The Great Glen (Scottish Gaelic: An Gleann Mòr), also known as Glen Albyn (from the Scottish Gaelic An Gleann Albainn - meaning the "Glen of Scotland") or Glen More is a series of glens in Scotland running 100 kilometres from Inverness on the edge of Moray Firth, to Fort William at the head of Loch Linnhe.
The Glen is a natural travelling route in the Highlands of Scotland, which is used by both the Caledonian Canal and A82 road, which link the city of Inverness on the east coast with Fort William on the West. The Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway was built in 1896 from the southern end of the glen to the southern end of Loch Ness, but was never extended to Inverness. The railway finally closed in 1947. A recent development has been to open a long-distance route for cyclists and walkers. Called the Great Glen Way, it links Fort William to Inverness. Officially opened on 30 April 2002 by HRH The Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, the route is a series of footpaths, forestry tracks, canal paths and occasional stretches of road.
Its strategic importance in controlling the Highland Scottish clans, particularly around the time of the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century, is recognised by the presence of the towns of Fort William in the south, Fort Augustus in the middle of the Glen, and Fort George, just to the north of Inverness.
Much of the Glen is taken up with a series of lochs, with rivers connecting them. The Caledonian Canal also uses the lochs as part of the route, but the rivers are not navigable. From northeast to southwest, the natural water features along the Great Glen are:
River Ness / Abhainn Nis
Loch Dochfour / Loch Dabhach Phuir
Loch Ness / Loch Nis
River Oich / Abhainn Omhaich
Loch Oich / Loch Omhaich
Loch Lochy / Loch Lochaidh
River Lochy / Abhainn Lochaidh
Loch Linnhe / An Linne Dhubh