GUIDE TO THE RIVER USK

(Talybont to Llangynidr)

NAME OF RIVER: Usk.

WHERE IS IT?: Flowing through a valley between the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons, past Abergavenny.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: You could start on the easier bit upstream, or put in at the bridge crossing the river at GR 122233 OS map 160, near Talybont on Usk. Take out downstream of the bridge in the centre of Llangynidr, river left.

APPROX LENGTH: 4 miles.

TIME NEEDED: 1.5 hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: There is an access agreement, some details can be found at http://www.welsh-canoeing.org.uk/access/rights_and_agreements.htm#usk. Also see http://www.mountainandwater.co.uk for more info.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: We paddled this in low water. It is almost always paddleable in winter.

GRADING: Mostly Grade 1 then a stretch of 3 at the end. This final rapid is apparently harder in high water.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: None.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A pleasant but unexciting trip. The first few miles are bordering on completely flat, but there are plenty of pretty views and sheep to admire along the banks.

Eventually you reach Mill Falls, a long rapid where a series of natural/ manmade weirs and rocky reefs cross the river. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and surf along this stretch. It should be possible to portage this rapid on river right, let us know if you think otherwise. After this rapid, the river eases again and shortly after you arrive at the take-out bridge.

Pictures of the Usk

OTHER NOTES: We arrived at this river in search of whitewater thrills, and were disappointed. However, it makes a great stretch to learn moving water skills and it really is a nice valley...another stretch of the Usk which offers more continuous but still easy rapids is that from Sennybridge to Nant Bran Bridgerecommended.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley.

 

 

Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: River Usk - Talybont to Llangynidr -- stonercanoe
2018 Nov 17 02:54:31 PM
Warning for Mill Falls. River left just after the eddy under the house noticed a rock just sticking up out of the water with a circular hole in it. The hole is wide enough for a foot and leg. Would be horrible if arm or leg got threaded in it.

Never noticed this hole before.

The level today was 0.9

Jason
Re: River Usk - Talybont to Llangynidr -- stonercanoe
2018 Apr 22 01:01:36 PM
Ran Mill Falls sneak today (Sunday). The gate has barbed wire all over it. Going to take a piece of carpet next time to protect drysuits and boats.

Level lovely 0.9, however Llangynidr bridge, second arch from left is blocked by a tree. At this level no way through that arch.

Saw two fly fishing. No grief.

Jason
Re: River Usk - Talybont to Llangynidr -- morsey
2017 Jan 28 10:00:15 PM
It's an awesome section.



https://vimeo.com/185729382
Re: River Usk - Talybont to Llangynidr -- Mark Gawler
2017 Jan 28 11:21:50 AM
If anyone wants to update this or any other guide please get in touch with me via private message or email.
Re: River Usk - Talybont to Llangynidr -- stonercanoe
2017 Jan 28 05:40:57 AM
Simon if you know the locals' sneak you can run this in a summer evening.

If you check NRW river gauge at Llandetty the minimum for a kayak run 0.70, minimum for a canoe run 0.75. I want to leave some Royalex on my boat! Running it in massive water in a trad boat is a good test and great fun.

Jason
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