Has anyone done it? Any advice, Mrs Pablo read about it in the paper and wants a go... so off with the questions? we would be taking a small tent, apparently you cant camp on the canal side butis that the same for some of the wilder parts around the lochs which dont ahve road access? how long do you need to do it at a fairly relaxed pace and still have time to explore a few places?
Great Glen CanoeTrail
I haven't done it, so shouldn't really comment, but...
Land Access laws still apply, so you can camp "wild" wherever you want away from houses etc. There are some campsites/hostels en route too.
Remember to get a key for toilets and portage trolleys.
The open water sections can be very wild. Be prepared to hole up for a day or so if it's rough.
How long? That'll depend what you want to see en route but allow 5 days paddling.
From what I've heard of mates that've done it, it's pretty mind numbing.
*disclaimer- no personal experience etc. etc.
It is not a beginners trip - the long loch sections can be windy, remote and unforgiving. It is however wonderful, challenging, scenic and a great way to travel. It is also increasingly busy.
Camping: you are not meant to camp on the canal side and busy sections - imagine having campers on your street each week, peeing, pooing, drinking too much, leaving litter each week - unacceptable, and hence the restrictions due to the few idiots. However, use some common sense, hide as best you can and leave nothing behind and you can still wild camp as needed.
If you are not sure, head off with a guide. No, please do - they are soooo worth the money. Beyond Adventure have a huuuge Lavvu with woodburning stove you can all gather round at the end of a long day!
If you are paying a guide, there are nicer trips! River Spey, Tay and Royal Dee are ace, lochs wise Shiel is a stunning place as is Awe.
(I know the Beyond Adventure chaps well, and I cannot recommend a group of people enough to travel with)
One of the bike mags recently did an article where they hired a yacht to travel the Caledonian Canal, stopping off at strategic locations for some biking. Sounded like good fun.
Did it last year in a group of 6 of us with no real previous experience
Took us 3 days, can camp at side of lochs, some beautiful places out there
Search my forum history for a couple of threads with info and pics as not retyping everything again
Edit, here - http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/great-glen-canoe-trail-1
Highly recommend it, we hired gear from Donald MacPherson at Highland Adventures, he basically set up the trail and knows more about it than pretty much anyone else, his book is also a great source of info, I could sell it on if your serious as obviously I'm done with it now
Did it with my wife this summer. Loved it. It is ten years since we started going out after canoeing the west coast of Canada together.
We wild camped on the lochs. Some sites were interesting. Don't expect nice flat mown fields just a f
At bit big enough for your tent. We did it over five days.
Wind was against us which ,made some days long. There were 3 ft high waves when we launched onto Ness which could be intimidating if you've not paddled much. We had to be careful and trim the boat so as not to swamp.
There is a really good guide available if you Google. Proper website and notes from the sca. Logistics is interesting. We rented a boat from boots and paddles but then used our car and a his to do the shuttle.
I can give you more detail if you drop me an email as I think I kept all the info.
As a veteran of some kayak expeditions I'd recommend it. You get to feel properly alone on some lochs and wild camp over several days which is unusual.
It's the west highland way of kayaking.
Loch Sween is nice (ignore the local landowner with shotgun),
Loch Moidart (ignore "I take it you are just leaving" Some relation of richard branson apparently.)
>It's the west highland way of kayaking.<
Anyone done it in 24 hrs?
Or done it there and back in 28hrs 59mins?
iain1775 - would really appreciate the book, have emailed you
jonba - likwise, have emailed you too
thanks for the info, we found a few guides online, including a skippers guide for motor yachts etc which was quite useful. we have done a bit of canoeing on the river wye but its very ewasy and obviously the current takes you along. i have the RYA comp crew certificate so am ok on water albeit boats not canoes. my issues were based on the timing guides and just how long it takes to paddle say 20kms (on the basis that is the average day length in the guide) at a pace still leaves time to bimble around and investiagte stuff that looks interesting. i suppose time to pack down camp, get the boat in the water etc all takes a while...
whats the best time of year? assume spring and autumn are midge-tastic? is summer really busy on the water?
i have the RYA comp crew certificate so am ok on water
glupton1976 - Member
i have the RYA comp crew certificate so am ok on water
we all have to start somewhere....
The reason I posted that comment is that lending a hand to someone who is skippering a yacht and being alright in charge of a 16ft canadian canoe loaded down with kit as you're trying to cross a 3ft inland swell are totally different. Being alright with water in a yacht under someone elses command is not the same as being alright with water in a canoe under your command.
then you should have typed that and not "titter".
I wrote "titter" to ensure that I had your full undivided attention for my next post. Seems to have worked.
Your best bet is to give this guy a call
If you can catch him he is very helpful and will tell you everything you need to know
I've not received any email but the book is basically an expansion of the info here -
More bits on wildlife and some more pictures, the basics are on the website though
Oh and I would recommend hiring a canoe sail and poles as part of your package and give sailing across the lochs a go, great fun, can get up some good speed and makes it a bit easier going
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