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Brief River Description
The River Roe is mainly grade II with one grade III section, the Dogleap. It is a fun river in both medium and high levels, with playspots and rapids forming the whole way down the river.
Directions to the Put-in
To get to the put in:
Coming from Dungiven head up the B192 watch for a sign to the right towards a car park and footbridge. Turn down this lane and park in the car park. Get in the river on the far side of the footbridge at the small beach.
Directions to the Take-out
From the put in car park turn right onto the B192. Follow this for about 1.5km until you take the right turn leading to the Largy Bridge, this is a good way to judge the level by observing the amount of rocks exposed on the Dogleap rapid under the bridge.
Once you reach a T junction turn left towards Limavady. Take another left off this road at the signpost for O'Cahan's rock. Take another left and park your car in the car park just up from the river.
If the beach at the get in is covered by the river it is at a very good level, if there is exposed sand there will be many rocks further on down.
The first weir is just below the get in. It is a slide and can be ran anywhere, it is possible, in good water, to kickflip off the wave on river left. You can spend a lot of time here flat and clean spinning on the river wide wave, although be wary of any local fishermen as they do not like being disturbed.
The next weir is just around the corner, it is a man made weir which can easily hold a boat if shot wrong. Where you shoot it will depend on the flow. In higher water it is best to run off the ledge on river left, and in lower water you are best to run down the shoot in the middle. After this weir there is a small natural drop run this in the middle.
The river for the next while consistently loses altitude and you are faced with rapid sections. In low water you will be bouncing off rocks however in high water you will be wheeling your way down the wave trains!
The next weir is just after you pass under a large bridge. This is another man-made sloping weir. In any water level it is usually ran in the centre of the river right channel. This is an amazing wave to surf however it is very shallow so you are limited to spins again. Although for those that wish to get vertical there is a powerful eddy line behind it for cartwheels and squirts.
You are now faced again with more rapids. Once you see the Roe Valley Country Park buildings and the river takes a wide turn to the left, eddy-out on river left at the beach and walk down the bank to inspect the Dogleap.
The Dogleap is the first feature in the gorge below you; it is the constriction with the overhanging wall on the right. Set up rope safety below this, it is also a good idea to have chasers ready especially in high water. The run down the rapid is straightforward although more tricky in lower water due to the exposed rocks. Try and catch all of the eddies!
Below the Dogleap the river again develops into long rapids although they are more serious than the earlier rapids on the trip. Smile and enjoy the waves, try and surf what you can.
Once the rapids calm and you see another footbridge you are just above the last weir on this section. The river right side of this weir is a two tier sticky drop; the left has a chicken shoot around the side of the weir and a normal sloping weir into another sticky hole. You should inspect this weir at all water levels, although in low water it can be ran anywhere. In high water you are better punching the left hole or using the chicken shoot.
You are now faced with simple rapids similar to the ones at the start until you see your take out on river right.
As always respect the local fishermen - pass them quickly and quietly and a word of thanks never goes amiss.
Smile for any tourists watching you at the Dogleap.
River level gauge
If there are a lot of rocks exposed at the Dogleap when you are driving over the bridge the river is low.
If the beach is covered at the get in the river is at a good high level.
Dogleap grade III rapid.
Avoid the second weir at really high levels if your not confident, otherwise run tight river left as described. A big hole with a good towback where I've seen a boat stay for a while!
Author(s)Original Author: Dave G
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