River Earn, a Short Canoe Trip

The Earn is a river I drive over on many a road north and south on the A9 and I have often wondered about paddling it. Finally, a free day arose which would allow a stretch to be paddled down, and we settled on the stretch between Comrie and Crieff, a short journey of about 10km which was new to both of us, but which we could stretch out by practicing some techniques along the way; ferrying, poling and surfing on waves.

Putting in at Crieff

The put-in at Crieff

Almost immediately after setting off, we met the main challenge of the day, a grade III weir (maybe it was less on the day), and once it had been scouted out from the bank and a descent path decided upon, we took turns to paddle down whilst the other took up position below with a safety line just in case of any spills, thankfully there were none. We spent some time ferrying back and forth below the weir, aiming for eddies on both sides of the flow and in the middle too, with mixed success at hitting the target and staying at the same river level despite the varying strength of flow.

Descending the weir at Creiff

Weir at Creiff

Playing beneath the weir

Playing beneath the weir

A perfect stop for lunch

A perfect lunching spot

Within minutes of leaving the weir we spotted a nice rock feature standing out in the sunshine and decided to have lunch, barely a kilometer from our put-in, but it was lunch time and we’d spent a good amount of time and energy playing already.

Curious horse

Curious horse

The remainder of the journey down to Crieff was pretty chilled out, just some very easy rapids but very pleasant and it has whetted the appetite for a return to this section and to more of the river which is navigable above and below this stretch.

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