Landscape Photo
Photographer: Brian Horisk/AdventureArt, Fife, Scotland

Route Filmstrip & Description

This trail starts from the car park on the north side of the Forth & Clyde Canal. It leads to the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor CentreThe route climbs about 38m to above the level of the Union Canal, which is the upper level to which boats are lifted by the Falkirk Wheel. The ascent to the Union Canal tow path has a gradient averaging about 8% (1:12) but with a 20m section towards the top as steep as 13% (1:7). The path crossing over the top of the Union Canal tunnel has gradients as steep as 20% (1:5) for short distances (10m or so). The path is wide enough for two people side by side and has a good surface throughout. There are frequent seats on the route up to the Union Canal but only one on the return circuit. (check the photos for details)

Surveyed by: . Fieldfare, November 2009 (Autumn)
Accessibility Rating: 3More Information
Distance: 1.3 km

Public Transport: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Steps: No
Barriers: No
Toilets: Yes

Full Profile

 

Information

This trail starts at the car park to the north of the Forth and Clyde Canal and crosses it to the Falkirk Wheel which can be seen in the background.This car park with disabled bays can be reached from the roundabout where the A803 and A883 meet. The car park is at Ordnance Survey Grid Reference NS 853 804

Start This trail starts at the car park to the north of the Forth and Clyde Canal and crosses it to the Falkirk Wheel which can be seen in the background.This car park with disabled bays can be reached from the roundabout where the A803 and A883 meet. The car park is at Ordnance Survey Grid Reference NS 853 804

Follow the footway toawards the canal.

Direction Follow the footway toawards the canal.

 

Path

Bear left up the ramp towards the canal. The ramp is about 70m long with a gradient of about 5% (1:20).

Gradient Bear left up the ramp towards the canal. The ramp is about 70m long with a gradient of about 5% (1:20).

The ramp is about 70m long with a gradient of about 5% (1:20).

Gradient The ramp is about 70m long with a gradient of about 5% (1:20).

Bear left onto the canal towpath

Direction Bear left onto the canal towpath

 

Path

Turn right at the bridge and cross the canal.

Direction Turn right at the bridge and cross the canal.

 

Path

The ramp up to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre runs for about 40m and has a slope up as steep as 13% (1:8) and cross slopes with gradients of 7% (1:14)

Gradient The ramp up to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre runs for about 40m and has a slope up as steep as 13% (1:8) and cross slopes with gradients of 7% (1:14)

The ramp up to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre runs for about 40m and has a slope up as steep as 13% (1:8) and cross slopes with gradients of 7% (1:14)

Gradient The ramp up to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre runs for about 40m and has a slope up as steep as 13% (1:8) and cross slopes with gradients of 7% (1:14)

The Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre is at the start of the circular walk to the higher level Union Canal. The start of the circuit can be seen on the left.

Feature of Interest The Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre is at the start of the circular walk to the higher level Union Canal. The start of the circuit can be seen on the left.

This circuit starts at the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre. This is very close to some disabled parking bays.From here the route climbs about 38m to above the level of the Union Canal, which is the upper level to which boats are lifted by the Falkirk Wheel. The ascent to the Union Canal tow path has a gradient averaging about 8% (1:12) but with a 20m section towards the top as steep as 13% (1:7). The path crossing over the top of the Union Canal tunnel has gradients as steep as 20% (1:5) for short distances (10m or so). The path has a good surface throughout and is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. There are eight seats on the circuit, seven on the climb up to the Union Canal tow path.

Information This circuit starts at the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre. This is very close to some disabled parking bays.From here the route climbs about 38m to above the level of the Union Canal, which is the upper level to which boats are lifted by the Falkirk Wheel. The ascent to the Union Canal tow path has a gradient averaging about 8% (1:12) but with a 20m section towards the top as steep as 13% (1:7). The path crossing over the top of the Union Canal tunnel has gradients as steep as 20% (1:5) for short distances (10m or so). The path has a good surface throughout and is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. There are eight seats on the circuit, seven on the climb up to the Union Canal tow path.

There are disabled parking spaces by the roundabout by the visitor centre.Go past the car park to the path running up the hill.

Blue Badge parking bays There are disabled parking spaces by the roundabout by the visitor centre.Go past the car park to the path running up the hill.

 

Path

Gradients on this part of the path is 10% (1:10) in places but there is a level section and seat halfway up.

Gradient Gradients on this part of the path is 10% (1:10) in places but there is a level section and seat halfway up.

The seats provide a good view of the Falkirk Wheel

Seat The seats provide a good view of the Falkirk Wheel

At the junction follow the paved path to the left. The crushed stome path straight ahead is the one that brings you back down if you choose to go over the top of the Union Canal Tunnel

Direction At the junction follow the paved path to the left. The crushed stome path straight ahead is the one that brings you back down if you choose to go over the top of the Union Canal Tunnel

The climb continues at a gradient of about 10% (1:10).A perch provides a rest point on this section.

Gradient The climb continues at a gradient of about 10% (1:10).A perch provides a rest point on this section.

The perch provides a resting point on the ascent towards the Union Canal.

Seat The perch provides a resting point on the ascent towards the Union Canal.

Another perch, the third seat along the climb, may give a welcome rest.The gradient along this section is a little less at about 7% (1:14).

Seat Another perch, the third seat along the climb, may give a welcome rest.The gradient along this section is a little less at about 7% (1:14).

The level of the Union Canal tow path is at the top of the grass bank to the right. The path continues at a gradient of about 8% (1:12).Continue straight across this cross roads, or turn right to take a shorter circuit back to the visitor centre.

