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What you need to know

Route users

boat as part of Great Glen Ways Logo Cyclists

The Great Glen Cycle Route was dismantled in 2006 and no longer exists.

Currently, cyclists use the original Great Glen Way itself with great success. However, the surface is not really suitable for road tyres. We have cyclists regularly completing the route on mountain bike or robust hybrid. It is fairly direct, and south of Fort Augustus there are few hills. Most cyclists take between 2 and 3 days to travel the entire distance from Fort William to Inverness. The route itself is clearly waymarked and commercial maps are suitable for cyclists as well as walkers.

We advise that you ensure you have the appropriate level of fitness and also carry adequate equipment for your trip, as the weather is very changeable. We also strongly recommend you take a mobile communication device, although signal cannot be guaranteed at all points on the route.

If you are on road bikes follow Sustrans National Cycle Network route 78 (NCN 78) This uses the Great Glen Way route between Fort William and Fort Augustus then  follows the roads to the south of Loch Ness between Fort Augustus and Inverness.

The leaflet 'Off Road Cycling: Good Practice Advice' can be obtained from Scottish Cycling and more information on your access rights and responsibilities can be obtained via www.outdooraccess-scotland.com. To obtain a full copy of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code contact Scottish Natural Heritage on 01738 458545.

boat as part of Great Glen Ways Logo Mobility Scooter

The Scottish branch of Disabled Ramblers, in April 2003, completed 82% of the Great Glen Way using mobility scooters. Much of the route is low-lying and is on forest track, canal towpath and minor road so terrain is normally not an issue and users of all abilities are able to enjoy the vast majority of the route.

Some sections of the route were considered too steep for the Ramblers to attempt, mainly from Drumnadrochit to Abriachan. The main difficulties at certain points on the route which make it inaccessible for mobility scooter are: steep ascents/descents, narrow bridges and kissing gates.

boat as part of Great Glen Ways Logo Canoe and Kayak

You can travel the length of the Great Glen using the lochs and also the Caledonian Canal, which is managed by British Waterways Scotland (BWS). They provide specialist knowledge of kayaking and of the route, and there is lots of information on the BWS Caledonian Canal website here .

Pleas ask about the Great Glen Canoe Trail , which was officially opened in March 2012. Contact details can be found here .

boat as part of Great Glen Ways Logo Horses

Access rights under the Land Reform [Scotland] Act 2003 extend to horse riding. The Great Glen Way has a report available below for those wishing to travel by horse along the route. Please note this report is not officially endorsed.

Our Multi-User Report also contains details for those travelling by horse, in terms of bridge widths etc.

For more information about your access rights and responsibilities, log on to www.outdooraccess-scotland.com , or call (01738) 458545 for a full copy of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. You can also contact the British Horse Society Scotland (01294 270891). Read our Horse Riding and Carriage Driving on Scotland's Towpaths

boat as part of Great Glen Ways Logo Dogs

Dogs are welcome on the Great Glen Way provided they are walked on a lead or under close control. At certain times of the year, such as lambing season (April - June), you should keep your dog on a lead and follow any signage. Please be aware that at times the route crosses farming land where animals may be present and, in order to avoid disturbance, dogs should be kept under close control.

Read about taking your dog into the outdoors.

Our Leave no Trace policy applies as much to animals using the route as to people. Pit provides guidelines on disposing of dog waste responsibly and to learn more about the threat of damage and disease amongst wildlife arising from uncleared waste.

 

Read our guide for all users