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Canoeing the Weser

July 29, 2014

The third German river

Unlike the Rhine and Elbe, the Weser can be canoed from its origin. It starts not as a tiny stream, high in the hills, but fully formed at the junction of the rivers Werra and Fulda at Hann. Munden. The sea at Bremerhaven is 450km away, but the lower sections, below the junction with the Mittleland canal at Minden, have much heavy shipping – scary.

The section from Hann. Munden to Hameln, the home of the Pied Piper, has no locks, plenty of campsites and perhaps two barges and a few tourist boats a day.  It is fast flowing – five easy days paddle – and about a days driving from Dover. I used the Hann. Munden – Cuxhaven Radwander-karte (click here) .

0 km – Launch from the car park on the island at the junction of the Werra and Fulda at Hann. Munden, or from the campsite on the Fulda island 100 yards upstream.

fulda    werrer    Weser start junction Fulda and Werra

Or launch into the Fulda above the lock and paddle to the right of the island.  The weir, with its hydro-electric power station right, has a canoe shoot left.

fulda above last lock.  Right channel to weir   fulda weir2   fulda weir canoe shoot

fulda weircanoe shoot2   hann munden hydro power station   fulda werra junction

Good landing stage/launch spot just below the last Fulda lock by the campsite.

last fulda lock   landing stage below last fulda lock at hann Munden

0.5 km – road bridge  B3/B80

b3-b80 bridge    b3-b80 bridge2

5 km – Hilwartshausen Abbey left

hilwartshausen abbey

5.5 km – gravel pits right

11 km – ferry. Reinhards-hagen left. The small village of Hemeln right is not the home of the Pied Piper. That’s at 133 km. 

reinhards-hagen ferry3   reinhards-hagen ferry4    reinhards-hagen sculpture

Statue of the legendary giantess Brama on the left bank downstream of the town.

Wesercamping Hemeln The main site is set back from the river but they allow camping on the bank.

17 Km – Glashutte. Youth campsite right

youth club campsite glashutte

19 Km – River Nieme joins right.  Bursfelde Abbey right

bursfelde abbey

22 km – Weisse-hutte camping left

weiss-hutte landing point

25 Km – Ferry. Oedelsheim right.

Oberweser ferry   oedelsheim ferry

25.5 km – Camping right. Lovely site. Kanu Shumacher trips launch from here.

odelsheim campsite

28 km – Camping left

gieselwender campsite2

29 km- Bridge. Gieselwerder left

gieselwender bridge2

33 Km – Ferry. Lippoldsberg right

lippoldsberg ferry

34 km – Bodenfelde right.

bodenfelde industrial area   bodenfelde

35 km – Wahmbeck ferry

wahmbeck ferry2

Look out for this structure on the left, just before Bad Karlshafen bridge .

bad karlshafe gradienwerk

It filters the local mineral water through a network of twigs, creating a briny vapour which is supposed to have health giving properties. Probably does as much good as most alternative therapy. At least if you’re sitting next to it, no-one’s operating on you, or filling you with harmful drugs.

43 km – bridge.  Bad Karlshafen left.

Camping below bridge on right.

bad karlshafen bridge2   bad karlshafen  karlshafen camping 6

The harbour and locks connecting the Diemel navigation to the Weser are now disused.

karls habour lock empty karls habour empty  pegelhaus

44 km – Diemel river joins left

diemel mouth   diemel junct with weser  diemal hydroelectic power station plus fish pass

46 km – ferry. Herstelle left. Wurgassen right

herstelle ferry    herstelle Wurgassen

48 km – road bridge. L763

L763 bridge

50 km – Wurgassen nuclear power plant right

wurgassen nuclear power station2   wurgassen nuclear power station5   wurgassen power lines

Built in 1968, with an output of 640MW, Wurgassen was one of Germany’s first commercial nuclear power stations.  It was shut down in 1995 because cracks had been detected in the steel reactor container. Precautionary, there had been no leak.  It is currently being dismantled.

