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Hiking trail

River Ness and Caledonian Canal Loop Walk

· 2 reviews · Hiking trail · Highland
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  • Inverness city centre (from Ness Bridge)
    / Inverness city centre (from Ness Bridge)
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Suspension bridge to the Ness islands
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Ness islands woodland path
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Caledonian Canal
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
  • / Caledonian Canal
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 10 8 6 4 2 km

This walk is an interesting route along the River Ness, crossing a number of small islets, and making its way to the Caledonian Canal and out to some scenic points on the coast. 

10.7 km
3:05 h
27 m
25 m

Walk along very pleasant wooded riverside, past boatyards and canal locks, and back to the starting point through the city outskirts. The walk takes a circular route within Inverness that follows, and crosses over, the River Ness and the Caledonian canal.  It is not signposted so it's best to stick to the route notes to complete the circuit that follows a variety of pathways and latterly along some residential streets. 


Author’s recommendation

The walk shouldn't take up your whole day in Inverness so you'll have plenty of time to explore the city.  You will pass the castle very near the start of your walk so feel free to take a detour to go up the hill and see it. User
Catherine Allan 
Updated: January 24, 2018

Highest point
21 m
Lowest point
0 m

Safety information

Most of the walk is on paved paths, good tracks and paths through trees and beside the canal.  However, there are some small sections of the route on minor roads, so do beware of traffic on these sections and stand into the side on the narrow single-track roads to let vehicles pass.  


Being mostly on paved paths, well established paths and minor roads we recommend you wear light hiking shoes or trainers if you prefer.  The weather in Scotland can be very variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, layers and a hat, buff/scarf, and gloves with you.  As ever it's always good to take some snacks and plenty of water to have along the way.   

Tips, hints and links


Food & Drink

Inverness has many cafes, bars and restaurants and is well served with a variety of shops, banks, etc.  Whilst the walk is within Inverness, there is really only one café that is passed during the walk, after about 45 minutes of walking near the Botanic Gardens. There are many cafes, bars, and restaurants in Inverness near the start and end ofthe walk.


Some Helpful Links ...

Visit Inverness: 

Explore Inverness: 


This walk appears in the following itinerary:



Ness Bridge, Inverness (10 m)
57.477012, -4.226829
30V 426431 6371150


Ness Bridge, Inverness

Turn-by-turn directions

These maps and routes are designed to be used in conjunction with our traditional documentation. We have recently embarked on a conversion initiative to bring the two elements together, and this itinerary will be covered in due course.

In the meantime, using the two elements alongside each other should go a long way to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem free day.


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Questions & answers

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Jimmy Goh
June 29, 2019 · Community
Definitely worth the time! Soothing and relaxing walk. 4 ⭐️ rating.
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Picture of : River Ness and Caledonian Canal Loop Walk • (29.06.2019 18:54:07 #1)
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
Picture of : River Ness and Caledonian Canal Loop Walk • (29.06.2019 18:54:07 #2)
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
Sandra MacLennan
June 29, 2019 · Community
Started from downtown Inverness, nice walk through the island on River Ness. Crossed lock/canal and picked up the Jacobite boat tour of Loch Ness, nice boat tour going down the canal, Loch Ness and viewing the Urquhart castle ruins. After the boat tour we continued on the hike down the canal and across the waterfront, this was a beautiful part of the hike! Great view of the flood plane, beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path. Very good cafe along the canal system called “Jamey’s Cafe”, stopped for tea and the best scones ever! A very good day!
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View of ocean
Photo: Sandra MacLennan, Community

Photos from others

10.7 km
27 m
25 m


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