Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Crinan Canal as you embark on a paddling adventure like no other. Navigate the picturesque waterway, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and enchanting wildlife. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned paddler, the Crinan Canal offers a captivating experience that will leave you in awe of its natural splendor.

At only 9 miles long, it’s sheltered waters make it an ideal place for beginners and more experienced paddlers to enjoy. Take advantage of the long uninterrupted stretches between locks 4 and 5 and locks 13 and 14, or join the Argyll Sea Kayak Trail at Crinan or Ardrishaig for a sea kayaking adventure along the beautiful coastline.

The Crinan Canal runs from Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne to Crinan on the west coast of Scotland, and offers stunning scenery and a range of paddling experiences. Some popular launch points include:

  • Cairnbaan, near Lochgilphead
  • Bellanoch, near Kilmartin
  • Crinan, at the western end of the canal


It's important to note that the canal has several locks and swing bridges that may require portaging or coordination with lock keepers. There may also be restrictions on certain sections of the canal during maintenance or events. Please visit our section on bridges and locks for more information.

It's also important to note that some sections of the canals may be closed or have restrictions in place due to maintenance or events 

Further information


Crinan, Cairnbaan
Crinan Canal

Opening Hours

Access all year



Useful information

Stay safe - Etiquette and best practice

We want you to enjoy paddling on our canals safely. Here’s how.

Your local waterway office

Crinan Canal Office
Pier Square
Argyll, PA30 8DZ

Tel: 01546 60321

Register your trip

To register, simply fill out the form below. We’ll be in touch by email if we need any more information.

Register here

Where to rent equipment

Find guided trips, equipment hire and shuttle services for paddling on Scotland's Canals.

Paddle hire

Disruptions on the canal

Please refer to the “Ongoing work” section of the website for details of winter closures for maintenance work.

Ongoing works

Sea kayaking

Once you have finished exploring the canals, how about taking on a sea kayaking adventure