The Great Glen Canoe Trail

Trip overview

The Great Glen Canoe Trail follows the 60 miles of the Caledonian Canal from Corpach

(Fort William) in the West to Clachnaharry (Inverness) in the East. Our Journey finishes

slightly short of Inverness, at Dochgarroch.

You will be paddling on man-made canals, the open waters of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness,

the slightly more sheltered waters of Loch Oich and Loch Dochfour. 

The trail is Scotland’s first dedicated long distance canoe trail. It was launched in 2012 with

dedicated facilities such as low-level pontoons and Trailblazer rest sites.

The route includes 29 locks which must be portaged around, and takes most paddlers about

3 to 5 days days.

A challenging multi-day Journey which comprises 22 miles of man-made canal and 38 miles

of open water on the lochs. The Great Glen Canoe Trail is perfect for less experienced

paddlers who want to experience an adventure as part of an organised trip.

At a Glance

4 nights wild camping 

5 days guided kayaking journey with instruction

Group normally 5 to 8, per leader

Meet at Corpach train station near Fort William. 

Trip Highlights

A unique opportunity to paddle from the Atlantic to the North Sea

Water-level perspective on very beautiful Highland scenery

Wild camping opportunities on the shores of the lochs

Access to all of the canal’s toilets and showers

Expert instruction from our first class guides

Is This Trip for You?

A week for complete beginners or individuals with kayaking experience. Inevitably we start

with the basics, building your ability as the journey progresses.

You will be in your kayak for at least 5-6 hours a day with a focus on tuition, getting

comfortable in your kayak and building towards independent journeying.

This trip may be suitable for persons of reduced mobility. Please contact us to discuss

the trip and your personal condition.

Scroll down for an outline itinerary


Outline Itinerary

Day -1 Optional

Fort William

If you are travelling from afar then you may wish to stay the night before.

Day 1

Start Corpach

0800 - 1700

Today we will take it easy. The aim is to get you familiar with your kayak.

We will go through all the basic paddle strokes and what to do if you are unfortunate

enough to capsize.

Before we even get on the water we will look at how to pack the kayak for the journey

and at the group equipment you will be carrying. Once the basics are covered we will

set off and use the start of the journey to practice your paddling and enhance your skills.

Camping near Gairlochy

Day 2

Loch Lochy

0800 - 1700

Today we take on our first large Loch, Loch Lochy. Approximately 16km long this loch can be

challenging. We will hug the north shore and pass by Bunarkaig were if we are lucky

we may see osprey fishing in the bay. Staying close to bank we will travel alongside

the forested shore line, stopping for regular breaks on small beaches along the way.

Camping at Laggan Locks

Day 3 Loch Oich

0800 - 1700

This is the shortest day but one of the nicest, passing through the beautiful Loch Oich which

is the smallest Loch on our journey but always a highlight.

The final part of the day is portaging the locks at For Augustus before setting up camp

on the shores of Loch Ness.

Camping at Loch Ness

Day 4

Loch Ness - South

0800 - 1700

Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the heart of The Great Glen.

Loch Ness extends for approximately 37 kilometres and has the largest volume of

freshwater in Great Britain. This will be our home for two days.

Setting off from Fort Augustus we will paddle along the more remote south side of the Loch.

On a clear day we will see our destination Foyers in the distance, and along the way there

are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the dramatic scenery on offer.

Camping at Foyers

Day 5

Loch Ness - North

0800 - 1700

The final leg of our journey, we travel to the very top of loch Ness before entering the final

stretch of canal to Dochgarroch.


We will end our journey late in the afternoon, as such travel links for some may be difficult. You may wish to arrange some local accommodation and start your homeward journey the following day.