The Scottish canals are enjoyed by walkers, joggers, boaters, canoeist and cyclists all year round.

With pretty autumnal colours and crisp winter days, now is a great time to visit, but we urge everyone to take care at this time of year, particularly on icy or frosty days.

Remember to stay SAFE (Stay Away From the Edge)

Towpaths, bridges and lock-sides can be particularly slippery during the winter months and snow can conceal trip hazards such as boat mooring rings close to the water’s edge. Frozen waterways, whilst they look picturesque, can also be very dangerous and visitors should never attempt to walk on the ice.

Make sure children walking, cycling and feeding the ducks on the waterway are accompanied by an adult, and are aware of the dangers of getting too close to the edge.

Enjoy the Scottish canals this winter, but remember to stay SAFE.

Top tips for cycling in winter

Sustrans have created some top tips for cyclists – take a look at Winterproof your Ride for advice to help you get your bike ready for winter and for cycling in the cold and icy weather.


Severe Winter Weather

Please note that we will be operating a reduced level of service across Scottish Canals in the event of severe winter weather.

During freezing conditions customers and users should exercise extreme caution and only access the towpaths, car parking areas, pedestrian bridges and pontoons etc if absolutely necessary and safe to do so.

We will endeavour to keep clear/grit locations which we have identified as being priorities due to their heavy usage or proximity to major public services, medical or community facilities. However, we cannot guarantee access and customers use at their own risk. All other areas will only be treated as resources allow.

Please note that salting and gritting will not prevent ice build up in extreme conditions and users should take account of prevailing weather and conditions underfoot. In particular, gritting effectiveness is significantly reduced below c. -5°C.

Users are reminded to stay off the ice at all times as weak spots can still be present even during prolonged periods of freezing.