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Farmers Falls, Glenleenaun River

  Grade:   4 to 5       Rating: river rating
  County:   Mayo   Date updated:10/01/2007
  Section Length:   1.5km(ish)   Version: 2 (History)

Brief River Description

Loses about 620ft per mile. It's steep.'Nuff said.

Directions to the Put-in

The next river over from the Glenacally as you head towards Leenaun. Located along the N59 from Westport. Take the first turn left after the Glenacally and follow it up to a small cluster of houses and a farm yard.

Directions to the Take-out

Another mountainside run.Take out is located at put in.

River Description

The Glenleenaun is steep, fast, rocky. and depending on the water levels has some tricky lead ins to a few of the rapids. There are a number of rapids of note.

The first is a 15ish footer that lands into a headwall. Depending on the water level getting a good line down this can be very problematic as the lead in contains a wee bend and a curler at the top. At lower levels very runnable. At higher levels, not so pleasant.

Beyond this is a fast grade IV section that leads straight into the main falls (Famers Falls). There are a number of elements that make this rapid tricky. It's quite steep, it's shallow at the bottom even in high flows and the lead in is a mine field of submerged rocks. This rapid is more reminiscent of a Norwegian slide than anything you'd expect to find out West. The cleanest line down appears to be a long left to right maneuver on the lead in and aim to hit the top of the slide centre-right driving right for the bottom. At the bottom of this drop is a rock shelf located on river left.

Immediately after this drop is the next rapid which is a 10 foot drop into a deepish pool. Directly after this is a tricky two tier drop. Caution should be exercised here as there is a water pipe that crosses the top of the drop which requires boofing, Doing so might damage the pipe and annoy the farmer with the rabid dog and large shotgun.

Beyond this the river mellows out into a continuous grade IV section till the bridge and take out.

Local issues

Ask permission before accessing the river, this run is blatantly on someone's land. You pretty much park in their farm-yard.

The Guy whose land this stream is on is called Pat and while he did find it amusing seeing the consequences of a mess up on this has made him a bit nervous about other people paddling this stretch. Calling into him or his wife Ann and telling em what your up to (not going to sue being the main thing) would be appreciated by him and local paddlers.

We asked permission to cross the land first which he seemed happy enough about. I think that this was as much out of amusement as anything else as he was off the impression that one of us was in for a beating. Unfortunately he was right on the money.

River level gauge

Reacts in much the same manner as all the other creeks in the area. In fact it probably rises faster than most of the other rivers in the area.

River Hazards

As with most rivers the level of difficulty on this run is directly proportional to how hard it's been raining. At low to medium levels it's a fantastic run. At higher levels it starts to get a bit stressful.

The main falls (Farmers Falls) are featured in Huckd ( shows an excellent example of how not to do it. At these kind of levels the river is pushing a hard V and it's best to have your wit's about you. The main hazards are rocks and shallow landings. One of the most difficult aspects of this run is trying to control your speed as horse down the slides. Due to the steep nature of this run the drops and landings aren't padded out even at higher levels.


Original Author: Graham Clarke
Latest Author: Graham Clarke
(Full History)

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