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Upper Bandon River

  Grade:   3 to 3       Rating: river rating
  County:   Cork   Date updated:03/01/2008
  Section Length:   5km   Version: 4 (History)

Brief River Description

This river is an absolute gem in big water. High volume, is semi playboat friendly, and lots to stop and play at. Also, with big water, the boulder garden is nice and fast, much much fun to be had.

Directions to the Put-in

Put In From Cork City Direction: Drive into Dunmanway town and take the first right by the petrol station. Continue out this road for 3km and take the first turn to the left ( signposted for The Birth Place of Sam Maguire ) just before a concrete bridge over the river. Continue up this road for 1.7km until you get to a crossroads. Turn right and drive 0.3km until you come to the river. There is space for 1 car at this point.

Take Out: Take out is at the bridge coming into Dunmanway town from the Cork direction. There is ample space along the road for parking. Note: the big drop can be scouted before hand by stopping at a gateway on the bohereen. Keep checking the river to the right of the road until you see a large pool which is just below the drop. There does not appear to be access problems but respect the area surrounding the drop if cattle are present.

Directions to the Take-out

Take Out is by the main road bridge in Dunmanway. The bridge can be recognized whilst paddling as it is the only large arch road bridge on the trip.

River Description

This is a nice day - not a mind blower but the main drop mid way through provides something of interest. After putting in, things continue at an easy difficulty level for 1/4 of a mile. There are sporadic sets of small rapids and 1 section which can be overgrown with branches requiring some ducking and dodging. The main drop is marked by the river closing in on both sides - to the right with branches, to the left with an earthen bank. The drop is usually run by continuing through the slot/channel that shoots right.

The Big Drop can now be run on far River Right at high levels ( above 0.7m ) as the trees have been trimmed back ( 12/07 see picture )

Below there is a large pool for recovery. Afterwards there is a boulder garden section, watch out for the dead tree on river left at the end of this section. and the river slows down with a long flat water section at the end. Take out is just before the main bridge on river left in Dunmanway.

Local issues

No local Issues Known

River level gauge

There is a gauge by the bridge in Dunmanway. The Upper Bandon rises and falls quite quickly.

Can be ran at minimum of -0.2, but very scrapy at this level

Below 0.2, it is hardly worth it.

At medium levels, its mostly 2+, 3- apart from the big drop.

At 0.6m and above the rapid sections will get pushier (4).

The last km to Dunmanway is always a flat slog,

River Hazards

There is now a tree down on the entrance to the S-Bend on River Right, some of it has been cut back though ( 12/07 see picture )

The main drop is worth scouting if you have not paddled the river before.

Low lying branches close in on 1 section and are worth mentioning.


Original Author: Peter Hanley
Latest Author: Dave P
(Full History)

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