The Trail Starts Here

Learn about our canals and how design innovation, industry and commerce in 1800’s Grangemouth and Falkirk helped to shape the modern world we know today.

The Charlotte Dundas Heritage Trail celebrates the history of the Charlotte Dundas, the world’s first practical steamboat. The trail also seeks to mark the achievements of the vessel’s creator, inventor and engineer William Symington, and to chart the early years of industry in Grangemouth.

The trail’s location adjacent to the Helix Park makes it ideal for visitors. Enjoy a seat on one of the five heritage-themed seats as you journey with us on a short stroll from the Kelpies towards Lock 1 exploring 300 years of history. The surrounding area is home to a diverse wildlife community and migratory and resident bird species including kingfishers, wildfowl, marsh harriers and owls. The adjacent River Carron which is tidal at this point is known to be frequentled by otters, while the meadows are an important habitat for pollinating insects like butterflies and bumblees. The trail has an asphalt surface with inset navigation lights. The easternmost section lies along the National Cycle Network Route 76.

William Symingston’s achievements have been recognised worldwide. His ideas helped create the platform for global steam navigation.

The worlds first practical steam boat, The Charlotte Dundas was the forerunner of the great paddle steamers and steam ships.

Follow directions for Helix Park and The Kelpies. The trail runs south from the Kelpies to Lock 1 and onwards to Dalgrain Road, Grangemouth.