Great Glen Canoe Trail


The Great Glen Canoe Trail is a classic canoe journey from coast to coast through the spectacular loch and river system of the Great Glen, including canoeing in Loch Ness. The adventure begins just outside Fort William on the easy, sheltered water of the Caledonia Canal. We then journey through a series of amazing lochs before finishing at Inverness on the other side of Scotland! The journey includes some straightforward river and loch paddling. We may even sail rafted canoes if the wind conditions are favourable! Throughout the expedition, coaching will be given to help you develop your paddling skills, so by the end of the route, you will not only have enjoyed a unique journey, you will also be a more competent canoeist.

Trip Highlights: Canoeing – The Great Glen Canoe Trail

  • Canoe from the west to the east coast through the spectacular Great Glen loch and river system – including some canoeing in Loch Ness
  • Journey in the company of experienced wilderness canoe guides and develop your paddling skills en routeGGCT image 3
  • Wild camping on the shores of some of Scotland’s finest lochs with superb wilderness cooking throughout

What’s Included

  • 4 nights wild camping on the banks of the lochs
  • All meals as stated in the itinerary (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport, starting and finishing in Fort William (with the option to be dropped in Inverness on Day 5 if required)
  • The services of at least one experienced and knowledgeable canoe guide / driver throughout your trip.
  • All group equipment including tents, group safety equipment and cooking /eating equipment and utensils. Please note that sleeping bags are not included. However, sleeping bags and sleeping mats are available for hire.
  • All specialist open canoe equipment, including canoes and buoyancy aids.



Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Lochy
Our canoe journey begins above Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal, a gentle introduction as we make our way to Gairlochy, and the first of several lock gates, at the end of Loch Lochy. A canoe trip up the Great Glen with its large areas of open water is dictated by wind conditions, but we plan to get about three quarters of the way up Loch Lochy today, camping on the north side in the shelter of trees. (L, D)

Day 2 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Lochy to Loch Oich
Today’s section has the variety of the open water of Loch Lochy and a beautiful tree-lined section of canal, before we reach Loch Oich, much the smallest of the Great Glen’s lochs. We will need to portage at every lock but this is all part of the open canoe journey! Our campsite tonight is on the grassy shore of Loch Oich. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Oich to Loch Ness
We are back on the canal today for the few miles up to Fort Augustus. Here we have the longest portage of the trip, round a series of six locks, but our efforts are rewarded as we canoe out onto the mighty Loch Ness. If the wind and the group’s energy allow, we will continue up the loch to camp in the woodland below Invermoriston. (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Canoeing in Loch Ness: Invermoriston to Urquhart Bay
Loch Ness is awesome in any weather conditions, so as we continue our canoe journey we may be sailing with a following wind or watching reflections of the steep mountains in mirror calm water. Urquhart Castle guards the bay into which we plan to paddle for our last night’s camp, though there is always the option to continue further. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Canoeing in Loch Ness: Urquhart Bay to Inverness
From Urquhart Bay to Lochend is over a mile wide but before too long the end of the loch is in sight. After a few miles we will reach Loch Dochfour out of which flows the River Ness, which in turn flows through Inverness and out into the Beauly Firth. This is the end point of a memorable canoe trip through the Great Glen. After sorting our kit, we are transferred back to Fort William for our journey’s end. (B, L, D)



Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6

The Great Glen Canoe Trail is still suitable for people with no previous experience. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

For the River Spey Descent and the Whisky Trail previous canoeing experience is required as we will experience some sections of more challenging rapids, a good level of general fitness is also required for these trips.

For all Blue Graded canoe trips you can expect up to 7 hours of paddling each day with plenty of breaks.

These trips generally involve being further away from civilisation with multi-day wild camping.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Do you have a reasonable level of fitness?
Are you happy camping under the stars for a few nights?



Departures & Prices

Book with confidence – we guarantee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date

Price $AU

Trip Status

13th May – 17th May 2017  $1355 Trip Full
08th July – 12th July 2017  $1355 Confirmed
05th Aug – 9th Aug 2017  $1355 Confirmed
02nd Sep – 06th Sep 2017  $1355 Confirmed