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Thread: Faskally, Loch

  1. #1

    Default Faskally, Loch

    Loch Faskally (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Faschoille) is a man-made reservoir in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, 2.5 kilometres northwest of Pitlochry.

    The loch lies between steeply wooded hills and is approximately 3.2 kilometres in length, narrowing to around 700 metres wide. The loch is retained by the Pitlochry Dam which was built by Wimpey Construction between 1947 and 1950 as part of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board's Tummel Hydro-Electric Power Scheme. The dam incorporates a salmon fish ladder, allowing around 5,400 salmon to ascend annually, and is a popular visitor attraction.

    The loch is popular with anglers who fish for brown trout, pike and salmon

  2. #2
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    Faskally lies mostly North/South, its centre section running East/West, with pretty steep sides especially for a fair proportion of the Western shore, meaning that prevailing westerlies don't get to blow you off the water nearly as much as can happen elsewhere.

    It's far narrower than the majority of Perthshire's "real" lochs, like Earn, Tay, Rannoch.

    No far horizons here - the loch lies along the old course of the Tummel, just below the Tummel/Garry confluence - and you're looking at fairly steep geography mostly on both sides. There are floating keepaway barriers a hundred or so metres from the dam, to keep boats away from the draw as the Hydro scheme takes water for generation.

    Several pretty easy put-ins.

    1. At the parkland accessed from the Hydro scheme that governs the main inflow into Faskally. See http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.sr...4195&ay=758291

    Take the yellow road from the A9 that goes to the power station marked on the Loch surface with a big blue 4. You take the hydro access, and at the bottom of the brae there's an area of public parkland by the power station. The water level's perhaps five feet below the park. Recently this has been used by bunches of playboaters who're using the lumpy bits of the Tummel above the loch, and the grass can be a bit rutted at times when the ground's soft. Here the river flow is evident in the loch, as the loch at its top is essentially an ever-widening/slowing River Tummel. The garry is navigable upstream for a short distance before you begin to run out of water (summer level, god knows how it is right now, probably a roaring brown torrent?)

    2. A couple of hundred yards before the Fisheries Research place on the East shore, more or less across from point 1. There's a very shallow bay, where extensive shallows can be exposed at times if the loch's low.

    3. At the public access for the dam from the town's main street, pretty much where the words Fish Ladder show on the map. This is probably the easiest access.

    There's a lochside "cafe" that hires boats at the P sign on the East shore. Avoid it. The owner is very unwelcoming to canoeists. I showed up when he had nobody there, and after I'd tied up he emerged and told me to go away - that boats apparently constantly came and went at his jetties and I'd get in the way. I did explain that I intended to be a customer, needed a hot drink and a butty etc. No dice. His story was totally naff - there was a total of two boats out on the loch; I'd come all the way down from the Fishery Research put in, seen how empty the loch was.

    He clearly has a downer on canoes... So I wished him well - and left, taking my money and business elsewhere.

    That's it, really. Loch Faskally's a pleasant enough place perhaps to keep in mind as a fallback if an arranged loch paddle elsewhere gets blown off.

    Never seen any fast motorboats or jetskis there - there's no slip access that I've seen.
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneFishing View Post

    There's a lochside "cafe" that hires boats at the P sign on the East shore. Avoid it. The owner is very unwelcoming to canoeists. I showed up when he had nobody there, and after I'd tied up he emerged and told me to go away - that boats apparently constantly came and went at his jetties and I'd get in the way. I did explain that I intended to be a customer, needed a hot drink and a butty etc. No dice. His story was totally naff - there was a total of two boats out on the loch; I'd come all the way down from the Fishery Research put in, seen how empty the loch was.

    He clearly has a downer on canoes... So I wished him well - and left, taking my money and business elsewhere.
    Ditto, really aggressive when I parked up and 'looked' at the water.
    This owner needs educated in the SOAC. Maybe case for SCA Access officers ? A critical mass paddle ?

    Nick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots_Charles_River View Post
    A critical mass paddle ?

    Nick
    Sounds like a plan
    Leone_blanco

  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Blairgowrie, east Perthshire
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    I would agree with the recommendation for GoneFishing's launch point 3 near the southern end, grid ref 935580. You can trolley from the car park across grass to the water's edge and it's the sandiest place (the Clunie power station shore is quite rocky). The spot by the cafe is feasible in winter when the cafe/boat hire is closed, but all the others are more pleasant.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Default More than just a loch

    Spent a couple of hours on Faskally this morning, the wind was up a bit so the extra shelter was much appriciated. Putting in near to the fish lab, the water was low so there was the large sand bank to navigate past.




