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Derreen River

  Grade:   2 to 4       Rating: river rating
  County:   Carlow   Date updated:21/04/2013
  Section Length:   5 - 6 km   Version: 2 (History)

Brief River Description

Grade 2 to 4 - rock garden, waves (In high water) playspots and a gorge section with a tricky run out after in high water. This river holds water and levels for days after others have gone down. Its a great river for trips of mixed abilities and is a perfect stepping board to the Avonmore. Hit this on a no water day.

Directions to the Put-in

Put in is at Rathglass approx 4 km from Tullow. Go through Tullow and turn left (Coming from Dublin on N81) just before the bridge over the Slaney in town. Keep going out towards Mount Wollesley hotel - go past that until you get to a concrete bridge with Ballustrades (There is a corner just before it) Turn left immediately after the bridge and 20 yards on the right there is a parking area big enough for 4 cars.

Access is gained below the bridge when crops are growing and access is either when crops are not growing. Please respect this as Tullow KC has a good relationship with the farmer.

Directions to the Take-out

Take out is at Agahde bridge approx 4 km from Tullow.

From the Put in: Continue past the concrete bridge for another 500 yards and turn right, follow this road until the junction and turn right, Aghade bridge is 100 yards along the road.

From Tullow: Go straight to Aghade for the shuttle set up, continue straight through Tullow - go over the bridge in Tullow and continue on the N81 straight for approx 5 km and you will see a cross roads where the main road you are travelling on goes onto a steep / short hill. Turn left and follow for approx 1 km where you will see Aghade bridge.

Parking is clear to see on the right hand side (Using put in towards take out directions) it is against the stone wall. The farmer is paddler friendly and you can access the river from either side.

River Description

Look at Aghade bridge for levels - 1 arch = low. 2 arch's = medium. 3 arch's = high

Nice and gentle start with a fair bit of flat, you will need to push on approx 1 km before water is deep enough for rolling practice.

The river meanders along approx 2km where you will see the rock garden, lots of micro eddies and fast flowing in high water at the bottom there is a lovely drop thats great for playing around on.

Moving on for a bit there is another drop that is great for running newbies through, there is a pool at the bottom which makes it really safe. Nice section for playboating on low to medium levels, surfing and hole moves. On high water it washes out.

Another flat section then onto the run into the gorge. Eddy out on the left at the top of the section. Set up by running down and eddy out just at the last tree you can see at the left. This is the last section before the gorge (In high water this is a must make eddy)

Plenty of options at the gorge - run straight through / eddy out immediate left / eddy out immediate right / eddy out 10 yards on the right. The river splits here and a large rock separates it. In low to medium its best to run river left where you will have another drop and then an immediate right (If running newbies through here set up safety on the rock 10 yards straight below this drop) continue on through the rocks and a small pool forms at the bottom. In medium to high levels run river right and would only be suitable for 3+ paddlers. Approach the rock on the middle of the river then try and hug the rock to your left side as you come to the drop there is a lovely boof opportunity on tight river left.

After the gorge there is a small and tight section to go through but no major hassle. You will continue on for a fair bit, in low water sections will be very easy but in high water some waves occur. Eventually the Dereen merges with the Slaney. This section on in high water has a lovely wave. Moving on another 1km you then get to Aghade.

Eddy out river left just before the first section, run straight through or eddy out immediately on the right. The river bends left and continues down until you see Aghade bridge. Careful when eddying out as the eddy lines can be tricky for novice / intermediate. Agahde is normal run dead centre or river left and you have the option of eddying out at the bridge or continue on for another 100 yards and portaging the bank.

Below Aghade there is a great wave about 3km along called powers, in high water its great fun, tricky to get on but worth it.

Local issues

See description.

River level gauge

Check at Aghade
1 arch = Low
2 arch = Medium
3 arch = High

River Hazards

Just the Gorge in high water, Aghade can be tricky in high water if you take a swim and lose gear it will travel far

Edit: Ran this for the first time today (medium level). Feel its very worth while noting that the drop  directly after the gorge has a syphon on the left hand line. While its avoidable its still a big hazard because 70% of the flow on the left line feeds into the three boulders that form three mini syphons, big hazard if swimming or pinned against the rocks.


Original Author: Chris OLoan
Latest Author: Mickie Brennan
(Full History)

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