The Great Glen Canoe Trail
An 85km journey over 5 days starting in Fort William, paddling through the heart of Scotland including the world famous Loch Ness carrying all of our own equipment, camping in stunning wild locations before finishing in Inverness.
- Five Day Classic Canoe Trip
- Professional & Experienced Guides
- Stunning Wilderness Campsites
- Incredible Scenery & Wildlife
- Fresh Food Cooked Over Open Fires
The final day - we normally have an early start today - launching onto the loch in the stillness and calm of early morning and watching the mist clear is a special feeling. The end of Loch Ness grows ever closer as we continue along stopping for a quick brew every so often to keep us fueled. There maybe the opportunity to harness the wind and to sail here, enjoying the rest from paddling as we pass Urquart Castle; a 13th century stronghold which has seen more Nessie sightings than any other location. Eventually the Dores Inn will come into view and we'll finish triumphantly on the beach before heading inside for a well earned drink!
"Five days canoeing & camping along The Great Glen with Tom & Robson was an absolutely fantastic experience.
Beautiful scenery made better by great company. Their easy confidence inspired the group, we always knew we were in very safe hands - and great cooks to boot, easily whipping up haggis, neeps & tatties or a chicken curry over a fire at the end of a days canoeing. Thank you for a great trip" - Kate P May 2019
You'll meet us at The Dores Inn on the Shores of Loch Ness - this is a few miles from Inverness and where the canoe trip will finish. Cars can be left here for the week along with any possessions you don't want to take in the canoes.
We'll issue you with your own waterproof rucksack for the week and help get everything packed inside them. From here we will board the minibus and drive to Neptune's Staircase, just outside Fort William; this is where the trip starts. We'll pack all of our equipment into the canoes and head along the canal a short distance before entering Loch Lochy - here we will choose a quiet, lochside wild campsite for our first night with breathtaking views across towards Ben Nevis. We'll get the fire going and dinner cooked whilst you relax and get settled in.
Today is our first full day on the water but we'll ease you in gently with a short distance and only after a hearty breakfast! Today we paddle along Loch Lochy - a beautiful Loch with the Clunes Forest covering the mountainous slopes of the northern shores. We'll stop regularly for a brew and a snack and to explore some of the forest hideaways before setting our sites on Ceann Loch and our campsite at South Laggan where there are toilets, hot showers and more importantly The Eagle Barge - a floating pub! Enjoy a well deserved drink whilst we rustle up another freshly cooked meal.
This is the most varied of days - we start out on a short section of canal which soon delivers us to Loch Oich; the smallest and shallowest Loch on the trip with some interesting islands and the ruins of Invergarry Castle. This seat of the Chiefs of the Clan MacDonnell of Glengarry was an important stronghold in the area. After lunch we will leave the Loch behind and paddle down the River Oich. This quiet river allows us to slip away from the canal system into a waterway only accessible by canoe. We'll negotiate some gentle rapids before settling into our personal favourite campsite of the trip. More food cooked over the open fire before drifiting off to sleep in this perfect riverside forested campsite.
By this point we'll be well into a routine and after the last few kilometres of the river we emerge onto the magnificent Loch Ness - the largest body of fresh water in the UK, the end of which is out of sight because of the curvature of the Earth. We'll stop into the small town of Fort Augustus for a bit of touristy shopping and to resupply any essentials and then head out onto the vastness of Loch Ness. The rugged southern shores have enormous cliffs towering overhead with the potential to glimpse a Golden Eagle soaring far above! The final campsite of the trip is a perfect beach opposite Invermoriston. It affords views both ways up and down Loch Ness so maximum opportunity for monster sightings. We'll cook our last meal over the fire and tell our favourite stories from the week.
Let us take care of everything - allowing you to unwind and get away from it all!
Getting to grips with the paddle on the canal
Chatting near Clunes Forest on Loch Lochy
Rapids on the Beautiful River Oich
River Oich Campsite
Out onto Loch Ness
Loch Ness Campsite