Gradient The level of the Union Canal tow path is at the top of the grass bank to the right. The path continues at a gradient of about 8% (1:12).Continue straight across this cross roads, or turn right to take a shorter circuit back to the visitor centre.

This is the fith seat on the ascent.

Seat This is the fith seat on the ascent.

The sixth resting point is very near the level of the Union Canal tow path.

Seat The sixth resting point is very near the level of the Union Canal tow path.

The last 10m or so to the tow path level has a gradient of about 12% (1:8) but there is a seat as the tow path level is reached.Turn left to continue the loop over the top of the Union Canal and back down to the wheel.

Gradient The last 10m or so to the tow path level has a gradient of about 12% (1:8) but there is a seat as the tow path level is reached.Turn left to continue the loop over the top of the Union Canal and back down to the wheel.

The path leading over the top of the tunnel  provides a circuit back to the visitor centre but has some steeper gradients. This section's gradient averages about 13% (1:8) but is about 15% (1:7) at the corner.

Gradient The path leading over the top of the tunnel provides a circuit back to the visitor centre but has some steeper gradients. This section's gradient averages about 13% (1:8) but is about 15% (1:7) at the corner.

 

Path

This last section to the top level above the tunnel has agradient of about 13% (1:8)

Gradient This last section to the top level above the tunnel has agradient of about 13% (1:8)

 

Path

There is an excellent view of the canal leading to the top level of the Falkirk Wheel from this vantage point.From this point you can return the way you came or carry on to complete a circuit. there are only three resting points if you carry on but seven if you go back the way you came. There is also a 5m downhill section of the path at about 20% (1:5) if you carry on.

Direction There is an excellent view of the canal leading to the top level of the Falkirk Wheel from this vantage point.From this point you can return the way you came or carry on to complete a circuit. there are only three resting points if you carry on but seven if you go back the way you came. There is also a 5m downhill section of the path at about 20% (1:5) if you carry on.

 

Path

This perch is the only resting place for about 250m where the path rejoins the path you came up from the visitor centre.

Seat This perch is the only resting place for about 250m where the path rejoins the path you came up from the visitor centre.

This short section has a gradient of about 20% (1:5).

Gradient This short section has a gradient of about 20% (1:5).

The path changes from a sealed surface to crushed stone though it remains firm and even.

Surface The path changes from a sealed surface to crushed stone though it remains firm and even.

There may be occasional puddles on the path after wet weather.

Surface There may be occasional puddles on the path after wet weather.

Bear left

Direction Bear left

The path has a gradient of about 9% (1:11).

Gradient The path has a gradient of about 9% (1:11).

Keep right at this junction to return to the visitor centre.

Path Keep right at this junction to return to the visitor centre.

There is a slope with a gradient of about 11% (1:9) to the corner above the lower canal basin.

Gradient There is a slope with a gradient of about 11% (1:9) to the corner above the lower canal basin.

There may be a few loose stones on the path surface.

Surface There may be a few loose stones on the path surface.

The full structure of the Falkirk Wheel can be see from this position.

Feature of Interest The full structure of the Falkirk Wheel can be see from this position.

As you pass under the bridge keep left to return to the visitor centre. The track on the right is the short cut to the up-hill paved path.

Direction As you pass under the bridge keep left to return to the visitor centre. The track on the right is the short cut to the up-hill paved path.

 

Path

The path has a gradient of about 8% (1:12) as it curves back to join the paved path.

Gradient The path has a gradient of about 8% (1:12) as it curves back to join the paved path.

Follow the paved path downhill to reach thge visitor centre. There is this seat and one other to provide a rest before the bottom of the hill.

Direction Follow the paved path downhill to reach thge visitor centre. There is this seat and one other to provide a rest before the bottom of the hill.

The Falkirk Wheel

Feature of Interest The Falkirk Wheel

The Falkirk Wheel turning.

Feature of Interest The Falkirk Wheel turning.

Views of the canal environment are avaiable all along this route.

View Views of the canal environment are avaiable all along this route.

There may not always be a rainbow over the wheel.

View There may not always be a rainbow over the wheel.

There may not always be a rainbow over the wheel.

View There may not always be a rainbow over the wheel.

The Union Canal links to the top level of the Falkirk wheel.

View The Union Canal links to the top level of the Falkirk wheel.

The tow path can be followed to the upper level of the Wheel.

Path The tow path can be followed to the upper level of the Wheel.

The tow path is level and has a good firm surface.

Path The tow path is level and has a good firm surface.

 

Path

At this higher level there are good views across Falkirk and the Forth Valley.

View At this higher level there are good views across Falkirk and the Forth Valley.

The end of the Union Canal where the boats are lifted to by the wheel from the Forth and Clyde Canal can be seen through the arches.

Feature of Interest The end of the Union Canal where the boats are lifted to by the wheel from the Forth and Clyde Canal can be seen through the arches.

This is the Falkirk Wheel end of the Union Canal Tunnel.

Feature of Interest This is the Falkirk Wheel end of the Union Canal Tunnel.

This crushed stone path provides a short cut back to the path leading down to the visitor centre. The first slope has a gradient of about 18% (1:6) for about 10m but then the path slopes down at about 5% (1:20) until it rejoins the paved path.

Path This crushed stone path provides a short cut back to the path leading down to the visitor centre. The first slope has a gradient of about 18% (1:6) for about 10m but then the path slopes down at about 5% (1:20) until it rejoins the paved path.

The views of the wheel and across the Forth Valley get better and better as you climb towards the Union Canal.

Feature of Interest The views of the wheel and across the Forth Valley get better and better as you climb towards the Union Canal.

Falkirk Wheel - North Phototrail

 

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