Loch Safety

On the open water of the lochs remember;

  • Open water paddling is not for novices - get appropriate training or join a guided expedition
  • Ensure you have the latest weather forecast - pay particular attention to the wind strength and direction
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions
  • Stay alert and be visible to other boaters - fast RIBS operate on Loch Ness so make sure you can easily be seen
  • Choose a shore to paddle along and stick to it. Take OS maps for details of lochside road access & village facilities
  • Be aware that the water in lochs Ness and Lochy is very cold - often only 4C
  • Stay together as a group and look out for each other
  • Be prepared to take shelter should the weather change - build extra time into your schedule to allow for this
  • Paddlers of open boats should generally avoid being on the lochs when there are breaking waves - we strongly advise against the use of inflatable boats and sit on tops by inexperienced paddlers
  • Be very careful around water outlets and intakes of power stations and weirs along the lochs. Avoid them were possible
  • In the event of an emergency on the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Always wear a personal buoyancy aid when on the water. It is useful to also have a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch on your person or in your buoyancy aid should you fall out of your boat and need to summon assistance. (Reception can be patchy in some areas of the Trail). Have a contact ashore whom you call each day to let them know when you're launching and then again when you're safely ashore.

Get some useful paddle safety advice from the RNLI 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