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Mosel canoeing

June 23, 2013

Traben Trarbach to the Rhine

This is great canoe touring, safe and scenic with excellent camp sites, a few wild ones, and plenty of famous wines and beers to drink. Tour boats and industrial barges add interest, and the railway follows the river, so getting back to the top is easy. But we met only one other canoeist over a whole week in June.  Sure, the dams occasionally need portaging, and it can be hard work in a headwind, but that hardly explains the neglect.

Although the best wine comes from the middle Mosel, this lower section also runs through fine vineyards, culminating at Winningen in a steep south-facing terrace that produces the real top stuff. If you’re nervous of venturing onto the Rhine this is a good place to finish.

For Trier to Traben Trarbach click here.  Bank markers give the distance in km from the Rhine, but those below are approximate km from Trier.

88 km – Camping Rissbach left (click here). In 2013 ground was being broken for the B50 motorway crossing.

P1040618   P1040620

90 km –  Traben Trabach.

P1040625    P1040623     traben trarbach

91.5 km – small boat harbour left

93 km – Enkirk right.  Locks and dam.

Big lock left, small lock and canoe portage, dam and power station right. Built in 1966, with a 7.5M drop and 18.4MW capacity


When the river is high canoes are encouraged to use the big locks. There’s no worry about wasting water, and it keeps us away from the weirs.

94 km – Enkirch right. Enkirch großbach joins right.


The campsite right, just after the stream, caters mainly for motor homes, but there is a shower and toilet block, and you can camp. Someone comes round every evening to collect the money.

98 km – Reil road bridge. Reil left.


Three campsites between Reil and Punderich – left after the bridge for motorhomes, on the right bank 0.5 km on, and another at the apex of the bend opposite the viaduct. I’ve no details of any.

100 km – Punderich railway viaduct left

P1040639    P1040640

102 km – Punderich ferry. Marienburg castle left.  Punderich right.  Marienburg campsite (click here) is a lovely site. Bikers, tattoos, misbehaviour – how camping should be.  Punderich means “place with a ferry”.

P1040641    P1040642

The river enters a 5 km loop that returns to a few hundred metres from where it started. A few hundred thousand years and it’ll breaks through, leaving  Zell in a dry valley.  I guess Platten and Bengel were river villages once, albeit long before they were villages.


105 km – Briedel right


107km – L194 bridge


108 Km – Zell footbridge. Black Cat vineyard right.

P1040650    P1040652  P1040656

Old ferry toll house left

P1040653    P1040659

109 km – Island. Take left channel for camping left bank

Here’s the narrow neck of the Zell loop from the other side.


114.5 Km – Bullay road and rail bridge


115 km – Bullay right. Alf Left.  Rather a fine statue rotates above Bullay fountain. Don’t miss her rear view.

bullay statue     bullay statue3     alf

Another old ferry toll house (I think) left


119 km – Neef. Large lock left, small lock, weir, power station right.  Built in 1966, with a 7M drop and 16.4MW capacity

119.5 Km – K41 road bridge


120 km – Bremm left.


The Calmont Vineyard on the left bank is allegedly the steepest on the river.


The ruined church right was built in 1685 on the site of a 12th century Augustinian monastery. A good spot for a picnic but not easy to access from the river.

P1040690     calmont picnic

121 km – Railway bridge


122 km – Ediger  left.  Ferry tower


123 km – Eller. Another ferry tower


124 km – Camping Zum Feuerberg left

126 km – Nehren.  Campsite left

128 km L98 bridge.  Senhals left. Senheim right – camping and pleasure boat harbour.


Just by the bridge on the left is a brothel, Tanja’s Club (click here). Prostitution in legal in Germany, but it still give a frisson to come across such a place out in the country like this.

130 km –  Mesenich right.  Camping, but no obvious landing site.

132 km – Briedern right

134 km – Poltersdorf left.  Ferry tower. I think wild camping is permitted on the grass around the tower.


135 km – Ferry. Camping left opposite Beilstein and castle Metternich.  This campsite appears to have no public landing, but it’s a lovely site.  Recommend. If you can’t land, stop at the ferry slip and walk back.

