Coast to Coast: Canoe trail and relay

We've launched our first coast to coast canoe trail with a 162 mile relay. From Goole to Liverpool, the relays were completed over eight days in August 2019 finishing on 25 August at Liverpool Waterfront. Now, you too can have a go at some or all of the trail.

Desmond family canoe paddler Desmond family canoe paddler

Take to the trail

This five-year youth project to create a coast to coast canoe trail was launched with a set of eight day long relays in August 2019. The 162 mile route from Liverpool in the West to Goole on the Humber estuary, crosses the country encouraging all paddlers to do as little or go as far as they want. 

This new grand waterway adventure is not for the faint-hearted. It involves carrying canoes around 91 locks, including the 21 lock Wigan flight and Bingley’s famous Five Rise staircase, and paddling under the summit of the Pennine hills through a mile long canal tunnel at Foulridge. 

To help paddlers, new signage is in place to help you find your way.

DFCT trail

Good to know...

Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding can be fun, however, any activity on water brings its own hazards and dangers, please make sure you've the correct equipment and level of experience for your planned trail.

Equipment

Always wear a buoyancy aid making sure everyone in the group has the correct fit and carry a mobile phone in a waterproof case as well as a whistle.

Clothing

Wear footwear you don’t mind getting wet, and clothing suitable for the weather conditions, carry suitable spare clothing in a waterproof dry bag, especially in colder weather conditions.

Navigation rules 

Stay to the right where possible, take care around bridges and other structures with reduced visibility. Powered boats have right of way over canoes, kayaks and paddle boards so leave as much space as possible.

Tunnels 

There are two tunnels along the trail, Gannow at 511m and Foulridge at 1 mile in length. All paddlers must wear a buoyancy aid, use a bright white forward facing light and carry an alternative means of attracting attention with an airhorn recommended. When at any tunnel entrance, please follow any powered boats at an appropriate distance. 

Foulridge Tunnel has a one-way traffic light system, please follow all instructions at the entrances to the tunnel and don't enter when lights are red. 

Locks and swing bridges 

Get out and carry your canoe, kayak or paddle board past all locks and swing bridges. Most swing bridges need to be unlocked and either manually or electronically operated, so portaging (as it's known) saves you time and saves water in the canal.

Licences 

It’s not just narrowboats and barges that need a licence on our canals and rivers. All canoes, kayaks, dinghies, rowing boats, paddle boards and even light inflatable craft do tooThe only exception is for current members of British Canoeing and Canoe Wales who get to use our waterways for free as part of their membership.

Our 2,000 miles of canals and rivers need a lot of TLC to keep them in great shape for everyone to use and enjoy – no matter the size of craft. As well as maintaining things like canal walls or water flow, your licence fee goes towards making sure there are enough easy access points, ramps and slipways for example.

Trails to download

In partnership with British Canoeing, below are the new trails you can download. 

The whole 162 mile trail combines the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation, connecting Liverpool and Goole. Passing through villages and towns that played a major role in the industrial revolution and textile industries as well as enjoying the stunnign scenery as your travel over the Pennines in Lancaster and Yorkshire.

Please note: It's recommended that only more experienced paddlers or groups of paddlers with experienced leaders/coaches paddle on the sections of the Aire & Calder Navigation.

Eldonian Village Hall to Cooksons Bridge Cooksons Bridge to The New Scarisbrick Arms The New Scarisbrick Arms to Appley Bridge


Appley Bridge to
Trencherfield Mill
Wigan Top Lock to
Walton Summit Branch
Johnson’s Hillock Top Lock to Riley Green

Riley Green
to Eanam Wharf
Eanam Wharf
to Church 
Church, Accrington
to Reedley Marina

Reedley Marina to Greenberfield Greenberfield to Anchor Lock Anchor Lock to Low Bradley

 

 

 

Low Bradley to Riddlesden Riddlesden to Apperley Apperley Bridge to Leeds

 

 

 

Leeds Lock to Castleford Castleford Junction to Whitley Whitley Lock to Goole

 

Last date edited: 13 September 2019