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      IWA SILVER PROPELLER CHALLENGE

    NEW LOCATION IN NORTHERN ENGLAND   .                       

   Exploring the far-flung reaches of the network just got even more rewarding. .                                                                                       
     

We’ve added the Lancaster Canal’s Northern Reaches  to our list of under-boated waterways to visit


Visiting the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal will help to promote the restoration of the canal up to Kendal.


In the North West, and on an unconnected part of the network, the Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal is accessible by portable or trailable craft, and by trip-boat. The qualifying location for the purposes of the Silver Propeller Challenge is the northern limit of navigation at Stainton (beyond the aqueduct once it has reopened, or just before it until then), or
Mattisons Bridge, which is where the Lancaster Canal Trust’s trip-boat runs to.
The Northern Reaches of the Lancaster Canal are in water from Millness to Stainton, a length of almost 2 miles which provides a beautiful stretch of canal with magnificent scenery for trailboats and paddle- craft as well as walkers.
There is a slipway and parking at Millness, at the southern end of the stretch, with mooring possible. The slipway has seen much use in recent years, particularly for the IWA Trailboat festivals in 2015 and 2019. There is a platform alongside enabling the launching of canoes and other portable boats, and this is used on a regular basis by a local charity, the Bendrigg Trust.
 The canal lpasses immediately alongside The Westmorland County Showground which has events throughout most of the year. The towpath is being upgraded between Kendal and Hincaster, and there is further parking at Stainton car park. There is a pub at Crooklands, and a regular bus service from  Crooklands to Kendal.
          There are other things of interest for those visiting the area, such as the Gunpowder Trail walk from Crooklands. Hincaster Tunnel is a listed   structure, which was recently awarded a Red Wheel from the Transport Trust, and its associated horsepath is a scheduled ancient monument.
For those without a boat, the Lancaster Canal Trust runs its trip-boat Waterwitch on Sundays during the summer months from Crooklands to  beyond Mattisons Bridge, and also offers charters for up to 12 people to the end of the navigation length. For further details see the Lancaster Canal Trust website (lctrust.co.uk). LCT also produces an excellent guide book on the canal.
At the northernmost point of this section is Stainton Aqueduct, a listed structure which will be reopened to navigation soon. Beyond the aqueduct is Stainton Crossing Bridge and a couple more furlongs of canal to the current limit of navigation. You can visit the LCT restoration site to see the ongoing work on its First Furlong project, which is due to open shortly and will extend navigation by 200m. The restoration of the next 400m will then commence.
In reaching this new Silver Propeller Challenge location, boaters will have traversed the most northerly navigable canal in England, and increased use of this isolated section will support the efforts of LCT to reopen the canal
to Kendal. Boaters who attended the 2019 Trailboat Festival can claim the award already as the Silver Propeller Challenge was implemented before the Trailboat Festival – although you are encouraged to go back for a return visit!

The Lancaster Canal Trust acknowledges the Inland  Waterways Association’s consent for the reproduction of the text of this article from their “Waterways” magazine feature.

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LANCASTER CANAL TRUST TRIPBOAT "WATERWITCH" AT CROOKLANDS ON THE NORTHERN REACHES
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DISTINGUISHED CANAL EXPLORERS PAUSING AT CROOKLANDS BEFORE CONTINUING THEIR jOURNEY OF EXPLORATION UP THE NORTHERN REACHES TO STAINTON,
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LANCASTER CANAL TRUST VOLUNTEERS RESTORING THE NORTHERN REACHES NORTHWARDS FROM BRIDGE 172 AT STAINTON
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NORTHERN REACHES FIVE MILES SOUTH OF KENDAL