Paddle Registration

The Caledonian Canal is managed by Scottish Canals. The canal is both a busy waterway for recreational users as well as a route for commercial boat traffic. So that paddlers can be given the latest safety information and updates about events, maintenance works or other things that might affect their visit, Scottish Canals request that all paddlers register online before they 'hit the water'.

Why should you Register?

There are many benefits to registering your visit:

  • Support in planning your adventure
  • Receive important safety information about paddling on the canal, lochs and rivers
  • Notified of any access issues and commercial operations
  • Find out where to get your copy of our FREE waterproof Trail Guide Map
  • Access to the Great Glen Canoe Trail pontoons and orientation panels
  • Access to other Canoe Trail infrastructure including changing areas, canoe racks and Trailblazer Rest sites (payable)
  • Access Caledonian Canal facilities en route including, toilets, parking facilities and  informal camping (payable)
  • Help support the Canoe Trail receive external funding by registering user numbers 

Registration for use of the canal is normally for a maximum 10 day period.  Local paddlers wishing to use the canal regularly can make an annual registration by calling the Caledonian Canal office on 01463 725500.

You can register online through the Scottish Canals website. Apply here!  Please allow at least 5 working days for your registration form and information pack to be emailed back to you.

If you can't register online, you can obtain a copy from Seaport Marina or from either of the sea locks.

Are you Planning to to Hold a Paddle Event?

Does;

  • Your group include 10 or more canoes / kayaks / row boats at one time?
  • Your group predominantly include under 18s?
  • Your group look to attract publicity / sponsorship?

If yes, you should also complete an Application to Hold Paddle Event form and submit it online.

In order to make sure your plans are suitable for your chosen location, it will be helpful to follow this timescale.

  • At least three months prior to your event – send us a completed event form
  • At least six weeks before your event – send a copy of your risk assessment and proof of appropriate insurance cover
  • Before your event – receive, sign and return a letter of indemnity

What facilities can I access?

Find out more about how paddlers can access the Canoe Trail facilities and the Caledonian Canal facilities here

Trail Map

Trail Guide Map

map of scotland showing the trail

60 miles in 5 days

It is an epic 60 mile (95km) journey crossing Scotland in 5 days and conquering the formidable open waters of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness, a challenge in itself.

From South to North

It is normally easier to paddle the Trail from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east with the prevailing wind behind you.

Download the map