Johans Kayak Site


Round trip of 8.2 km in the woods of Fochtelooërveen (4 portages).

Extra: To Appelscha 2.0 km x 2 = 4 km. makes a total of 12.2 km.
Extra: To Oosterwolde 4.3 km x 2 = 8.6 km. makes a total of 20.8 km.

Kayak rentals:

De Jongens van Outdoor offers an arrangement with biking and kayaking.

To the starting point:

Take the A381 Drachten - Emmen. Exit in the direction Appelscha (road named: Wester Es). At the roundabout you go straight on (Bruggelaan). When you come at a canal you turn right either on the north side or the south side of the canal. After you passed the center you turn left at the next bridge in the direction Ravenswoud. You drive through the small village and after 1.3 km you turn left to the parking place. The starting place is a little further.

Route of 8.2 km:

From the starting point follow the canal. At the T-junction you turn right and soon you come at the first portage. Follow the bend to the left and after a short distance you turn left. At the next junction you turn right. Then at the next junction you go straight on under the wooden bridge. follow the bend to the left. After you go under a culvert you turn left. At the end of the canal is the next portage where you turn left. It's only a 100 meters to the next portage, so it may be considerable to skip this short canal. At the next portage there is a viewpoint. Here you turn left. The follow the bend to the right. You go straight on to the T-junction at the end of the canal. Here you can turn right to return to the starting point.

If you turn left you go to Appelscha. You pass Ravenswoud. There is a kayak-pier and picnic table at the bridge. A little furhter you go through a rather low culvert. At the end of the canal in Appelscha there is a culvert where you can no go through. So here you have to portage about 100 meters to the canal Compagnonsvaart. Here you turn right in the direction Oosterwolde. There are 2 more portages at the locks before you come at Oosterwolde. The sides are rather low so getting in and out is not too difficult.

Tip: have a look on the website made by Judith Bouma.


GPS: Fochtelooërveen Lat. 52.9780, Lon. 6.3917.


Compagnonsvaart in Appelscha.

View from the watchtower on the Polder Ravenswoud.

The Fochtelooërveen is one of the last remaining wet peat-swamps in the Netherlands. The first part was bought by Natuurmonumenten in 1938. Now the area is as large as the city Utrecht. It is the only place in the Netherlands where the crane breeds. In the adjacent woods Compagnonsbossen there are several canals. In 2010 some of the dikes were removed and kayak piers were made so now you can kayak for 8.2 km in the woods. It is not much, but you can extend the trip by a visit to nearby Appelscha or go as far as Oosterwolde. The area is also very beautiful to make a walk. There is a high viewpoint 1 km form the starting point where you have a good look over the swamp. There are several bike roads through and around the Fochtelooërveen.