Johans Kayak Site

River Hunze

Hunze: Spijkerboor to the Zuidlaardermeer and back 19 km.

Kayak rentals:

To the starting point in Spijkerboor:

From Assen you head east on the N376 in the direction Winschoten. Take exit 35 in the direction Eexterveen. Then you keep going straight on. In Spijkerboor you turn left and you'll see the starting point just across the bridge.
From Groningen you head south on the A28 in the direction Assen. Take exit 36 in the direction Gieten. Then you exit in the direction Anloo. At the roundabout you go straight on. In the village you turn right towards Spijkerboor. The starting point is just before the bridge on your left.

Trip op 19 km. both ways. No portages.

There is a parking place at the starting point with a picnic table and a large kayak pier. Across the bridge you find "'t Keerpunt" where you can have a drink or a snack.
The river is accessible all year round. Walking in the marshes is not allowed from March 15 till June 15. The meanders have been restored to their former state in the Annermoeras and the Tusschenwater. The water may be rather shallow here. The deepest water is on the outside of the bends.
From the starting point you turn left. You head north following the main stream of the Hunze. At the Tusschenwater there are a few lakes. There is a narrow passage to more lakes where you can paddle around. There is no access to the lakes behind the weir. At De Groeve you go under a bridge and you pass house-boats and a marina. You go straight on to the Zuidlaardermeer. At the mouth of the river there is a small island. The GPS-track leads you around it and then back on the Hunze. Then you turn right on the Zuidlaarder Kanaal. After a short distance there is a kayak pier at the wooden footbridge. There is a picnic-table at the windmill De Boezemvriend. There is no access to the Leiding 2. You return and then you turn sharp right back on the Hunze. You follow the same way back to the starting point.

Round trip of 18.2 km including 1.5 km. portage.

Best starting point is at the bridge across the Leiding 2, at the Nieuwe Dijk.
From here you head south on the Leiding 2. Since the creation of the Tusschenwater I haven't been here. I was told there are 1 or 2 weirs where you have to portage. There are no kayak-piers there. At the end you follow the 90 degrees bend to the left and then you go straight on. You have to portage to the Hunze, but there are good kayak piers. You turn left on the Hunze and pass Spijkerboor. You follow the Hunze and at De Groeve you turn sharp left on the Zuidlaarder Kanaal. You pass the wooden footbridge. When the canal makes a bend to the right you have to go to the side (left). There is no kayak pier but the side is low. You cross the busy road N386, and follow the narrow road Osbroeken. Then you turn left on the Nieuwe Dijk. At the bridge is the starting point.


At the end of the Zuidlaarder Kanaal you can visit the museum windmill De Wachter . There's no kayak pier, but it's not too difficult to get on the side.

Upstream 19 km.

I never did this myself, but I heard people paddled downstream from windmill De Juffer near Gasselternijveen to Spijkerboor. This is not an easy stretch. As the river is more narrow there is more current. In a dry period there may be shallow water. There are many bends, but a greater challenge are the fish passages (with stones) and weirs. There are high sides and no kayak piers. Not suitable for a polyester sea-kayak.
GPS De Juffer, road Hunzelaan: N. 52.9859 E 6.8375.

Downloadable GPS-track 19 km: Hunze.

Starting point Spijkerboor.




Windmill "De Boezemvriend" along the Zuidlaarder Kanaal. There is a kayak pier and a picnic table.

View from the bridge at De Boezemvriend.


Kayak pier at the end of canal Leiding 2. You can portage here to the Hunze.

Kayak pier at the Leiding 2 near the bridge of the Nieuwe Dijk. The sign warns that it's not allowed to navigate further north to the Zuidlaarder Kanaal.
You have to portage for 1.5 km.


Films by Casper Reininga: De Hunze in summer. and De Hunze inwinter.