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Canoeing & kayaking

The visitor site at Tarbet, Loch Lomond is still under construction, it is open with limited access. For updates, please see the Tarbet page.

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.

Whether you are an experienced paddler or are heading into the water for the first time; it’s essential that you’re well prepared before getting in the water. Before you head out read our guide on how to have fun and stay safe in the water.

In an emergency call 999, ask for Police and the rescue boat and provide the exact location of the emergency.

For more information on canoeing and kayaking and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, download the Paddlers’ Access Code produced by the Scottish Canoe Association. Find canoe and kayak operators on VisitScotland’s website.

Stop the spread

Invasive non-native species are one of the key threats to nature in the National Park. Aquatic plants and animals can sometimes be unwittingly transported into a new environment on people’s equipment such as wetsuits, kayaks and fishing gear. The introduction of new species can threaten the delicate ecosystems in the National Park.

Every time you leave any body of water (in or outside of the National Park), please follow the national ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ guidance:

  • Check your equipment and clothing for living organisms. Pay particular attention to damp or hard to inspect areas.
  • Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the water body where you found them or on a hard surface to die out.
  • Dry all equipment and clothing. Some species can live for many days in damp conditions.

Read the full Check, Clean and Dry guides for different water users.

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