn't get time to check that...anybody been there?
This river is of course not a huge distance from the Bitches tidal rapid near St. Davids...another local river is the Afon Gwaun.