Johans Kayak Site   www.kanoroutes.nl

De Blauwe Verbinding
CONTENT

Route of 20.3 km (6 portages).

De Blauwe Verbinding (The Blue Connection) is a project planned between 2012 and 2022 to connect the waterways of the Zuiderpark in Rotterdam to the Zuidpolder in Barendrecht. It is a recreational area for walking, cycling and kayaking between Rotterdam and Barendrecht. The kayak route was officially opened in October 2018. In May 2019 I took my kayak to the Zuiderpark planning to navigate all the way (15 km) to Barendrecht and back. Unfortunately it appeared the kayak route is not finished yet, and both the signs and the published PDF-file are ahead of its time. After about 10 km I came at the Essendijk and there's no way you can portage here to continue the trip. Also from the parallel waterway along Portland it's not possible to go any further.
Another very annoying thing is a big metal H-beam across the canal just after the locks along the A15. It seems to be there without any purpose. Later I discovered there is an alternative route through de Zuidelijk Randpark. There are no signs to indicate the direction.
Keeping in mind that the route is not finished, you can still have a nice day on the water here.
If you go on your own, it's advisable to have wheels for taking the kayak across two busy streets at the portage places in the city.

To the starting point at the Zuiderpark in Rotterdam:

Exit the southern belt-way A15 at exit U28 in the direction S102 Charlois.
Head north on the Groene Kruisweg. After a gas-station you turn right at traffic-lights in the direction S124.
Head east on the Oldegaarde. At the traffic-lights you go straight on, and then after 500 meters you turn left. It's a dead-end road and there are no direction signs. At the end of the road you can park and take the kayak to the lake on your right.

Trip of about 20 km. from the Zuiderpark to the dike Essendijk.

There is a kayak-pier at the starting point, but there are low sides everywhere around the lake, so you can launch your kayak everywhere. You head left towards the canal and then turn right. On your left there is a public toilet. It's free, but bring your own toilet-paper as it often runs out. At the next junction you turn right. After a short distance you come at the first portage point. A little further you come at the second portage point. You keep following the canal. After a bend to the right you come at the locks. Just press the button and when there's a green light you can enter the locks. There are floating piers on the side where you can hold on. The locks oparate automatically, so you just wait till it's ready and you get a green light to navigate out of the locks. After a short distance there is a thick metal H-beam blocking the passage. You can pull the kayak across it.
Continue across the park Zuidelijk Randpark. You pass a windmill, and a little further the canal makes a bend to the left. You pass under the highway A15 and a railroad-line. The canal runs along the A15 until you reach the polder Koedood. The signs suggest you can either turn left of right here, but you must turn left. After a short distance you see locks on your left. They are also self-service (pull a short rope here). You can go either straight on till the canal ends at the Essendijk, or pass the locks for a trip passed Portland. After some distance you can portage between both waterways at a small weir. But you have to find you way through the reed and stenging nettles.

I passed Portland to the Essendijk. There's no kayak pier. With some efford I got out here, climbed the steep dike and turned right on the narrow road. Then I turned right on the bike-road and after a short distance I could launch the kayak on the Koedood on the left. Not an advisable way to do it.

After this you return to the starting point. At the Zuiderpark you can navigate a small round around the Avontureneiland (Adventure Island).

GPS Zuiderpark, Rotterdam: N 51.8778 E 4.4860.

Downloadable GPS-track 20.3 km: from the Zuiderpark, Rotterdam to Portland, Rhoon and back.
(unpack and open with Garmin Basecamp or other program).

Zuiderpark.

Zuiderpark.

At the portage place Slinge.

Self service locks: press the button and wait...
If two red lights are on, the the locks are out of service.
Inscription "Wat hebben water en ik gemeen?" means "What do water and I have in common?"

Passage under highway A15 and railroad.

Along highway A15.

District Portland.

District Portland.

Former river Koedood.

De Blauwe Verbinding. A PDF-file can be downloaded at: Rotterdam.nl.