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

Route Filmstrip & Description

This trail starts at the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre. This is very close to some disabled parking bays.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 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: 0.7 km

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

Full Profile

 

Information

The Falkirk Wheel

View The Falkirk Wheel

There are disabled parking spaces by the roundabout by the visitor centre.

CarPark There are disabled parking spaces by the roundabout by the visitor centre.

The Falkirk Wheel turning.

View The Falkirk Wheel turning.

There is a bus stop close to the visitor centre.The path up to the car parking areas has a gradient of about 8% (1:12).

Public Transport There is a bus stop close to the visitor centre.The path up to the car parking areas has a gradient of about 8% (1:12).

This is the lower of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

CarPark This is the lower of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

Seat There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

There are additional disabled parking spaces in the lower of the three car parking areas.

CarPark There are additional disabled parking spaces in the lower of the three car parking areas.

There are additional disabled parking spaces in the lower of the three car parking areas.

CarPark There are additional disabled parking spaces in the lower of the three car parking areas.

This is the second of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

CarPark This is the second of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

Seat There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

The path up to the car parking areas has a gradient of about 8% (1:12).

Gradient The path up to the car parking areas has a gradient of about 8% (1:12).

This is the third of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

CarPark This is the third of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

Seat There are perches along this road to provide a rest on the way up to the car parks.

This is the upper of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

CarPark This is the upper of four parking areas off the road leading down to the visitor centre.

From the upper car parking area there is a short cut to the trail and the path to the upper level of the Falkirk Wheel where boats are delivered to the Union Canal.

Direction From the upper car parking area there is a short cut to the trail and the path to the upper level of the Falkirk Wheel where boats are delivered to the Union Canal.

 

Path

Turn down the hill to get to the visitor centre

Direction Turn down the hill to get to the visitor centre

This trail starts at the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre. This is very close to some disabled parking bays.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 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 throughout. There are eight seats on the circuit, seven on the climb to the Union Canal tow path.

Start This trail starts at the entrance to the Falkirk Wheel Visitor Centre. This is very close to some disabled parking bays.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 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 throughout. There are eight seats on the circuit, seven on the climb 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.

CarPark 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 stone 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 stone 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  provides a resting point on the ascent towards the Union Canal.

Seat The 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 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.

Direction 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.

This is the fifth seat on the ascent.

Seat This is the fifth seat on the ascent.

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

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

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% but there is a seat as the tow path level is reached.

Seat The last 10m or so to the tow path level has a gradient of about 12% but there is a seat as the tow path level is reached.

The Union Canal heads towards the top level of the Falkirk wheel.

View The Union Canal heads towards the top level of the Falkirk wheel.

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

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

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

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

 

View

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 by the wheel from the Forth and Clyde Canal can be seen through the arches.

View The end of the Union Canal where the boats are lifted 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.

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

You can go back the way you came from here or take the path leading over the top of the tunnel to do a circuit back to the visitor centre but this route has some steeper gradients. This section averages about 13% (1:8) but is about 15% (1:7) at the corner.

Gradient You can go back the way you came from here or take the path leading over the top of the tunnel to do a circuit back to the visitor centre but this route has some steeper gradients. This section 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 a gradient of about 13% (1:8)

Gradient This last section to the top level above the tunnel has a gradient 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. If you carry on there is a 5m section of the path at a gradient of about 20% (1:5) .

View 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. If you carry on there is a 5m section of the path at a gradient of about 20% (1:5) .

 

Gradient

This perch is the only resting place for about 250m when the path rejoins the path down to the visitor centre.

Seat This perch is the only resting place for about 250m when the path rejoins the path down to the visitor centre.

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

Path 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 to return to the visitor centre.

Direction Bear left to return to the visitor centre.

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 gradient of about 11% (1:9) to the corner above the lower canal basin.

Path There is 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.

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

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

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

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

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 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 the visitor centre. There is this seat and one other to provide a rest before the bottom of the hill.

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

Falkirk Wheel South Phototrail

 

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