Canal Encounters Map

The above trail – running for 4 miles from the iconic Kelpies to the world’s only rotating boat lift The Falkirk Wheel – will bring together virtual reality and real life to celebrate the heritage, environment, and communities of the waterway.


Artists Jane McInally and Pearl Kinnear have created three works responding to the Roses and Castle artwork that adorned the boats of the canal, representing life on the canal at the peak of its use.  Shapes within the patterns reflect the underlying geology of our area and the colours of the designs are based on the flora and fauna that grace the edges of the canal.

Give Me a Place to Stand (The Falkirk Wheel)

Pick your viewpoint for this astonishing maze-like artwork at the foot of the Falkirk Wheel. Designed to be viewed from 3 different perspectives, above, from the ground and from within the pathways in the artwork, each angle brings something new to explore.

‘O a Simmers Dream (Canalside Cabins)

Reeds form a foundation for a mural makeover of waterside cabins in this design, celebrating the colours in the canal folk art and surrounding environment.

Between Memory and Water (Weir)

The materials in this artwork offer a link to the industrial history of the canal, while the rising and falling motif, echoes of the purpose of the weir that the installation wraps around.

At each end of the trail, works in willow and steel by David Powell highlight different themes from our celebration month.

Canal Dreams (The Falkirk Wheel)

Inspired by an old photo of a horse and young bargee girl, past meets present in Canal Dreams, where tradition is set alongside the modern engineering of the Falkirk Wheel. Powell’s larger-than-life willow horse and girl link the modern visitor to the folk that once lived and worked canal side and the horse power that brought the coal to the steam engine and the steel to the smelter.

The Water Clock (Kelpies Plaza)

Can you tell the time using this giant sundial?! Each point on our 3D clock also highlights the birds and water life found around the canal, captured in elegant water droplets crafted out of willow. Counting us down to Scotland’s Netzero goals, two of the droplets include recycling points to help us keep our canalside waste-free.

Chroma Calls (Various)

Look up! As you walk the canal trail you will spot colourful artworks by Yulia Kovanova and Lars Koens. Celebrating the rich ecology of our canal they have chosen 20 visiting bird species, often glimpsed only fleetingly, to highlight in a series of abstract sculptures in trees along the canal banks. Use the colours and shapes of the installations to guess which birds they represent!

Full Circle (Kelpie Plaza)

Inspired by the arches of the Falkirk Wheel and their reflection in the waters of the canal, Heather Cumming’s playful and colourful work also gives a nod to the challenges of the past year and the rainbow colours which were used to signify hope and community.

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