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Roughty River

  Grade:   3 to 5       Rating: river rating
  County:   Kerry   Date updated:16/06/2010
  Section Length:   6km   Version: 3 (History)

Brief River Description

Enjoyable class 3-4 whitewater. Mostly pool drop in nature. Good for club groups or combined with a run on the Middle Flesk. Like most Irish rivers it becomes quite exiting in very high water.

Directions to the Put-in

Take the R569 Kenmare turn off the N22 between Cork and Killarney. After about 10 km pull over in the layby on the right hand side.

Directions to the Take-out

Continue down the R569 towards Kenmare. After around 6km park beside a group of houses on a lane way down to a bridge.

River Description

At most water levels the Roughty is an enjoyable class 3-4 run suitable for mixed ability groups.

Two constrictions are the main events- these are easy to portage if required.

From the put in the river picks up to a cruisy class 3 down to the bridge. After the bridge, there is a class 4 S bend move. From there the river is mellow down the the first constriction, a straightforward class 4 move. Inspect river left if necessary. After this the river relaxes again, down to the second constriction. At some water levels the second constriction can be tricky, inspect river left and portage if necessary. The two best drops on the river are immediately below the second constriction.

On the last drop/slide their is a small eddy river right. The river swings to the left to the top of the drop and the turns with the main flow hitting the wall off the side of the slide on river right. In low water this should be shot avoiding the right hand side i.e. aiming left as their is a ridge of rock crossing the flow from left to right guiding unwary paddlers into being broached (against the ridge) & 45 degree pinned (against the side wall). It is still an easy feature just be aware of this potential at low levels.

Take out river right at the bridge.

Local issues

Make sure not to park outside peoples homes at the takeout. don't block entrances to fields and make sure there is enough space for tractors and agricultural machinery to pass by.

River level gauge

Walk down to the bridge 200m below the put in. The drops below are class 3 in low water, but pick up significantly in higher water.

River Hazards

Two constrictions- both worth inspecting for lumber.

In spate the Roughty can be very exciting, with some pushy class 5. Don't get on at this level unless you are confident in your abilities.


Original Author: Rob Coffey
Latest Author: Seanie
(Full History)

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