Hertford Lea Loop Trip Report

On Sunday 5th June, eight Nomad paddlers met in a Hertford at 10am to paddle the Hertford Lea loop. All were prepared for wet weather but fortunately we escaped the rain.

Prior to launching, Ian and Chris spoke to some paddlers at the nearby Herts Canoe Club to try and gain some local knowledge from local paddlers who were also just about to paddle the same route.

We then launched right outside Herts Canoe Club, all except Tony & Rafael who decided to paddle the lead in and launched a bit further upstream.

After launching, we headed downstream on the River Lea towards the River Beane and played in Hartham Weir along the way, the first and easiest two step weir of the day. Although, whilst arsing about Rafael did manage to get turned over getting a little wet.

Continuing along the River Lea, we played with balls the we found in river and soon found ourselves at the junction with the Lea Navigation.  At this point there is a Naturist area for swimmers to go skinny dipping. None were about! Strange at a big open junction, but some love to exhibit! (Ha, Ha)

Paddling a bit further downstream on the navigation, we met a Herts Canoe Club paddler who told us of an exciting big 10 foot plus drop weir round the corner, to consider running. But in the end it seemed too far downstream to paddle and also not in the trip plan, so the idea was abandoned. We headed back to Hertford upstream via the navigation on which there was only one lock to portage.

An upstream portage of Castle weir in Hertford town centre was a bit of a scramble due to pathway maintenance around the double drop weir.

We paddled further upstream until we were opposite Hertford castle and stopped for our packed lunch in the park. Here Tony and others talked Sue into running the double drop weir. However, it was Tony who tried to breakout left after the 1st drop and went over. Tony did stay in his boat, upside down and managed to push himself up off the 2nd drop.   Sue managed just fine going straight down the middle.

Sue managed just fine going straight down the middle.

Rafael, Martin & Ian ran the double weir loop a few times, finding it best to break out to right hand side of first drop, so you could play in the top surf wave.

When everyone had had enough, it was off down the exit tunnel (around 50 meters), under the town road system and back to the put in to finish the trip by around 2pm.

Thanks to Dave, Chris, Dan, Sue, Tony, Martin & Rafael for attending.

Ian Walker, Trip Leader

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