Activity for all the family (kids aged 6 upwards) in Europe's oldest Marine Nature Reserve.  The lake was originally fresh water only, formed 10,000 years ago, but with rising sea levels salt water now flows in for about 4.5 hours whilst it ebbs for about 8.  The rapids connect the sea and Barlogue to the whirlpool in Lough Hyne and creates a fast flowing tidal stream where you feel like you're "flying" through the water.

The safest time is around slack when the level of the sea equals the level of water in the lake.  The kelp and weeds stand up straight for just about 2 minutes and then the whole process changes with a direction of flow in or out depending of course on when you time your trip. Safest tides are actually neap tides when the difference between high and low water are the least.  The level in the lake ranges 1 mtr whilst at sea it can be up to 4 mtrs on sprint tides. 

It is best to wear full wetsuits, boots and perhaps even gloves as the temperature is never above 16 or 17 degrees at best and you chill when spending an hour or so enjoying the "rides".  With mask, fins and snorkel you have more vision of course and manoeuvrability through the water, particularly to swim out of the stream and climb ashore to do the whole process again and again and really is great fun.

With a mask are likely going to see urchins, starfish, anemones, sea squirt, shrimps, mullet, wrasse, sand eels, crabs, scallops and the occasional lobster.  All species are of course protected in and around the lake including the area up to and including Bullock Island in Barlogue.

Lough Hyne - Rapids