Johans Kayak Site

De Leijen

Trip from Rottevalle across De Leijen to the center of Drachten and back 25.6 km.

No portages.

Kayak rentals:

De Drait Yachting, Biskopswei 27, 9213 VM De Wilgen. Tel.: 0512-513276.

To the starting point Rottevalle.

Leave the highway N31 (Leeuwarden - Drachten) at the exit Rottevalle (N369). At the roundabout you turn left towards Rottevalle. In the center of the village you turn left where the main road bends to the right. The small harbor is straight ahead. There is a kayak-pier.

Trip of 25.6 km. from Rottevalle to the center of Drachten and back.

From Rottevalle you head north on the canal Lits. After 2 km. you come at the lake The Leijen. This is a shallow lake with several small islands, most of them not accessible. On your right is Pavilion De Leyen with a kayak pier and a beach for children. You turn left (south-west) and follow more or less the fairway in the lake marked with buoys. The entrance of the Opeinder Kanaal is marked with a triangular sign. Before the entrance there is an island with a pier. There are a few fishing-spots. You head south on the Opeinder Kanaal and you pass Opeinde. The canal is nice but in Opeinde there's nothing special to see and there's no kayak pier. From the lake it's 3.8 km. to the industrial harbor of Drachten. You go to the right around the peninsula with quicksand. Follow the right side of the lake and at the end you go straight on. At the T-junction you turn left. There are new houses along the canal and some parallel canals are made. You can turn right and then left again to see one of these canals. Turn left and right again to continue on the Drachtster Vaart. A fixed bridge (1.6 meters high) limits access to the passer-by port a little further on. At the end of the canal you're in the center of Drachten. There is a kayak pier near the end of the canal.
You return the same way on the 3.3 km. long canal. At the junction you go straight on on the Buitenstverlaat. You pass the former locks (they're open). The houses on the left are monuments. After the locks you turn right on the Oude Drait. At the T-junction you turn right again. When you come at the lake you turn left and go around the peninsula. You head north on the Opeinder Kanaal. The first part is also named Juffersgat. On the corner of the side-canal Burmaniasloot is an unofficial mooring place. People go here to party and make a fire (and leave a mess). The Burmaniasloot is very nice, at the end there's even a kayak pier. It ends at a busy traffic intersection, so that's not so interesting. You head north and pass Opeinde. At the lake you head east and you see the pavillion in the distance. Turn right on the Lits and you return to the starting-point.

Downloadable GPS-track 25.6 km: De Leijen.

GPS Starting point Rottevalle: N. 53.1464 E. 6.1011

Starting point Rottevalle.

De Lits.

New kayak pier at Pavilion De Leyen (2020).

De Leijen.

De Leijen.

De Leijen.


The Drachtster Vaart was opened in 2016 and it leads to the center of Drachten. There is a kayak pier.

At the end of the Drachtster Vaart.

The locks Buitenstverlaat are nog longer in use. They are open.

Shipyard Van der Werff along the Oude Drait.