Can there be a better way to admire natural landscape and making a short runaway from the big city, than a kayak trip? Close to the nature, able to navigate even the most shallow waters and making no sounds that disturb your moment of relax. Well, Wielkopolska is a perfect place for kayaking. Starting from major rivers, that allow you to combine active tourism with some sightseeing in towns and cities laying on their banks to smaller ones, great for pure outdoor experience.
The Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska
The Great Waterway Loop of Wielkopolska is our longest water trail, which includes two major rivers: Warta and Noteć, several canals and a dozen of lakes. All together almost 700 km around Wielkopolska. The Loop is suitable for both experienced and beginners, and in every season. The trail as whole is easy to medium, without the necessity to carry your kayak and without any obstacles in the water.
Of course, it is not necessary to circumnavigate the entire Loop at once. Numerous marinas allow you to organize even a one-day trip, ending with a campfire or a picnic. You can also plan your trip for a two or three days and stay overnight on a riverside camping at one of the marinas.
Almost like in the mountains
Wielkopolska is rather a flat country, so most of the rivers are reasonably calm and easy to navigate. However, there is one – Wełna – which give you almost mountain river experience. The current is fast enough to feel some speed, yet still perfectly safe even for not very experienced canoeists. The only thing you must be wary of are some floating logs and a small water power plant in Oborniki.
Wełna stretches from Gniezno to its estuary in Oborniki, however the most interesting part of the river starts nearby Rogoźno, somewhere in the middle. There are many kayak rentals there to choose from, that will not only provide you with the needed equipment, but will also arrange transport or even organize you a camping with a campfire and grilled sausages (or marshmallows if you like).
Best kayak trails in northern Wielkopolska
The northern part of Wielkopolska is undoubtedly the best place for kayaking. The combination of vast, dense forests, pristine nature and of course many small rivers all together make perfect conditions for canoe trips. You may choose from very easy trails, suitable for complete rookies to some more demanding, requiring skills and stamina.
Our choice in those parts are:
Rurzyca – a very short (25 km) but a very beautiful river and one of the most popular kayaking trails. After some recent works the trail is very easy, without any obstacles. The only drawback is that surely you won’t be the only kayak around.
Gwda – a major river in northern Wielkopolska. It has about 145 km and flows through Piła, the major city of that part of the region. You’ll need about 6 days for the whole river, but most kayak rentals have 1 or 2-days trips in their offer. The trail is not recommended for beginners, yet it is not very difficult too. The river is perfect for bird watching.
Łobżonka – well, you don’t need to spell the name correctly to have fun on the river! It is less known, so if you’re looking for some secluded places, this should be your choice. You have to get ready for camping in tent rather than in a hotel, but being so close to the nature will be rewarding.
Drawa – on the north-western border of Wielkopolska the river is one of the best known kayak trails. As a whole it has 173 km, but the most popular is the 40-kilometres-long stretch in the Drawa National Park (for a 1 or 2-days trip). Note that kayaking in the national park is forbidden from March 15 do July 1 because of the birds’ breeding period.
Piława – a very friendly and easy kayaking trail, perfect for newbies. The trip is relaxing and offer a lot of contact with nature. The river has about 80 km, however we recommend you its part from the small village Szwecja to the river mouth, which has 30 km – perfect for a weekend trip, but a one-day-long escapade will be same good.
Kayaking on the lakes
Not only rivers offer great conditions for kayaking. Wielkopolska is so rich in lakes that it would be a shame not to try one of those. Kayaking and canoeing on lakes is a bit different though. The good thing is that it’s nearly impossible to encounter any obstacles that make you carry your kayak. On the other hand without any current you have to row all the way through.
But how to choose one lake from over a thousand? Well, we’ve got some tips for you. Start from an area in western Wielkopolska known as the Land of 100 Lakes. The name is not coincidental, as there’s a lake on every step indeed. The best kayaking option is though the Jaroszewskie lake, lake Chrzypsko and lake Kuchenne.
To the south we have the Przemęt Landscape Park, also renowned for its lakes and water sports possibilities. For your first trip try the Lilly Kayak Trail, in the vicinity of Przemęt and Boszkowo, which is truly marvelous in spring and early summer, when all the water flowers blossom.
Finally, for some more challenge stay we recommend you the eastern part of Wielkopolska and the lakes that stretch between Konin, Ślesin and Kruszwica. This is a popular water sports spot, with dozens of marinas, guest houses and hotels with their own jetties. There you can also try some larger vessels, like motorboats and sailing yachts.