OS Map 125 Grid Reference SH927368
Nearby Postcode LL23 7RY
The Bala Mill slalom site is on the river
Tryweryn, half a mile from the town of Bala on a dam regulated river. With a
deep pool below the Mill Falls it provides a year round training and competition
site regardless of water release from the Llyn Celyn dam. Bala Canoe club owns
the site on one side of the river and with permission from Mr Robin Price of
Rhiwlas and the Environment Agency has access to a 500m stretch of water for
slalom gates and a further 600m of flat water down to the road bridge in Bala.
Bala Mill falls provides the main feature of the
Premier and Division 1 course (it also hosted International and GB selection
races in the 1970s and 80s) and can only be used with a flow over 9 cumecs. The
rapid falls out of Rhiwlas pool and consists of a progressively technical
whitewater for 75 meters, culminating in a rocky drop guarded by a large
haystack wave and a cross flow that also drops down the chicken shoot, which is
also used by wild water racers as an alternative to the main drop.
The site below the
falls itself consists of a pool hosting the training site and division 2,
3 and 4 slaloms. This can be used at any water level, but with a regular release
of 9 10 cubic metres provides a tongue of fast water, some quick eddies and
features and a steady flow to the bottom of the course with a small chute at the
egress. On a winter release of 5 cumecs it makes a good training venue under
floodlights, with 20 gates giving plenty of variation for technical and physical
The site is owned and managed by Bala Canoe
Club, and includes a large field for parking and occasional camping. Following a
lean period, the club is re-establishing itself with over 100 local members, of
whom 2025 take part in regular slalom sessions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at
the Mill, Saturdays at Canolfan Tryweryn and on the lake on Mondays. The club
also run freestyle, whitewater and lake sessions on Fridays. Any monies raised
by the club at events are used to develop the site, the road and paths are kept
in good condition and maintain a building which hosts toilets and a kitchen.
Following a spate of vandalism a few years ago, the club building has been
required to have a tenant there, so please respect the property if you are using
it for races or training and keep to the public footpath or river bank.
If you want to use the site for training, groups
can contact Chris Leesmith at Paddleworks in the High Street in Bala, while
individuals can join the club (contact Richard Lee on 01678 520337 or
Alternatively you can buy a ticket at Canolfan Tryweryn and enjoy 5½ miles of
fresh whitewater 200 days of the year, with releases most weekends between March
and October. Check the water info line on 01678 520826 for release information.
A comprehensive river guide is available at
Turn off the A4212 400m from the A494 turn off
to Porthmadog/Trawsfynydd. The track to the site is opposite the artificial
sports pitch between the turning into Cysgod y Coleg estate (you cannot access
the site if you turn into the housing estate) and the College on top of the
hill. Please take care on the access road many children play along it.