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 route
- Wild camping on the shores of some of Scotland’s finest lochs with superb wilderness cooking throughout
- 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.
Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6
This Blue graded canoeing trip is suitable for people with no previous canoeing experience, but a good level of fitness is required. We will be paddling for up to 7 hours each day on flat water lochs and canals, however in windy conditions it will be challenging and we will encounter small waves on the larger lochs.
River Spey Descent
This Blue graded canoeing trip is only suitable for people with some previous canoeing experience and a good level of fitness. Since we are paddling on moving river waters, including several more exciting rapids (up to Grade 2) competence steering the canoe is an essential skill from the beginning. You can expect up to 7 hours of paddling a day plus breaks.
ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS
On this trip we wild camp near the loch shore.
We provide tents and also carry a base camp tipi, which means that we can all gather together for dinner and a hot drink even if the weather is inclement. If you require a single tent we are happy to provide this, but otherwise we do ask that those who are happy to share a tent with other travellers do so. This helps to keep our camp size small, giving us more options of where to pitch and reducing our environmental impact on these precious places.
Great food is essential to all our trips and expeditions are no different. While the guide will co- ordinate the cooking and help out, everyone is asked to lend a hand as this ensures the best meals in the shortest possible time after what are often long days. We will carry plenty of food to cater a varied and satisfying menu throughout the trip, and some of these may even be prepared on an open fire. Dietary requirements can still be catered for but please ensure we know at the time of booking.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide Fort William Railway Station at 10:30am on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Fort William station for 5:00pm on the final day of the trip.
For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/
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.
Our adventure begins near Fort William, and for the next five days we will paddle our way northeast along several lochs and sections of the Caledonian Canal, culminating in the famous waters of Loch Ness.
This is old school journeying at a slow pace where we can take in the detail of the scenes around us. Enjoy the sound satisfaction of every mile earned by honest hard work.
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. Here we will set up our first camp of the trip, enjoying views of Ben Nevis from our tents. (L, D)
Day 2 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Lochy to Loch Oich
Today we start on the open water of Loch Lochy, aiming to reach the end of this loch by the end of the day, or if conditions are favourable we may reach the waters of Loch Oich. Our campsite tonight is on the grassy shore of Laggan Locks. (B, L, D)
Day 3 – Canoeing in the Great Glen: Loch Oich to Loch Ness
After crossing Loch Oich we are back on the canal today for the few miles up to Fort Augustus. We will need to portage every canal lock but this is all part of the journey! Our efforts are rewarded as by the end of the day we will now have reached Loch Ness. (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Canoeing on Loch Ness: Fort Augustus 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, or we may stop on the south shore depending on the conditions. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Canoeing on Loch Ness: Urquhart Bay to River Ness
On our final day we set out onto Loch Ness for the last time, paddling until the end of the loch is in sight. This is the end point of a memorable canoe trip through the Great Glen where the River Ness snakes it’s way down to the sea. After sorting our kit, we are transferred back to Fort William for our journey’s end. (B, L)
Prices and Dates
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by Scott Younkin 12/09/2018
I appreciated information about train service. More information on how to use train system and how to get from airport to train station in Glasgow would be helpful. In U.S. Taking a train is extremely unusual for most.
Moose and Frenchie were outstanding
Accommodation and Food
Very efficient camping with good food and equipment
The guides did an outstanding job of organization and leadership. Could not have been better
The Bottom Line
The canoe trip was beginner in the sense of requiring minimal skills but very strenuous. I had a great time and loved the challenge but I would suggest being clear about this. Most people have better lower extremity than upper extremity fitness A person must be in good physical shape and pursuing a fitness program to enjoy this trip canoeing is much more strenuous than walking or biking
by James Miller 18/08/2018
by Clinton Cantwell 15/08/2018
never got my black Friday jacket
TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:
We've double checked our system and a jacket was sent out to you. I think the only explanation is that it got lost in the post, we're really sorry about that and have sent out a replacement jacket.
the whole trip was great
Accommodation and Food
i stayed in a tent
by Lianne McCann 03/10/2017
We were given all the information we needed to prepare for the trip. They were able to answer our questions when we called
Our guides provided us information on what to expect and involved us in discussions on plans for next day. They were very knowledgable about the area and made the trip fun. Had a great time.
Accommodation and Food
The tents were good for size and in good condition. The new Teepee tent was very good it accommodated everyone easily. Dinner meals were very good but breakfast could be a little better.
They were very knowledgeable and helpful. They kept the group together. Made the trip enjoyable.
The Bottom Line
I would absolutely recommend this trip to others