WOODENBRIDGE PADDLERS CANOE CLUB: The Wooden bridge which spans the river Erkina is situated in the towns land of Ballyboden, half way between the villages of Durrow, Ballacolla and Cullohill. For a number of years a group of local water enthusiasts were exploring ways of enjoying the calm waters here. Canoing was introduced in the late 1990′s when the first fiver glass kayaks were acquired. Outings were arranged for a small group one of which a 22-mile trip from the Wooden bridge to Kilkenny City in September 1999. Numbers have grown over the years and the club is now affiliated to the Irish Canoe Union. We have three rivers to enjoy:
The River Nore
The Nore joins the Laois border three miles west of Borris’n’ Ossary and flows through the county to below the tally hoe bridge on the Attanagh Road outside Durrow. On route it traverses places of interest such as Castletown, one of Irelands tidy villages, Mountrath Golf Club, “The Mash”, a haven for wildlife, the famous DeVasey estate and the scenic countryside around Durrow.
The Erkina River
The Erkina which has its source in an area close to the point where County Laois, Tipperary and Kilkenny meet can be navigated by kayak from Johnstown Glebe, two miles south of Rathdowney and the Golf Course, the wooden bridge – the only one of its kind still carrying traffic in this country and the bridge from where to local canoe clubs gets their names, “the Curragh” home to bird watchers as illustrated in Don Conroy and Jim Wilson’s book Bird Life in Ireland, and the beautiful Castle Durrow as you approach the town.
The Goul River
The River Goul is also worthy of exploring. This river was once the home to the milling industry with Bartons Mill at Ballinfrase, Beagdons Mill at Historical Aghmacart and Baileys Mill in Newtown all situated on its Banks.
Read more about the Club here… WoodenBridge Paddlers.