Calder and Hebble Canoe Trail

The navigation, which is part-canal and part river, connects the Yorkshire and Pennine canals and provides easy access canoeing in the Pennines. Canal enthusiasts will appreciate the unusual waterways architecture, including quirky lever-operated locks.

The small towns of Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge are full of interest and local colour, while Wakefield has many attractions, including a redeveloped waterfront area, the Hepworth Art Gallery.

Now that the Rochdale Canal and Huddersfield Narrow Canal have been restored, the Calder & Hebble is once again an essential part of the waterway routes across the Pennines.

Running for 21.5 miles between Sowerby Bridge and Wakefield, the Calder & Hebble was designed to extend navigation from the Aire and Calder Navigation at Wakefield to Halifax, and later Sowerby Bridge. By 1770, navigation was possible along the upper reaches of the Calder.

The canal joins the Huddersfield Broad Canal at Cooper Bridge, and the Rochdale Canal at its Sowerby Bridge terminus. Since the Calder & Hebble’s locks are shorter than those on the Rochdale, the warehouses at Sowerby Bridge were used for transhipment – storing cargoes after they were unloaded from one size of boat, ready to go into another. These spectacular warehouses are now being restored with the help of a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

This is a 21.5 mile paddle on the Calder & Hebble Navigation from its start at the canal basin in Sowerby Bridge to where it meets the Calder & Aire Navigation in Wakefield. This is a combination of canal and river paddling, starting off on the canal for the first x miles, until you pick up the river at Brighouse, then it’s a combination of river / canal until you reach Thornhill Lees, from here its canal again until just after the Navigation Pub on the outskirts of Wakefield. The last section is the river Calder to its finish at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield.

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