Forth and Clyde Canal Traffic-free Cycle Route

Forth and Clyde Canal Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Forth and Clyde Canal links Glasgow with Falkirk, and most of the 35 miles of towpath is tarred. It is a stunning, flat (as you’d expect from a canal towpath) route, but it’s not perfect. For a significant part of the canal, the towpath is only one metre wide. There are also gates along the way.

There are a few roads to cross, and some of them might be busier than you’d like. Despite that, it remains a fantastic route. I started this guide at Bowling station, near Dumbarton, which is where the canal meets the river Clyde. Before taking your bike on a the train, I suggest you 1st read my Bikes On Trains guide.

Surface on the Forth & Clyde Canal

Almost the entire length of towpath is tarred and is a good surface to ride on in almost any weather.


Any normal bike, including road bikes, would be fine. Tandems will struggle and trikes or most cargo bikes won’t get through.


There are toilets very close to the start, at Lock 27 (pub), Café On The Canal (11 miles in), then the Canal Inn (32 miles) and at the Kelpies. Off-canal, there are also toilets in Auchinstarry (22 miles).

Points of Interest

The Forth and Clyde Canal ends right by the Kelpies. Also look out for the magnificent Falkirk Wheel along the way.

Other Routes in Scotland


There are gates that prevent trikes, cargo bikes, trailers and tandems from getting through.

See also  Princetown Railway traffic-free cycle route


Safety: ⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Flat)
Refreshment stops: ⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Forecast for the Forth & Clyde Canal

Due to the length of the route, there are two forecasts.

What the Forth & Clyde Canal looks like

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DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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