Canoe the Great Glen

Our next guided Great Glen Canoe Trail adventures are;

By Canoe


Guided Adventures – Great Glen Canoe Trail

The Great Glen Canoe Trail was Scotland’s first formal Canoe Trail. Following the Caledonian Canal route from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east, this sixty-mile challenge has undergone development over the last few years due to the popularity of this fantastic canoe and sea kayak route.

The Great Glen Canoe Trail sixty-mile route includes twenty-two miles of paddling on sections of man-made canal, with the rest on lochs – Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, world famous Loch Ness and Loch Dochfour. For experienced canoeists, the whitewater sections of River Oich, River Ness and River Lochy can also be included to reduce the number of portage points and add extra excitement to this fantastic across Scotland canoe adventure.

No one knows the trail better than Donald. Through his work with British Waterways Scotland (now Scottish Canals) as Canoe Trail Project Officer, he set up this formal Canoe Trail, and as part of this works wrote the Great Glen Canoe Trail Guidebook published by Pesda Press. Donald is a highly experienced BCU Coach & Guide in open canoe, inland kayak, and sea kayak. So you know you are in safe hands and out on the water.

Why not join Donald on one of his unique all-inclusive Great Glen Canoe Trail paddling adventures;

Canoe sailing on Loch Ness

For more details on these and bookings, please see our diary page or contact Donald.

Private Guided Great Glen Adventure

If you are interested in a bespoke Great Glen Canoe Trail adventure, Explore Highland can offer you a tailor-made package. This could include guiding by top local guides either in open canoes, sea kayaks or stand up paddleboards ranging from one to five days. Depending on your group’s paddling experience we could link in the River Oich and River Ness to reduce the number of portages and offer a more unique Canoe Trail experience. Accommodation options are available for bespoke Canoe Trails depending on your requirements, however they could including wild camping, use of commercial campsites, local bunkhouses, B&B’s, local hotels or a combination.

Some of our most popular Great Glen Canoe Trail options are listed below:

  • Canals & Lochs (3-5 days)
  • Canals, Lochs & Rivers* (3-5 days)
  • Canoe Trail by Sea Kayak (2-4 days)
  • Fort William to Laggan (1-2 days)
  • Laggan to For Augustus (1-2 days)
  • Paddle Loch Ness (0.5-2 days)
  • Inverness Mini Trail* (1-2 days)
  • Fort Augustus Mini Trail* (1-2 days)
  • Fort William Mini Trail* (1-2 days)

*Canoes only used to run river sections. Sea kayak and stand up paddleboards would take on the canal sections

We have the local knowledge and contacts within the Great Glen to make this trip work for you.

Book Your Private Great Glen Adventure

You can book your private guided adventure in two easy steps.

Step 1 – Please complete the provisional private group booking request form below.

    Full Name (group organiser)

    Email Address

    UK Mobile Number or Whatsapp no. if outwith UK

    Paddlesports service required

    Paddling Activity/Adventure/Location

    Preferred paddlesport craft for booking

    Requested date of booking (or day 1 of a multiday trip)

    Duration of requested paddlesport activity

    No. of Adults in group (18+)

    No. of teenagers in group (12-18yo)

    No. of children in group (6-11yo)

    Any additional Comments regarding group booking

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    Once the form has been received and reviewed, Donald will get back in touch by email to accept or decline the provisional booking request.

    Step 2 – If your provisional booking is accepted, additional information (Private Group Booking Form) is needed, with the completed forms returned within 48 hours.

    Please Note – A minimum of two weeks notice is required to turn around emails, forms, create booking/invoice and allocate resources around other prebooked coached/guided activities. Four to six weeks notice is required for multiday guided activities.

    Self Guided Great Glen Adventures


    Explore Highland offers a range of services specifically for the Great Glen Canoe Trail to help experienced paddlers take on this route. This includes competitively priced open canoe hire for individuals and groups.

    Further Great Glen Canoe Trail information

    Explore Highland have also a number of links below to a number of resources for experienced paddlers to aid with their planning.

    Great Glen Canoe Hire

    Great Glen Shuttle Services

    Great Glen Canoe Trail Map

    Great Glen Canoe Trail Guidebook

    Great Glen – Additional Paddler Resources