When hiring a canoe or kayak for your Great Glen Canoe Trail expedition, there are a number of key points that you should consider:


  • Ensure it has appropriate floatation eg: Canadian canoes should have inflatable bags or foam wedges at each end of the boat
  • Always have suitable buoyancy aids – make sure that they fit you and can be firmly secured so that they stay on if you end up in the water

            (Remember a buoyancy aid will keep you afloat but not upright in the water. You may choose lifejackets as an alternative for young children)

  • You’ll need suitable ropes to tie your boats to pontoons whilst loading / unloading, for rafting together and securing the boat at night

            (We recommend you also take a chain and padlock so that you can leave the boat unattended but secure in the Trail’s canoe racks)

  • Hire a portage trolley – you’ll need one to assist with carrying your boat and kit around all the canal locks
  • Have a back-up plan for getting the boat and kit back if you have to curtail your trip due to the weather


The businesses displayed here all provide canoe and / or kayak hire for use on the Great Glen Canoe Trail and many also offer equipment hire. They have paid to advertise with us and you will find them listed alphabetically.

Premier Listing A-Z


In Your Element

Email: fun@iye.scot    Tel: 0333 600 6008

Web: https://iye.scot/canoe-kayak-equipment/

With 50 canoes and kayaks plus 3 shuttle vehicles, we are the flexible, professional hire and shuttle service, offering airport pick-ups, camping gear, maps, sailing kits - we have it all!  

We offer boat hire anywhere in Scotland but our heart and our home is in the iconic Great Glen Canoe Trail.  Our base is only 12 miles outside Inverness and with quality kit, informative office staff to handle your queries promptly and 5* Trip Adviser reviews, we’re ideally placed to take care of every detail that a Great Glen trip demands.

We can accommodate any size of group, and with 3 minibuses and canoe trailers, our shuttle service is completely flexible and able to respond locally to emergency pick-ups.*

Our canoes come fitted with painter ropes and buoyancy airbags (something you should always look for when hiring boats).  Our price includes boats, paddles, watertight barrels or dry bags, buoyancy aids, trollies, security cables and have all the additional kit you might need including camping and cooking gear, canoe sails, maps, cool boxes, toilet trowels and midge nets.

Our kayaks include stable touring kayaks for novices and faster sea kayaks for more experienced paddlers, and are both great for paddling the Great Glen.  We have two tandem kayaks in our fleet and all boats come with a paddle, buoyancy aid, spray deck, dry bags, trolley and helmet if required.

* Free emergency pickups are for equipment and the driver of the group.  However, it may also be possible to transport the entire group depending on the circumstances at the time.

The Great Glen Canoe Trail

IYE on Facebook  (https://www.facebook.com/iye.scot/)        IEY on Twitter https://twitter.com/iye_scot)


 Explore Highland

Email: info@explorehighland.com              Tel: 01463 715929

Web: www.explorehighland.com           

Explore Highland on Facebook

Explore Highland on Twitter

As professional outfitters based on the canal, Explore Highland offer top quality boats and equipment to ensure a safe expedition through the Great Glen.

We offer top quality tandem Wenonah canoes, Pyranha and Venture touring kayaks and canoes plus P&H Scorpio sea kayaks. All our crafts are in new condition so you can relax and enjoy a fantastic adventure.

Canoe Hire?

We offer a variety of boats including our Venture Prospector Canoes which are all professionally outfitted for expedition use (foam buoyancy, painter, anchor points and tie down straps). Options include 15’ solo or 16’ tandem crafts. All our hire canoes come with a portage trolley, 60ltr barrel, two 60ltr dry back packs, paddles, spare paddle, throw bag, bailer, buoyancy aids and helmets if required.

Touring Kayaks Hire?

We offer the latest Pyranha Fusion crossover/touring kayaks along with a small fleet of Islay Venture Kayaks. Both styles of boats are ideal for the lesser experienced paddler. As these crafts have less storage capacity they are great for day trips. All our hire kayaks come with  paddles, a spare set of split paddles per group, sea kayak portage trolley, Peak UK spray decks and buoyancy aids if required.

Sea Kayak Hire?

We offer professional P&H Scorpio sea kayaks as our full on sea kayak of choice. All our hire sea kayaks come with a Lendal Kinetic paddle, spare set of split paddles per group, sea kayak portage trolley, Peak UK spray decks and buoyancy aids if required.

Additional Paddling and/or Camping Equipment?

Along with our essential paddling equipment, we can also offer extra safety accessories to group leaders such as throw bags and tow lines. We can also equip canoe groups out with canoe sailing kits and an assortment of camping equipment from tents, stoves and more….

All our clients also receive our GGCT self-guiding checklist and access to our online Great Glen Canoe Trail client information page which is packed full of helpful advice, planning information and contact details for services throughout the Caledonian Canal.

Please contact us for a bespoke hire and/or shuttle quote. We cater for all sizes of groups. We offer far more than just a hire service!


If you would like to advertise your business here, please email us for more details

(Inclusion in the list does not constitute a reccomendation by the Great Glen Canoe Trail Partnership).

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