Johans Kayak Site   www.kanoroutes.nl

Biesbosch
CONTENT

Round trip of 22 km.

This is a rather large area with broad waterways that can be very shallow at some places, and narrow crooky creeks. However tidal, the difference between high and low tide is only 12 inches. There are some kayak piers in the area.

Until recently Visserhang was very unpopular by kayakers because you had to pay a fee for using the pier in the marina. Alternative was the muddy end of the Jeppegat or Drimmelen. Crossing the Amer can be tricky though. But recently Staatsbosbeheer made a new kayak-pier (among others in the area) just across the dike near Vissershang. There is plenty of parking space and access is free.

To Vissershang:

From highway A27 Utrecht-Breda take exit 21 towards Hank. You drive through the village. At the T-junction you turn left across the dike and right again on the Nathalsweg. Turn left on the Oranjepolderweg. Then turn right (there's a propellor on the corner). At the next bend to the right you turn left to the marina Vissershang. There is a free parking behind the restaurant. The kayak pier is on your left behind the dike.

Round trip of 22 km:

From Vissershang you head south on the main canal and then turn right. The you go straight on and you come at the broad water Spijkerboor. Paddle to the other side and then turn left. Take the creek to the right (Sloot van St. Jan). At the next T-junction you turn right (Gat van de Plomp). At the next junction you see a dike. Turn right into the dead end. At the end there is a look-out point on the dike of the Polder Turfzakken. Return the same way and keep to the right. Opposite the farmhouse Amaliahoeve you turn left into the narrow creek (no motorized boats here). At the end of the creek you turn left on the Keesjes Killeke. At the next junction you go straight on. At the wide water you turn right (Gat van de Violen). Turn left into a creek. At the end of the creek you turn left (Gat van Honderd en Dertig). Follow the wide water to the right and then turn right on the Gat van Kampen. After you passed an island on your left, you keep to the right. When you return on the wide water you go straight on, but keep the left side. Enter the creek. At the second side-creek you turn right and left and again. After a bend to the right you see a kayak-pier on the left. When you come at the wide water (Ruigt) you turn left. Take the next creek to the right. This runs parallel to the Steurgat. After you return on the Steurgat you turn right on the Middelste Gat van het Zand. When you come at the wide water you turn left towards Vissershang.

History

Around the year 1300 the dikes along along the present rivers Merwede and Amer were made to protect the land behind them. Some sixteen villages were built and people lived from growing corn and fruits. The area became very prosperous. During the ill-fated night of November 18 the dikes broke at the present Moerdijk bridges. 72 villages were destroyed, 38 of them were later rebuilt and 34 of them vanished for ever. This extreme flood was named St. Elizabethsvloed. The whole area became flooded and because other dikes also broke the rivers found new ways towards the sea. A small inland sea took the pace of the once prosperous land. The rivers brought new sediments and undeep places appeared and they became islands. The first plants were bulrushes (in Dutch biezen), and that's how the name Biesbosch (woods of bulrushes) appeared. It was a tidal area and the many creeks filled with water during the flood. Later the bulrush made place for reedlands and many other plants and trees. During the second part of the 19th century some dikes were made and a few small polders with grassland appeared. During World War II the Germans did not dare to enter the area. So that's why many refugees took shelter here. During the lanst year of the German occupation people of the resistence sailed between the occupied north and the freed south through the area helping people escape from the Germans and on the way back they brought medicine and other neccessities. In 1952 a large electricity plant was opened near Geertruidenberg. It is still in operation today delivering 1240 MW electricity and 600 MW warmth for houses and greenhouses. In 1970ties the Haringvlietsluizen were built reducing the water-levels between high and low tide to a mere 30 centimeters. Some polders were made into reservoirs to make high level drinkingwater and industrial water. Since the 1990ties the NAM is trying to obtain a permit to drill for gas. They did not succeed so far but it may change as recources become more and more scarce. There are plans to make an opening in the river-dikes in the north so that more water will run through the area. Also there are plans to make objects of art. For example there is an idea of making a labyrinth of small dikes theat is meant to be broken down by the elements over the years.

GPS Vissershang: Lat. 51.7285 Lon. 4.8593

Starting place behind the marina Vissershang.

Sloot van St. Jan.

Along the Polder Turfzakken.

"Gat van de Zuiderklip".

At the end of "Gat van de Zuiderklip".

Tide

Information about the tide can be found at www.getij.nl. Click on "Getijvoorspellingen" and select "Dordrecht".

Map

A detailed map (PDF) can be downloaded here

Biesboschmuseum

At the Biesbosch museum (in the north of the Biesbosch) is no kayak pier. It can not be reached by kayak.