Caragh, Upper River
|3 to 4
Brief River Description
The Upper Caragh is probably one of best grade 3 rivers in Ireland with the occasional stretch of grade 4. This rivers requires plenty of recent rain to bring it up. It's a 4.2km run with a gradient of approximately 8 m/km.
Directions to the Put-in
On the N70 Killorglin to Glenbeigh road there is a turn off sign posted for Glencar. This turn is approximately 8.4km from Killorglin. The turn is on the left hand side as you drive away from Killorglin on a right hand bend in the road. After the turn drive a few hundred metres and take the first turn right and follow the road. The road goes over the bridge at the Put-In for the Lower Caragh river. Follow this road around the lake until you reach a large bridge at a forest. This is Blackstone bridge. This is the end of the upper Caragh and there is plenty of parking here.
To reach the put in drive onwards over Black Stones bridge. After a kilometre or so you'll reach a fork in the road, go right here. At the next cross roads turn right again. Turn right at again at the next cross roads and this leads to Bealalaw bridge. Again there is plenty of parking here.
The shuttle for this river always seems far longer than you'd expect.
Directions to the Take-out
The take out is just upstream of Blackstone bridge on river left. There is a path leading down to the parking.
Roughly things happen in the following order. You get on, you paddle plenty of small rapids. Then the river widens and meanders for a while, this is followed by more small rapids.
This leads onto plenty of low hanging trees, which are followed by more rapids. The river widens further. At this stage there are plenty of fisherman's shelters on river left. This indicates a larger grade 4 rapid in approaching. Inspection of this rapid is best done on river left. There are good places to take photographs here. There is a large pool here for collecting gear.
Shortly after this you arrive at the largest rapid at just upstream of Blackstones bridge. Its worth inspecting this rapid from the get out before running the river. On river left there can be a meaty hole. Its hard to set up bank rescue because of the trees on river left. Its best to run the rapid on river right. Again there is some flat water for picking up gear.
Possibly one of the most popular rivers in Ireland for fishing and they take it seriously in this part of the world. So be careful during the fishing season.
River level gauge
At Blackstone you'll see if there's enough water to get over the rocks. If the water is on the road upstream of the bridge its very high and the trees upstream will be a serious hazard.
- The overhanging trees early on in the river.
- Rocks on some of the rapids.
- Potential for wire fencing to run across the river.
- The big meaty hole on river right of Blackstones rapid.
Author(s)Original Author: Peter OSullivan
Latest Author: Seanie
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