Great Glen Open Canoe Expedition Mountain Water Expeditions

Our Great Glen Open Canoe Expeditions take in short sections of the Caledonian Canal to link Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and Loch Ness.  This expedition will see you paddling from the west coast to the east coast of Scotland navigating these magnificent waterways.

Over the course of this trip you may have to contend with big waves, mirror calm waters and some exhilarating sailing, such is the nature of the ever-changing Great Glen. Over the five days we will use the Great Glen Loch side campsites and some of the wilder traveller’s rest areas to rest up overnight.

During this expedition, expert coaching will be provided to help develop your open canoe paddling skills.  Depending on wind conditions, we may also be able to sail the canoes. 

We aim to finish the expedition in Inverness, again dependent on weather conditions, with a transfer back to Corpach if required.  On the final day we will get off the water at approximately 2pm and be back in Corpach by 5pm.

Great Glen Open Canoe Expeditions with Mountain Water Expeditions

Over the course of the journey the expedition will allow you to build the skills and confidence to go and have your own canoeing adventures.  We will cover all elements of canoe journeying via a wild camping journey through lochs.

This will include planning, paddling skills, safety and rescue, navigation, camp craft, cookery, portaging, lining and incident management. 

The Great Glen is a hidden gem, accessible and yet with a truly remote feel far away from the noise of traffic and light pollution.  


Five days paddling from Corpach to Inverness (Please note this trip is very wind and weather dependent – please email or see below for a more detailed itinerary).

The expedition is five days long and will cover the following elements to allow you to expedition under your own steam.  

Canoe Based Skill and Safety:

  • Efficient paddle strokes for travelling
  • Efficient turning and control strokes
  • The ability to work as a team in a boat
  • Decision making on open water
  • Understanding weather and, in particular, wind and fetch
  • Improvised sailing
  • Rafting canoes
  • Dealing with a capsize
  • Deep water rescue techniques
  • Packing a canoe and adjusting its trim
  • The merits of different packing systems in different circumstances
  • A introduction into the art of portaging (a true wilderness skill)
  • Lining

Campcraft, Cookery and Expedition Skills:

  • Choosing and organising your campsite
  • Expedition/group tarp systems and knots
  • Choosing cookery equipment for canoe journeys
  • Choosing food and devising menus for canoe trips
  • Campfire cookery
  • Everyday wilderness axe skills
  • Personal equipment for canoe journeys
  • Emergency equipment for canoe journeys (and how to use it)


Camping by the loch side – four nights.   There will be toilet and warm showering facilities available on most nights.

Canoeing Standard
This expedition is suitable for those with little canoeing experience as well as experienced paddlers who prefer a guided trip. Please note that there will be some portaging on this expedition.

Meeting Place

Our Great Glen Open Canoe Expeditions require us to meet at Corpach lock on the first morning of the expedition where there is ample car parking. 

Trip Dates

Course/ActivityLocationPriceBook Now
2nd – 6th August 2021Great Glen Canoe ExpeditionCorpach£595 ppMWE-CTA-ENQUIRE

What we include

  • A single point of contact at Mountain Water Expeditions to provide you with consistent support throughout your experience.
  • Pre information pack with lots of helpful advice, kit lists etc
  • Camping fees for the expedition
  • Use of group kit (free of charge – see below)
  • Supervision from experienced and helpful coaches
  • Waterproof Rucksack / Barrel (if needed)
  • Rucksack liners (if needed)
  • All relevant canoeing and safety equipment

Group / Shared Kit
We provide the following essential group kit free of charge:

  • Tents (If needed)
  • Stoves, pans and fuel
  • Expedition safety kit E.g group first aid etc
  • Access to guides and mapping

What we do not include

  • Transport to and from the starting point
  • Personal kit and accident insurance
  • Items of personal expedition kit that are not mentioned above for example sleeping bags, sleeping mats, waterproof clothing, wetsuit boots etc
  • Expedition food
  • Any fees payable to British Canoeing for any British Canoeing award obtained

British Canoeing Qualifications

There is a possibility that on this training course you will be able to achieve certain British Canoeing Personal Performance awards along with certain elements of the British Canoeing Guide award. 

Your coaching/instruction for the above awards is covered within you course fee you will however be required to pay the additional costs associated with the certificate and providers fees which are payable to British Canoeing. 


Alan Pinnington or Lizzie Harrington

For further information or to book a place on this Great Glen open canoe expedition please email