planning advice for your journey

Planning your accommodation along the Great Glen Canoe Trail

  • Camp sites : | If you are paddling the Great Glen Canoe Trail it is far better to plan to camp on the south / right hand shore pf Loch Ness away from the busy A82 on the north / left hand shore which is also more difficult for access / egress with a steep shore line. We do not  park & turn with a canoe trailer along the busy A82 under any circumstances.
  • Accommodation:| It is far safer & more convenient to wild camp along the Great Glen because : |Accommodation is frequently located well away from the Canoe Trail – what are you going to do with our boats overnight? : |If the weather turns and you simply cannot carry on with your paddle for that day & have to stay put – and have made a reservation for accommodation for that night – you will a) have no means of shelter for the night b) there will be an urge to carry on – no matter what the weather is.
  • Food & Water : | You do not need to carry food or water for the whole trip.
  • Water points : | There are water points along the canal – fill up at these. Plus there is drinkable fresh water from lochs & burns along the way provided that you are sensible. Not advised on Loch Lochy due to occasional blue algal blooms.
  • Food supplies : | There is a really good local co-op shop within a 2 mins walk from us here in Corpach open from 07.30 am – 23.00 pm ; there is a Morrison’s in Fort William.
  • The first real shop from Corpach will be at Loch Oich at the Well of the Seven Heads (great bacon rolls!) ; then Fort Augustus; then on the S shore of Loch Ness @ Foyers; then Dores. On the N shore of Loch Ness first is Invergarry; then Invermorrison – not advised.
  • We have literally just started a buy in food service for really good freeze food packs – which can be ready for you here on arrival. Happy to send the menu and order.
  • Pubs & Grub : | There are some good & very good eating places along the Great Glen Canoe Trail. The floating Eagle Barge at Laggan Locks; Fort Augustus – several good eating places close to the canal itself; Dores – excellent pub & restaurant – plus good place to camp; Dochgarroch (often a finishing point) a café but not always open; Tomnahurich Bridge – a Premier Inn is close by.
  • Showers : | When you are collecting the gear from us a Corpach,  the swipe cards for the showers and toilets along the Caledonian Canal can be purchased from the Canal office – a couple of hundred yards from us @ £ 10 per person.

How much can we carry with us?

  • Our sea kayaks, 2 and 3-man open canoes are ideal for overnight and more adventurous multi-day trips on flat, open water.
  •  The open canoes come with 2 seats and  have sufficient room for a third adult or a small child  kneeling in the middle but once the boats are loaded with expedition kit-  for a few days the boat – or if the weather kicks up – these craft  will sit lower  in the water and put the boat – and you! –  at risk of being swamped. So ……….. carefully plan what you actually need to take with you and consult our open canoe weight guidelines / carrying capacity. A 3-man open canoe does not necessarily carry 50% more gear!!
  • Sea kayaks come as either  single or 2-man craft – again carefully plan what you actually need to take with you and consult our sea kayak weight guidelines / carrying capacity.

 

Information & Transport

  • Local Information : | We are happy to provide your hire group with tidal information / weather forecasts / planning information – please ask us for this in advance.
  • Wild Camping & Camp sites : | If you are hiring from us we are happy to talk through your plans and give advice on wild camping options in fabulous wilderness locations from our detailed local knowledge & experience – we do not give this information out in advance or supply maps – other than the downloadable PDFs from this web site. We are happy for you to take pictures with smart /  iPhones of our master copy maps with camp sites marked.
  • Car Parking : |You are welcome to leave cars & trailers with us for the duration of your trip if you are hiring form us – please confirm with us that this is in order – we do have more than adequate off road parking spaces. There is no charge for this if you are hiring boats from us. There are periods when we are really very busy.
  • Transport : |
  • The local train service from Glasgow connects through Fort William to Mallaig. This stops just outside our activity centre, accommodation & bunkhouse – The Smiddy Bunkhouse.  If coming from the south never get off in Fort William – we are 2 stops out at Corpach. This service connects direct to the south via a station change in Glasgow to London. get on the train at Euston  – change in Glasgow – get right outside our centre and accommodation – a 2 minute walk!!
  • The overnight sleeper is another good option but this does not arrive into Fort William until 9.45 am – so taking everything into consideration you will not be on the water and paddling until at least 11.00 am.
  • There is a good national coach service between Fort William – Inverness or Glasgow – Fort William
  • Plus there is a good local bus service between Corpach and Fort William every 20 mins or alternatively a taxi service which can work out cheaper for a group and more convenient than taking the bus.
  • Some of our clients are now regularly taking a flight to either Glasgow or Inverness – then coming to us by coach / bus / train / car hire.
  • Local taxi firms are :

Lochaber Taxis : 01397 701324; Pedro’s Taxis : 01397 703334;  Grey Hound Taxis : 01397 705050;  Woody’s Taxi : 013971066

Snowgoose Mountain Centre

January 2017