4 June 2024

Blackwater Canoe Trail Review

At OutmoreNI, we love hearing about your trips to the amazing outdoor trails and places that Northern Ireland has to offer, and even better when the interactive maps and downloads can help you once you get there. We had this super blog from Cyril recently who paddled out on Blackwater River.

“I just had an amazing trip on the Blackwater. Our itinerary was a simple paddle from Blackwater town slipway, with an overnight stay at Copney campsite, finishing the next day with a short paddle to Verners Bridge as the weather was to turn rainy.

We left our spare car at Verners bridge on Saturday around 1:00pm. A word of advice to anyone looking a car parking space here on a Saturday – although it’s out of the way, it is a very busy car park, and will completely fill up if you don’t arrive early. We managed to get a space after about 10-15 mins and squeezing into a space.

We started from Blackwater slip and straight away we were in the zone… Rest, relaxation and beautiful scenery, surrounded by the familiar sights and sounds of this very peaceful area.

Our paddle was fantastic with only a few instances where we had to react quickly to several Jet skiers who were really going for it. Our first few encounters were met by some very considerate jet skiers, who slowed down as soon as they saw us on the river. We had a few pleasant words and I thanked them for slowing down, joking that I didn’t fancy a swim 😂.

For the most part other river users were very accommodating, however we had a few encounters that didn’t go so well. We met one jet skier who blasted past us and got very close creating several huge wakes. Luckily, I was able to get the canoe turned in time, as he appeared very quickly and we didn’t have much warning of his approach to react. We bounced over the wake and continued. We made this maneuver about 3 times as they raced past at full throttle. For this reason we kept our hard hats on for the journey and kept an ear out, in case we went in.

Lesson to be learned from this – the river is a fun place and everyone has a right to be there, but just be mindful that the water is a shared space. Slow down if on a powered vehicle whilst passing others and speed up afterwards, you will be respected for it. This way, everyone will have a fun day on the river without any casualties or unnecessary capsizes.

The camp over at Copney was fantastic, we really enjoyed the space and the evenings wind down, the composting toilet facilities were in good shape and not smelly, it was rather pleasant experience.

The grass was kept short and we watched the sun go down and had a BBQ to end our first stage.

Sunday was a later start, around 10am, and we had a completely peaceful paddle past the railway bridge stanchions on to our exit about 30mins later at Verners bridge.

What a great paddle and what a great weekend. We have some fantastic photos (featured below) and we have some friends who want to join us next time.

Thanks to OutmoreNI who provide a really detailed map and description of the journey, approximate times, and what to expect on your way. All in all, it was a good trip with only one or two river users causing havock, but that’s to be expected.

Until next time, Cyril”.

We hope this encourages OutmoreNI users to use the website to find a trail that suits your ability and to stay on the #RightSideofOutside when you are using outdoor trails and places, respecting other users and leaving nothing behind.

For the full list of canoe trails in Northern Ireland, use the filter on the interactive map.


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