The Great Glen Canoe Trail, the most iconic canoe trip in Scotland, if not the UK!
A superb, and unforgettable 60 mile coast to coast trip through the highlands, along majestic canals and lochs, that is suitable for paddlers of all abilities. The canal itself is a listed historic monument built in the 19th century by Thomas Telford linking 3 major Lochs, from Fort William to Inverness.
This 5 day adventure begins on a quiet canal overlooked by the magnificent North Face of Ben Nevis.
Stunning scenery continues along the canal onto Loch Lochy and loch Ness. There is always the possibility of paddling down the beautiful river Oich to the head of Loch Ness.
Throughout your journey there is a chance of seeing some of Scotlands finest wildlife including Pine Marten, Ospreys, Red Squirrels and Red Deer.
Paddling along Loch Ness is unforgettable. At 23 miles long it is one of Scotland’s largest lochs, containing more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined! And it comes with the possibility of seeing one of our most elusive animals “Nessie”.
This superb journey ends in the early afternoon of the 5th day near the coast of Inverness, “The Highland’s Capital” where you will be left with wonderful memories of a fabulous journey which will last for years to come.
Neptunes Staircase, Banavie, Fort William
Throughout your journey you will be looked after by two canoe guides, Colin & Katrina.
There is plenty of parking available at the car park at the bottom of Neptune’s Staircase where we will meet on Day 1. We will provided transport back here when we finish paddling on Day 5. However, if you prefer to spend some time in Inverness rather than returning to Fort William, there are various options available, please speak to us about this.
Although the majority of our campsites will be “wild”, The Great Glen is well furnished with toilets and washing facilities along the way to which we will have access.
We’ll meet in the car park at the bottom of Neptunes Staircase, and once we have loaded the canoes with all our gear we will set off along the Caledonian Canal until we reach the first set of locks at Gairlochy. Here we will set up camp and have dinner before settling down for the night.
After breakfast we will set off along Loch Lochy, stopping for lunch along the way. At the end of the loch we rejoin the man-made section of the Caledonian Canal at Laggan Lochs. After a short paddle along here, we reach Loch Oich. We will set up camp a short distance along this loch.
We continue along Loch Oich until just before Bridge of Oich. Here we will either continue along the man-made canal, or take the option of paddling down the moving waters of the beautiful River Oich. On reaching the head of Loch Ness at Fort Augustus we will stop for lunch. Then, keeping a look out for the Loch Ness Monster, we will continue along Loch Ness until we reach our camp spot for the evening at Foyers.
Continuing along Loch Ness, passing the iconic Urqhart Castle until we finally reach the end of this majestic loch at Dochgarroch where we stop for the night.
After a leisurely breakfast, we will continue along the final stretch of the Caledonian Canal to Inverness. Here we will load the boats onto the trailer and head back to Fort William with fantastic memories of a great trip that we will cherish for years to come.