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Thread: Weaver Valley Canoe Trail

  1. #1

    Default Weaver Valley Canoe Trail

    Cheshire West and Chester Council have just published details of the new Weaver Valley Canoe Trail.


    Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

    The trail is divided into three sections :-


    Signage will be added over the next few weeks and months.

    Cheshire West & Chester Council's general information says
    The Weaver Valley Canoe Trail is a new project offering members of the
    public the opportunity to explore their local waterways. In future, the trail may
    expand to include additional waterways, access points and places of interest.
    The first phase of the project, which is a joint initiative between British
    Waterways and Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of the Weaver
    Valley Partnership, is 28.5 km with an additional 5km loop on the Trent and
    Mersey canal. The initial phase of the network is defined on the maps shown
    on the website. Outside of these areas, agreements with land owners /
    service providers are not in place, therefore we ask that you stay within the
    defined area.
    As the network is managed by British Waterways there are licensing
    requirements. As a member of the British Canoe Union or any of the home
    nation governing bodies, your annual membership includes access to British
    Waterways canals and rivers. We would recommend becoming a member, as
    this offers many benefits, but a short term visitor licence can be purchased at
    low cost from British Waterways.
    Well done Cheshire West & Chester Council!
    Keith

  2. Default

    We've paddled the weaver by paddling along the canal south of Church Minshull then dropping down on to the Weaver and paddling to Winsford - nice trip if a bit prone to Willows

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Brill, I will look it up as it is local to me. Good use of my council tax
    Sal
    There can be worse obsessions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catford Bags View Post
    We've paddled the weaver by paddling along the canal south of Church Minshull then dropping down on to the Weaver and paddling to Winsford - nice trip if a bit prone to Willows
    This section is not on the published canoe trail but it is probably one of the most interesting bits! It is worth looking at the water level on the EA website (Ashbrook) as the level varies considerably. At low levels (below 0.4m the upper sections can be too shallow to paddle (although the boat can be dragged easily between the deeper sections) but it is possible to paddle upstream, even paddling over the measuring weir at Ashbrook with a bit of effort. At low levels one can put in at the Flash and simply paddle upstream. The section between the measuring weir and the Flash is always deep enough to paddle. Above a 0.5m deep at the weir the flow is pretty strong and care needs to be taken. The banks are tree lined and there are many strainers in the form of fallen trees and debris - you need to be careful of the line you take as it could get serious very quickly. There are no real opportunities to scout out the route first. I would hate to see the river at the higher levels. The measuring weir at around 0.3-0.5m makes for a bit of reasonably safe play on a summer's day (the main danger being the downstream strainers). Sometimes trees block the river but are either swept away or removed by locals.

    Below the measuring weir the river passes through strainer rich woodland until Winsford Flash. At low levels this makes for an interesting paddle but the debris stuck high in the trees and the height of some of the landing stages of local's "camps" suggests that high levels could again be very serious. The banks from here on along the weaver are composed of fine silty mud - be careful if you try to "land" on one of the "beaches" exposed at low levels - you may sink in and the smell can be atrocious! On a warm Sunday there can be lots of traffic in this section as locals travel to their "camps" in the woods in small underpowered boats. I've never had any problems but another canoeist did warn me to keep away from the "hillbillys" and not to land on "their side of the river" (the East bank).

    This upper section is quite different to the rest of the Weaver - the designated canoe trail. The canoe trail is wide and the flow from Winsford Flash is slow. The Trent and Mersey canal can be used to make a circular route avoiding the need for car shuttles.

    The canoe trail passes some interesting industrial features and is a good introduction to paddling a bigger river (although the Dee between Farndon and Chester is maybe more interesting if you are looking for a more rural paddle in the area. The Weaver below Winsford Flash is very slow flowing (almost a long lake) and so paddling upstream is possble in most places (the fastest bit is the actual exit from the flash. There is a FREE car park with slipway at the flash and Winsford flash is a good place to try canoe sailing.

    In the winter the Weaver is usually free of ice except in the sections of the lock cuts. These can be long so a trolley could be useful. The weir cuts around the locks are interesting from a wildlife point of view but there are generally no portage routes round the lethal sluices. They can make nice quiet picnic spots.

    Graham


  5. #5

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    Had a great paddle with 4 kids from get in at start of Flash and paddled up to Top Flash, wanted to paddle further up but kids ran out of steam, it looks like there could be a reasonable portage across/up field to canal for possibility of circular route....lots of evidence of 'camps'. Next time will try to get in a Church Minshull.

    Check it out for a fun explore.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Newcastle under lyme
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    We often put the boat in at Winsford Flash (Bottom Flash) and then paddle down to either Vale Royal Lock or Northwich (depending on how energetic we're feeling). The route along the river Weaver is quite industrial for the first mile or so but soon becomes more rural. There's loads of wildlife all along the river. There are herons all over the place and we often see kingfishers. Also ducks (mainly mallards but some more exotic looking ones too), geese, swans, and kestrels overhead.
    As far as I know there's no way past the locks so you have to port the boat. At Vale Royal Lock there are some temporary moorings designed for barges waiting to go through the lock, which are ideal to get the boat in and out. Also ideal to tie the boat to and stop for a picnic/brew. We've found it's easiest to get out and put the boat back in on the same side of the river (right hand side if you're travelling from Winsford towards Northwich). You can cross the river on the bridge, which looks shorter and easier, but it isn't! If you want a really easy ride then get a canoe trolley, or get someone else to carry the boat because it gets pretty heavy!
    The Weaver is an ideal location for us as it's fairly close to home and there's no access problems. There is free launching and parking at the Flash, and also a riverside pub. The scenery is not spectacular but it's interesting to see the salt works and the wildlife.
    I've just discovered the website for the rest of the Weaver canoe trail and am looking forward to paddling the Anderton and Frodsham sections soon.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    North Wales
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    Hi
    how long (roughly) would it take to leisurely paddle the loop route. thinking of doing this Saturday as a first family trip....so not wanting to overtired us all

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    North Wales
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    Phil/us mixed up weekend, so we will sort something in next couple of weeks. Hopefully we will all get better weather!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Bridgewater Canal Warrington
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    Hector + Friends

    Good to briefly meet up with you on the flash. I should have paddled today - it was not a day for sailing. I ended up paddling the dinghy all the way back. I hope you all got packed up before the massive hail storm - it was awesome on the water!

    Graham

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Wales
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    Graham, lovely to meet you. To be honest I didn't "click" straightaway when you said hello ...as I was thinking sailing not SOTP I'd also thought I was sending a pm and not on a thread...no glasses and a mobile!
    I did feel for you in the windless afternoon...no we didn't escape the hailstorm...that was unbelievable! We wondered about you out there in that. Still, we loved the trip and had a great time. I didn't open the invite as we are slow beginners and Just mentioned it to folk we had met who offered to come out with us. In future, as we improve, It would be great to meet up....minus hailstones.
    Last edited by Hector; 9th-November-2013 at 05:24 PM.

  11. #11
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    Windless wasn't so bad; I was drysuited so the hail wasn't bad and the aim was to try some semi-capsize recoveries - the flash is very shallow and muddy so you don't let it turn turtle. I look forward to a blog of your trip.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hector View Post
    Hi
    how long (roughly) would it take to leisurely paddle the loop route. thinking of doing this Saturday as a first family trip....so not wanting to overtired us all
    First family trip on the horizon for us soon, did you time the 'loop' how strenuous was it too, I will be 3 up with only me paddling. (2 lazyish boys).

    any help appreciated, thanks.

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