Inverness Marina to Caledonian Canal Cruiser

Inverness – Caledonian Cruiser Tour.

An approximately 10 mile cycle route which takes you on a route around the first section of The Caledonian Canal along wide towpaths which are suitable for mountain bikes and hybrids. The route is flat and easy to complete. You can hire a cycle in Inverness from Monster Bikes, Canal Road, Inverness which is situated on route near to the start of the ride or from Highland Bikes, Telford Street, Inverness. Which is also near to the route

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Inverness is said to be the capital of ‘The Highlands’ and is a bustling city with plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and tourists attractions. The Caledonian Canal was Constructed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1822. It joins the East and West coasts of Scotland over a distance of 62 miles in total and has 29 locks, 4 aqueducts and 10 bridges. With some fantastic views and points of historical interest along its route.

Inverness Castle

Starting from the marina car park just off Clachnaharry Road A862. Near to the roundabout with Telford Street. Cycle from the car park seawards past the main marina/harbour master buildings. With the Caledonian Canal on your left hand side as you cycle along. Note: – make sure when you cycle past the main buildings you follow the cycle path on the right hand side of the perimeter fence (the other side leads you to a dead end. Cycle past the main buildings and moorings and follow the wide path along side the canal. After 400 yards you pass a small nature reserve on your right hand side. If you look on the mud banks of the reserve when the tide is low you can see ‘The Witches Coffin’ raised out of the mud. Continue past the reserve and after about 200 yards at the end of the nature reserve you come to a gate where you have to dismount to cross over the railway crossing. Take Care of the signals and trains.

Cycle past the railway crossing and you now have the Beauly Firth on your right hand side as you cycle the 500 yards to the sea locks at the end of the canal. You may wish to stop and enjoy the scenic view across The Beauly Firth at the sea locks or check out the magnificent sea locks which are the main entrance to the Caledonian Canal on the east coast. At the end of the path dismount and cross over the sea locks by foot. The locks are wide enough to cross over without any difficulty with a bike.
Cycle back along the other side of the canal and after a few hundred yards you come back to the railway crossing where you have to dismount to cross the railway line. Take care of the signals and traffic. Have a look at the original Victorian signal box on your right as you cross the railway line. It’s still in use today.

Continue along the wide towpath and after about quarter of a mile the canal bends sharply to the right as it passes the marina on the opposite bank. Shortly after the bend you pass some locks where you will also pass a cycle shop on your right, Monster Bikes where you can hire a bike if you wish. As you cycle along the canal. After another few hundred yards you pass a mooring place on the canal. Cycling along you will pass some parkland on your right and after about half a mile from the moorings you pass under a bridge and you will see The Jacobites Cruise’s moorings on the opposite bank of the canal and the canal bends sharply to the right at this point. As you follow the canal round the bend you will notice that the canal is now running along side The River Ness.

Continue to cycle along the towpath and after approximately 2 miles you come to another mooring area where you will find a set of locks at the entrance to Loch Dochfour. Dismount and cross over the locks. Take time to stop and enjoy the views along Loch Dochfour and the surrounding area. Now cycle back along the canal towpath and after approximately 2 miles you pass the Jacobite Cruise’s moorings. Continue along the canal and you pass through some of the suburbs of Inverness and after about one and a half miles you pass under a bridge and arrive back at the marina. The start/finish of your cycle ride.

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