52 km – Beverungen boat club left allows camping. Excellent facilities.

beverungen boat club2   beverungen boat club

There is also a campsite on the right bank opposite, albeit set back from the river bank

53 km – road bridge. Beverungen left

beverungen bridge    beverungen site of old ferry   beverungen

Honesty book exchange in centre of town. Take one leave one.

beverungen book exchange

57 km – railway bridge

blankenau railway bridge

25 miles – ferry. Wehreden left

wahrden ferry

Schloss Furstenberg right bank at the end of a straight reach. Famous for porcelain. Look how the cliffs have wooded over in the last 100 years.

schloss Furstenberg  furstenburg   Fürstenberg_1909

63 Km – railway bridge.  River Nethe enters left just downstream

railway bridge    nethe mouth

Camping right Wesercamping Hoxter

hoxter weser camping

27.5 miles – bridge.  Hoxter left

Höxter_Weserbrücke      hoxter bridge2

28.5 miles railway bridge. Schloss Corvey left immediately after the bridge, previously a Bendictine monastery, and now a UNESCO world heritage site, is hardly visible from the river.  Camping left in the castle grounds (click here)

hoxter railway bridge   corvey camping  schloss corvey

73 Km – bridge. Luchtringen right

Luchtringen    bridge luchtringen

80 km – Holzminden bridge.  Camping left before bridge. Holzminden right

holzminden bridge2

The old harbour right just before the bridge. Landing spot.  Youth hostel adjacent.

holzminden harbour   holzminden habour2   holzminden harbour2  holzminden bridge and harbour

81 km – Holzminden by pass bridge

holzminden bypass bridge

91 km  – Weserbergland camping left Heisen left. A very scenic village.

weserbergland camping  heisen1   heisen2

93 km – Eversteiner castle left. Allegedly the home of Cinderella’s prince. Hmm?  Ferry. Polle left.  Campingplatz Weserterrassen left http://www.weserterras

eversteiner castle3

94 Km – Brevorde left

brevorde1   brevorde2   brevorde3

97 km – Solar Ferry.  Grave left.

99 km – Dolme right. Steinmuhle cliffs left

steinmuhle cliffs   stenimuhle cliffs 2

102 km – Pegestorf left. The harbour is long disused, and the campsite marked on the map on the left bank just downstream didn’t exist in May 2014. But no worries – two lovely sites on the right bank soon after Rühle.

103 km – Ruhle right   Click here for the cemetery

104 km – Campingplatz Rühler Schweiz right.

bodenwerder campsite   bodenwerder campsite2

106 km – Campingplatz Himmelspforte right.

109 km  – Bridge. Bodenwerder left.

bodenwerder bridge   bodenwerder

109.5 km – Bodenwerder railway bridge

bodenwerder railway bridge2

110 km – Bodenwerder bypass bridge

114 km – bridge. Daspe right. Hehlen left.

daspe bridge 2

118 km – Ferry. Hajen right

hajen ferry    hajen ferry2

120 – Ferry. Grohnde left

grohnde ferry      grohnde ferry3   grohne ferry and power station

122 km – Latferde right.

123 km – Grohnde nuclear power plant left.

nuclear power plant grohnde    grohnde nuclear_power_plant3   Grohnde_Weser_01

This beautiful 1430MW pressurised water reactor, built in 1984, and operated by EoN, runs on both normal uranium and reprocessed MOX fuel from Britain and France, making it one of the most efficient in the world; eight times it has produced more electricity in a year than any other nuclear power station.

In a panic after the Fukushima nuclear leak in 2011 the Germans decided to phase out all nuclear power by 2022, and unless someone sees sense, Grohnde will go.

124.5 km – bridge. Emmerthal left.  Hagenohsen right

emmerthal road bridge

125 – railway bridge

railway bridge emmerthal2

126 km – Tundern windmill set back from the river right

tundern windmill2

127 km – Ferry. Ohr left

132 km – camping right

133 km – bridge Hameln right. Home of the pied piper

hameln bridge1   hameln   pied piper

134 km – weir. Lock left. Island. Canoe shoot. Weir. Bridge. Island. Lock. Weir. Hydroelectric power station.

hameln lock weir and canoe shoot jt       hameln weir jt    hameln canoe shoot

The main road bridge in Hameln crosses the weir

hameln road bridge   hameln downstream road bridge left bank   hameln lock and weir r bank

Jim Thornton


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