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Lough Hyne Tidal Rapids

  Grade:   2 to 2       Rating: river rating
  County:   Cork   Date updated:29/08/2011
  Section Length:   30m   Version: 1

Brief River Description

Tidal rapids only 20 or 30 m long but quite powerful.

Lough Hyne (Loch Oighinn, Ine) was designated as Ireland's first Marine Nature Reserve in 1981. It has an interpretative centre, its own Wikipedia page and UCC's Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Sciences have three marine laboratories located at the Lough.

Directions to the Put-in

Located in Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve about 5km from Skibbereen in West Cork.

From Skibbereen take the Baltimore road and then turn left after Approx 2km. Another two or three kilometers gets you to the lake where you turn left and park near the slip. The rapids are in the far left corner of the lake as you look at it. 700m of flat paddling away.

Directions to the Take-out

Same as for put in.

River Description

Rapids form as the lake empties over a rock ledge . Its a big lake and narrow channel so the result is powerful rapids for about 8hours to empty the lake and easy flows to refill it for about 4 hours. Flows from one hour after high tide to three hours after low tide

Since remedial work to the walls was done two good play waves now form.
1. A powerful hole hard to catch (for me anyway) forms about four hours after high water and lasts about three hours.
2. a surf wave below it from 3.5 hr after high tide to two hours after low tide. Quite dynamic and you need to work it hard to stay on. Rest of rapid has well defined eddies for squirting etc

Local issues

Popular spot so in summer you'll share the lake with tourists, swimmers and marine biologists. It's been used by generations of local paddlers as a training spot.

River level gauge

Tide tables.

River Hazards

Mussels line the rocks and can be sharp, you need foot wear.


Original Author: Dave G

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