Our Canals
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Cycling along the Caledonian Canal

The Caledonian Canal provides the perfect route to enjoy a cycle. Take a leisurely ride along the towpath, or mountain bike along the Great Glen Way.

The towpath sections follow the canal and can make for an enjoyable cycle for all the family. Team these up with the forest routes and you can cycle across Scotland. Watch this family's cycling trip along the canal and you will be persuaded!

Visit the Great Glen Way to buy maps to help plan your cycling trip.

Towpath Trails

The canal really does offer something for everyone - a place to bring learning to life, somewhere to get fit or just to relax.  Stephen Wiseman, the Canal Heritage Officer, is helping people and communities enjoy the Caledonian Canal's fantastic treasures - wildlife, history and landscapes.  'We've got lots of exciting hands-on activities to help raise awareness of the canal, from practical conservation projects to helping local people become Canal Custodians, to investigative research projects exploring and recording the history and wildlife of the canal'.

From May till October check out our events list for 'Towpath Trail' guided cycles.  These are designed to introduce people to the canal and it's rich heritage - covering more places in less time.  The events require booking but there is no charge.  Some events will be half day, some full day and a few 'end to end' cycles taking three days and covering the whole length west to east - 100 kms!  Contact Stephen to find out more -

stephen@waterwaystrust.org.uk

NCN Route 78

The terrain of these routes and towpath is most suited to mountain bikes, however a new cycle route is currently under development. Sustrans plan to extend the current National Cycle Network Route 78 from Oban to Fort William, and then follow the canal up to Inverness.

Great Glen Mountain Bike Trails

There are many other opportunities for cycling around the Caledonian Canal and Great Glen. The Great Glen Mountain Bike Trails are a collection of cycling tracks at various locations along the route. Suitable for everyone - from beginners and families to world-class competition level.

New!  Customer Hub

Take a look at our new Customer Hub - find out about meetings, forums, events, volunteering and more!

Top tips

  • Can I hire a bike anywhere on the canal?
    Bike hire is available at various locations along Scotland's canal network. To find the full list of businesses, visit our bike hire section.
  • Now some towpaths have been designated as national cycle routes, do cyclists have priority?
    No one group has priority on the towpath. We are delighted that the canal paths have been recognised as part of the national cycle route and this has allowed us to get funding for upgrading the surface. Cyclists should be aware of other canal users, especially where paths are narrow or line of sight is restricted.
  • Is there a speed limit?
    The standard speed for the towpath is 4mph. Remember that other people are using the towpath as well!
  • Do I need a permit?
    No, all you need is a bike!
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