GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Caledonian Canal

6 miles (9 km)

Follow the Caledonian Canal from Inverness to Loch Dochfour on this waterside walk or cycle in the Scottish Highlands. The flat towpath is ideal for an easy cycle or walk in beautiful surroundings.
The route starts at the Muirtown Basin in Clachnaharry on the Beauly Firth. You then head south through Inverness passing the Ship Space interactive maritime museum and Whin Park where you can board the Ness Islands Miniature Railway. The canal then leaves the city and heads through some beautiful countryside to Loch Dochfour which feeds Loch Ness.
You can continue your walking in the area by picking up the Great Glen Way. The long distance trail also starts in Inverness, running parallel to the canal. It will take you to Fort William via Loch Ness and Loch Lochy. The canal also runs alongside the River Ness so you could try the waterside trail to Whin Park, through the city.
The Caledonia Way also runs along the canal. This epic cycle route runs for 234 miles from Campbeltown to Inverness. It's a great way of continuing your cycling or walking in the area.
You can virtually follow the first section of the canal from Inverness using the google street view link below!

Caledonian Canal OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Caledonian Canal Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Moorings Hotel overlooks the canal in Banavie. You can sit outside on the decking area and enjoy fine views of Ben Nevis and Neptune's Staircase, the longest lock flight in Scotland.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

The Inverness Canal and Forest Walk will take you along the canal before heading to Craig Phadrig Forest, which lies just to the west of the city. The forest is a peaceful place for walks and includes a viewpoint with an Iron Age Hillfort.
Near Inverness you could head a short distance north east to visit one of the historic highlights of the area at Culloden Battlefield. There's a circular walking trail here which explores the site of the famous battle of 1746. The site includes an informative visitor centre where you can learn all about this fascinating conflict. On the south eastern side of the battlefield there's also the Clava Cairns and the Culloden Viaduct. The ancient Bronze Age site includes prehistoric burial monuments and the remains of a medieval chapel. It's also a short walk from the eye catching Culloden Viaduct which carries the Highland Main Line over theRiver Nairn.
A few miles to the west there's the popular village of Beauly. It's a lovely place to visit with a number of independent shops, cherry blossom trees, a pretty square and the ruins of the 13th century priory to see. The Beauly River Walk will take you along the River Beauly with fine views across the Beauly Firth.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Scottish Highlands Walks page.


The Caledonian Canal. - - 981474

The Caledonian Canal. In the old days the canal was an important route, allowing fishing boats from the east coast of Scotland to take a 'short cut' in order to fish the west coast, and vice versa.It was the A1 of Scottish waterways. While fishermen still use the route, it is much less busy now. Now the old canal is the domain of pleasure craft, still making use of the short cut across land or simply cruising up and down taking in the wonderful Highland scenery. Here we see pleasure craft approaching the lift bridge of Oich.

Caledonian Canal - - 999996

Looking towards Loch Ness from the swing bridge on the A82.

Caledonian Canal - - 642588

Taken from the railway swing bridge at the foot of Neptune's Staircase.

Caledonian Canal at Gairlochy - - 14194

Caledonian Canal at Gairlochy

On the Caledonian Canal at Banavie - - 888735

Banavie. Canoes and pleasure craft sharing the water near the southern end of the canal.

Mooring jetties by the Caledonian Canal - - 1544117

On the final stretch to the Beauly Firth.

The Caledonian Canal to the southwest of Gairlochy - - 1343484

To the southwest of Gairlochy

Caledonian Canal at Loy Sluices - - 888755

Loy Sluices. The sluices carry excess water down to the River Lochy. In the distance is Monadh Uisge Mhuilinn.


GPS Files

GPX File

Caledonian Canal.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Caledonian Canal.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)