Great Glen Canoe Trail
Following 2007's successful partnership interpretation project funded by Highland Council, British Waterways, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland, the group of organisations then turned its attention to developing other routes.
Forestry Commission Scotland had already commissioned a small report into the increase of recreational paddling within the Great Glen. In 2008, the Great Glen Ways Partnership commissioned a second report to be completed to identify the demand, suitability and needs to formalise a coast to coast Canoe Trail across Scotland.
Rob Robinson from Heritage Consulting produced a succinct report for the partnership and the end result is what you are reading about today.
The four main funding partners were able to raise £331,800 (British Waterways Scotland £150,000, Highland Council £100,000, Scottish Natural Heritage £71,800 & Forestry Commission Scotland £10,000) with £270,000 being match funded by the European Regional Development Fund making a grand total of £601,800. More information at GGCT Partnership
The main ambitions for Canoe Trail were;
- Create a formal Canoe Trail with appropriate low-level landings to protect the canal banks from erosion when paddlers access and egress the water
- Improve information and facilities for paddlers throughout the route
- Create areas along the Trail to minimise the impact of wildcamping and toileting with the Great Glen
- Create a number of resource materials to highlight the safety implications when taking to the waters of the Great Glen
- Promote the Great Glen Canoe Trail as Scotland's first formal canoe trail
The project commenced in January 2010, was formally launched in March 2012 and the final pieces of infrastructure are currently being added to the Trailblazer Rest sites. Donald Macpherson was appointed as the Project Officer, employed by British Waterways Scotland (lead funder) and worked in conjunction with the other funding parties to coordinate this fantastic £600k project, until the end of his contract in March 2012.
The Scottish Canoe Association as the governing body for the sport were also invited to join the Great Glen Canoe Trail Partnership in 2009 and have been actively involved in the decision making process and assisting in the planning of the long term management and running of the Trail.