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Stirling, River Forth

Accessible for local, portable and trailable craft

Silver Propeller Challenge



Take a scenic cruise along the River Forth and visit the historic city of Stirling, by boat or canoe and enjoy the Scottish countryside and distant mountains.

This is a new Silver Propellor location for 2023.  Visiting leisure craft are few and far between, but the brand new mooring pontoon installed by Stirling Council is a popular spot for canoeing and other water sports by the locals.

A photo of your boat moored against the pontoon, or with the City in the skyline, would be good proof of your visit, or you can cruise about a mile further upstream with lots of appropriate landmarks for the background to your photo.


About the River Forth

The River Forth is a free river with no navigation works and no licence requirements.  The river is tidal up to Craigforth Mill, a short distance above Stirling.  Up to Alloa the river is largely a wide estuary, but beyond there the river twists and there are unmarked shallows.  In the 18th century there were several proposals to improve the river for navigation above Alloa, and in 1767 proposals were put forward to extend the navigation beyond Stirling to the lime and slate quarries at Aberfoil and, by four cuts, to shorten the course from Stirling to Alloa to seven miles from the present near thirteen miles.  But John Smeaton reviewed the proposals, found them impractical and so nothing happened.

Today, the Head of Navigation is at the remains of an old weir, about 300 metres downstream of where the M9 crosses the river.  In the city, the river is regularly used by canoeists and rowers, and there is a free to use pontoon provided by Stirling Council on the downstream outskirts of the city, which provides easy access to the city centre. Boats can, however, make their way for about a further mile upstream, albeit with no closer access to the city centre owing to loops in the river.

[The photo shows the mooring pontoon provided by Stirling Council  –  by Richard Webb © cc-by-sa/2.0]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: FK8 1ND

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Boat Dimensions and Access

There are no locks on the river, so no restrictions on boat length, and only draught will restrict the size of boat that can visit the river.  Up to Stirling, there is a headroom of 30′ (9.1 m) under all bridges and generally a depth (at High Water Springs) of 11′ (3.3m).

Access from the connected Lowland Canals for boaters would be by joining the tidal River Carron at the Kelpies, heading downstream for a short distance to meet the Firth of Forth at Grangemouth. From there it’s upstream via Kincardine and Alloa to Stirling.  The river is tidal all the way.  Stirling Council has a web page where a mooring on the pontoon can be booked – but you may find it easier to call them on 01786 404040.  The town centre and nearest large supermarket is just a ten-minute walk away.  See the River Forth page for more information.

Canoeing, trip boats and hire boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the River Forth – there are no licence requirements.

There are no boats for hire or trip boats in the Stirling area.

Challenge Location

River Forth – Stirling

River Forth – Stirling

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