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Maydown Bridge - Coney Island

The complete Blackwater Canoe Trail from start to finish with overnight camping at Copney Campsite and Coney Island.

County
Armagh / Tyrone
Distance
15.25 miles (24.5kms)
Days
2
Nearest Town
Benburb
Route Shape
Linear
Grade
1-2
OS Map
19
Access Point
Maydown Bridge - GR H818519
Egress Point
Maghery Slip - GR H937640

Downloads

Points of Interest

Moy, The Argory, Bond’s Bridge. Verner’s Bridge, Coney Island

Itinerary

This itinerary has been compiled using an estimated paddling speed of 2.5 miles (4 kilometres) per hour and also allowing time for lunch breaks and the many photo opportunities along the way.  Please check forecast before departing.


Day 1 Maydown Bridge (GR H841 522) to Copney Campsite (GR H877 589) 8 miles (13km)


Start you trip at Maydown Bridge, however please note that from Maydown Bridge to Blackwater Town the river is often fast-flowing through the narrow channel therefore a reasonable skill level is required to complete this section of the trail. It is not suitable for novice paddlers without qualified instruction, and paddlers should be aware of the numerous over-hanging tree branches. Also after prolonged periods of dry weather this section can dry out, and is therefore not navigable at such times.  You can choose to omit this 3km section and begin your trip at the next access point Blackwatertwon.


From Blackwatertown enjoy a relaxing 3 mile (5km) paddle downstream to Moy.  It is also possible to start your trip at Moy (GR H853 560) therefore reducing your trip by 3 miles (5km).  Access/ Egress is available at the quay on the left hand side of the river just downstream of the bridge. The village is renowned for its antique shops which may not be that appropriate on a canoe trip but a large Spar shop is just a short walk from the egress point so you can top up on those energy boosting drinks and snacks. A further walk into the village square offers 8 pubs and 2 restaurants including The Ryandale Guest Inn (+44 (0)28 8778 4829).


From Moy, a short 2 mile (3.5km) paddle will bring you to The Argory, (GR H870 583) often described as one of the jewels in The National Trust’s crown.  If you have time why not take a tour of the 19th Century house – a Neo-classical masterpiece, or simply call in for a break at the tea shop (seasonal opening)


A short paddle will bring you to your overnight stop at Copney Campsite.


Day 2 Copney Campsite (GR H877 589) to Coney Island (GR H937 640) 7.25 miles (11.5km)


A further 6.5 mile (10.5km) paddle through beautiful countryside will bring you to Maghery Country Park.  Verner’s Bridge (GR H882 612) offers a good place for a further rest stop along the way. 


You can egress at Maghery Slip on continue onwards ¾ mile (1.2km)  to Coney Island.  Please note Lough Neagh becomes rough and Maghery is particularly exposed in strong northerly or easterly winds.  It is recommended to bring rafting poles for this section of the journey. 


Coney Island is beautifully maintained by the National Trust and offers a well manicured rough camping area just beside the canoe steps. There is also a BBQ area.  Coney Island’s achilles heel is the Lough Neagh fly, which although harmless, can be highly annoying during calm weather around late April / early May. To camp on Coney Island please telephone Kinnego Marina +44 (0)28 3832 7573 or Coney Island Warden (0788 7827230) – a small fee is charged.


Unfortunately due to anti-social behaviour in the area it is not advisable to leave your car overnight at Maghery Country Park, so either arrange to be collected here or more secure parking can be arranged at the nearby GAA club - Maghery Sean MacDermott’s. This should be arranged in advance by emailing info@maghery.com

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