Relay team of kayakers to navigate the trail from Mon 21st July to Fri 25th July.
Kayakers part of Commonwealth Flotilla.
The kayak trail is a group of easily accessible launch sites at key points along a route which links Helensburgh in the south-east with Oban in the north-west.
The launch sites are located at Ganavan (near Oban), Arduaine, Crinan, Ardrishaig, Tarbert, North Bute, Toward, Dunoon and Helensburgh.
To mark its official launch a relay team of kayakers will carry a baton along the trail over four days, covering 175km, starting at Ganavan on the morning of Monday 21st July. The kayakers will be stopping at different locations along the way to collect a ‘cache’ produced by local artists.
On the Friday the baton, along with the various treasures collected at each stop, will be taken from Helensburgh to Greenock where the trail will be officially opened at the Commonwealth Flotilla Participants Reception at the Sugar Sheds at the James Watt Dock in Greenock by the Provost of Argyll and Bute, Councillor Len Scoullar. The team, with the final kayaker, will then board the Clyde Clipper and sail up the Clyde to Glasgow as part of the Commonwealth Flotilla on Saturday 26th July.
The lead kayak in each stage of the relay will be fitted with a satellite tracker and the lead kayaker will blog following the completion of each part of the route.
The project, delivered by Argyll and Bute Council and the Oban-based social enterprise, Stramash, has also seen close links forged with local paddle sport clubs to continue to develop the opportunities on offer from this growing sport, as well as running a successful apprenticeship programme which has seen four apprentices placed with Argyll-based businesses – two with Stramash themselves and two at the Lochgoilhead National Activity Centre.
Argyll and Bute has huge potential to grow marine tourism along its coastline and this project will exploit some of that potential and lay down a marker for the further development of kayak links throughout the area.
The project is funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, Argyll and the Isles LEADER programme and Argyll and Bute Council and will cost around £300,000.
The construction work to put in place the infrastructure for the trail has been undertaken by local construction firm Stories (Argyll) Ltd., based in Dunoon.
Argyll and Bute Council has so far worked with businesses and community groups such as Scottish Canals, Bute Forest and Tarbert and Toward sailing clubs.
For further information on the kayak trail go to www.paddleargyll.org.uk