Canoeing is permitted in phase one of the transition out of lockdown, however, Scottish Government guidance is that you should stay within your local area (roughly five miles) when you go outside for exercise or other activities. You should not travel long distances to go canoeing or for other activities. Please also think carefully what facilities you would need to use, such as car parks and toilets, as these remain closed. You should also consider the additional pressure your visit may put on local and emergency services at this time.
The National Park has a wide variety of paddling opportunities from the many lochs, to meandering rivers such as the Endrick, Balvaig and Forth and even some coastal sea paddling on Loch Long and Loch Goil. For the experienced paddler there are more challenging rapids and falls on Rivers Falloch, Leny and Dochart.
Loch Lubnaig, just south of Strathyre, is an excellent choice for watersport enthusiasts, being open all year to non-motorised water activities. For canoeing and kayaking, its sheltered position makes it ideal for learners. High winds are rarely a problem so it’s perfect for open canoeing and for savouring the tranquillity of one of the Park’s most beautiful lochs.
The spectacular waters of Loch Lomond are fantastic for canoeing and kayaking with the lochs many islands providing interesting bays and narrow straights to explore. Loch Lomond is the largest body of freshwater in mainland Britain, so there is plenty of room to paddle about! The loch can be easily accessed on its eastern side from the car parks at Milarrochy Bay, Sallochy and Rowardennan. On its western shores there are car parks at Luss, Tarbet and Inveruglas, while at the southern end of the loch, you can use Balloch either from Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway or Duck Bay.
Access to open water paddling by canoe or kayak is particularly good within the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park too. In particular Loch Drunkie on the Three Lochs Forest Drive, Loch Achray, Loch Ard and Loch Katrine at the Stronachlachar end.
For more information on canoeing and kayaking and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, download the Paddlers’ Access Code produced by the Scottish Canoe Association.
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