The first section of the trail is relatively easy-going and follows a traffic-free towpath along the Caledonian Canal. Get a close-up view of Neptune’s Staircase, the longest series of canal locks in the UK, perhaps pausing to watch boats navigate this engineering wonder.
Distance 43.6 km
Highest point128 m
Lowest point-2 m
After picking up your mountain bike from the Nevis cycles just 10/15 mins walk away (a good way to get the legs moving before the cycle ahead of you). The first 5km are along tarmac and pavement until you reach the side of the canal, where you then follow the gravel towpath until you reach Gairlochy. On reaching Gairlochy the trail leaves the canalside towpath behind for single track riding. Continuing inland, ascend above the loch on good tracks/fire-roads through the ancient forest to reach the village of Laggan. From here skirt the main road en route to Invergarry for the night.
The Invergarry Hotel is a good spot to finish at for a pint and quick bite of eat before heading to your B&B.
Update: July 28, 2021
Before starting your ride it’s always worth inspecting your bike for damage. Check for any damage to the frame, components or wheels. Ensure there are no loose cables and that the tyres are inflated and the brakes are working. Always wear a helmet when cycling. If you are doubtful of the condition of your rental bike please call the office or the local bike hire on the number provided in your information pack.
Remember to obey local road signage, cycle on the left-hand side of the road, and at roundabouts give-way to traffic coming from your right-hand side. While drivers in the UK are generally respectful of cyclists, please do be mindful of other road users at all times particularly on busier roads and junctions when entering and leaving towns.
Be vigilant on descents, it is very easy to misjudge a corner (especially when riding a bike your not necessarily well acquainted with).
Fort William (3 m)
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*** To help you follow the route with confidence follow our tracks in conjunction with your Great Glen Way Rucksack Readers Guide and the Great Glen map by Harvey. The Great Glen Way Cyclepath is a reasonably well-waymarked cycle route, but we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you also. ***
all notes on protected areas
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions, we recommend checking the local weather forecast each morning before cycling. Along with sun protection make sure to bring a waterproof jacket and a warm layer to wear over your jersey and cycle shorts/trousers. You might also like to wear padded cycling gloves for more comfort on the handlebars, fingerless in the warmer months and not if it’s a little chillier.
If you are navigating using the Macs App on your phone, if one of your party has a secure phone handlebar mount it will help make finding your way even easier.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the day, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.