P1040716  P1040705    P1040715

Beilstein     view from castle metternich

137 km – Fankel. Hydroelectric power station left, dam, small lock, large lock right.  Built in 1963, with a 7M drop and 16.4MW capacity


138 km – Camping Buttig-Fankel right

139 km – K35 bridge


140 km – Ernst left.

P1040733     Ernst

141 km – Valwig right

Cochem castle, the finest on the river, albeit a 19th cetury replica, comes into view as you round the final bend into the town.  Canoeists have the most dramatic view.

P1040734    cochem castle

143 km – Ferry toll tower left, Ferry hotel right

P1040735     P1040736

144 km – Cochem bridge


144.5 km – North bridge (K60)


145 km – Camping Moselbad right.  (Click here). Excellent site, good landing stage.

148 km – Klotten left.  Ferry.


153 km – Camping Pommern left. (Click here)

154.5 km – island.  Camping on island. (Click here)

155 km – Treis Karden right

155.5 km – B49 bridge


156 km – Karden left

158 km – Muden. Hydro-electic station left, dam, small lock and portage, big lock right.  Built in 1965, with a 6.5M drop and 16.4MW capacity

P1040764   dam

The portage is along the old canoe shoot.  Sad that these have all been closed. Health and Safety presumably.

P1040765   P1040763   P1040766

160 km – Moselkern left. Camping Burg Elz, left before the village. (click here)  The Elzbach enters left.  A couple of miles upstream, Burg Elz the most touristy fairytale castle in the region is not visible from the river.

P1040768   P1040845

162 km – The first Burgen campsite (click here) Good landing stage, good facilities and unheated pool. Recommended.

163 km Burgen right,   castle left.

bischofstein castle    Bischofstein

164 km – the 2nd Burgen campsite.  (click here

165 km Hatzenport camping left on the island. (click here)

166 km – Hatzenport left.  Tall ferry tower. Wild camping allowed between road and river, about 100 metres upstream from the ferry tower. Snuck in behind the trees.

P1040779    P1040780

168 km – Brodenbach right

168.5 km – bridge K41


169 km – Alken right.  Ferry tower.  Castle Alken behind the town

P1040787   P1040785  P1040782

172 km – Kattenes left

174 km – Oberfell right

Island. Pass left.  This is a nature reserve.

175 km – Lehmen big lock left, small lock and portage, dam, hydro-electric station right. Built in 1962, with a 7.5M drop and a 20MW capacity

176 km – Schloss Gondorf left. The road goes through it.


177 km – bridge K77.  Kobern-Gondorf left.  

180 km – Dieblich right.  Some maps mark a campsite here.  But it was closed in 2013.

182 km – Winningen Ulen vineyard left. This incredibly steep southwest facing wall is the finest since Ürziger Würzgarten. The best by far on the lower Mosel.


182.5 km – E31 bridge


183 km – The camping island of Winningen left. (click here).  Not the cheapest site on the river but one of the best in amongst the trees.  Paddle past the restaurant and back up into the harbour for the slipway.

184 km – Winningen left.

Winningen makes the best wine on the lower Mosel. When you’ve retrieved your car drive into the town and fill up. Some sellers in the town centre are rather pricey. Better wander into the back streets and buy direct from one of the growers.  We got great stuff from Weingut Hess-Haut (click here), who gave us a free tasting without booking.  Recommended.

186 km – Lay right.

188 km – Railway bridge

P1040805   P1040807

190 km – K6 bridge


192 km – Koblenz weir. Two big locks left, small lock, weir, fish pass, hydroelectic station and visitor centre right. Built in 1951, with a 5.3M drop and 16MW capacity, this was the first hydroelectric station on the Mosel.

P1040811     P1040812   P1040815

P1040814   P1040820   P1040819

192.25 km – Europa bridge


192.5 km – Railway bridge


192.75 km – Balduin bridge. Originally built in 1343. Repaired and rebuilt innumerable times since.


In the 3rd century the Romans built a wooden bridge about 50 yards downstream of the the Balduin bridge.  The larger cruise ships moor up on the right bank between here and the Rhine.


193 km – mouth of the Mosel.  Camping left bank at the junction.  (Click here)

P1040835   P1040836    mosel rhine 2

Jim Thornton.  Thanks to Pete for some of the pictures.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 24, 2013 8:40 am

    Great river experience! This article is for those who want to have the best fun in the waters. An excellent canoe touring.

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