    I went up stream for what there was past the power station towards the Linn of Tummel
















    After a short play I headed back to have a go up the Garry


    The bridge is 130 feet up and the people up there looked just like little ants, ha.



    The lower footbridge is just visible, good for non canoeing partners or the like who may like to watch, brownie points are always required in my house.






    I have walked up the far on the banks previously but this was my first paddle up here and I shall be back.

    Blue

  7. #7

    Default

    the guy that runs the cafe used to have a contract with scottish hydro electric - he was the only person allowed to authorise anyone to put a boat in the water, so he made his living out of charging for access for anyone (including everyone who lived on the loch with their own pier apparently), hiring fishing boats, etc. The outdoor access code (while fantastic for all of us) has totally demolished his family business, so while he's a bit of a pain, I can't help but sympathise a little...

    That said, Faskally is a great trip in a canoe. I was up there a few weeks ago with some work colleagues (30 of them to be honest) for a whitewater rafting trip down the tummel to raise money for charity. It would be great for canoes, was a bit tight for the rafts we were on though - and it all ended with the drops in Blue Racoon's photos. It was definitely a good trip though - chalk up 1,500 raised for Diabetes UK!
    If you can't fix it with Duct Tape and Cable Ties, you didn't use enough Duct Tape and Cable Ties
    Never Give up...

  8. #8
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    Default The landing by the dam

    Paddlers intending to launch at the beach just north of Faskally dam should be aware that the area is now a building site. This also affects those paddling the Tummel on trans-Scotland trips, as it's a possible portage route. This is what it used to look like, with good car parking and a nice grassy slope down to the loch on the right:


    Google Streetview photo. Very good for children and dogs as well as canoeists.

    Yesterday there was a sea of mud, big holes in the ground, several JCB's and a very large area fenced off. Apparently SSE plan a Visitor Centre:



    Rather bleak in my opinion, but there will still be car parking and probably a loo as well. It's not due for completion till next Aug/Sept. In the meantime the best launch point is up near Faskally House by the sandbank. Bear in mind all the local Forestry Commission car parks are pay and display (2).

    Carol

  9. #9
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    You can always drive through Pitlochry and head for the Garry bridge. As soon as you leave Pitlochry follow a green sign (on your left) down to Loch Faskally tea room/hotel/fishing tackle and you'll find a carpark at the bottom of the bank. Should be easy enough to put in there as they hire out rowing/fishing boats. I haven't done that one yet but will do next year.
    ANother alternative put in could be throught the "Enchanted Forrest" on the same road to Garry Bridge but I haven't checked that one yet

    "Thinking means not knowing"




  10. #10
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    As I recall the Loch Faskally Boat Station, in the past, have not been overly keen on canoeists using their car park and launching from their facility.

    I do not know if things have changed.

    There is a road that turns off the south bound carriageway of the A9 and turns north that goes under the road on the south side of the loch/river Tummel opposite the boat station.

    Parking space under the road bridge and a slope down to the water where the footbridge crosses the loch/river.

  11. #11
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    I can now report that the SSE Visitor Centre at Faskally is finished. The car park is now about twice as big, and happily still free. There are loos in the SSE visitor centre. There is a surfaced path (trolley-friendly) from one side of the car park down the grassy slope to the beach at the water's edge. It has taken well over a year, but it is now better and not too many trees were felled .

  12. #12
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    May 2016
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    Fife, Scotland
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    Is the SSE visitor centre the best place to put in? How long is the walk to the water?

  13. #13
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    Hi Brody, I think it's the best. Car park to the water is about 120m. The alternatives are the Forestry Commission car park at Faskally, where you have to pay and sometimes negotiate sandbanks (see above), or the Clunie power station near the top end of the loch. This is free, but the edge is rather rocky, and the narrow part of the loch can be more like a river, depending on how much water is coming through the power station. It can be difficult to paddle upstream against the flow. The spot Quercus mentions is possible, but a pretty steep slope.

  14. #14
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    May 2016
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    Thanks for that. I was just nearby Pitlochry (without canoe) but didn't get time for a decent look. Good to know. I'm over there a few times a year and would be good to have a paddle. The visitor centre definitely seems like the best place to put in. Thanks again.

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