Johans Kayak Site

River Hunze

Hunze Route, a round trip of 18.2 km. with 3 portages.

Kayak rentals:

Update 2019: The last 2 km to the north of Leiding 2 towards the Zuidlaarder Kanaal are closed now. So in fact it's not possible to make a round trip any more.

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.

Round trip of 18.2 km.

There is a parking place at the starting point and large kayak pier. Across the bridge you find "'t Keerpunt" where you can have a drink or a snack.
From the starting point you turn left (north). The first old meander on your left is closed during the breeding season (March 15 till Juni 15). But this is just a dead end. All other meanders are open all year. But when the water-level is low, access may be difficult. The deepest water is on the outside of the bends. You follow the bends and you'll find a few kayak piers on the way. At De Groeve you go under a bridge and you pass house-boats and a marina. Then you turn sharp left on the Zuidlaarder Kanaal. Just after a windmill there is a kayak pier at the wooden bridge. Here you portage to the drainage canal named Leiding 2. You have to cross a busy road.
You head south on the Leiding 2. After 5.2 km. you come at a weir, whre you have to portage. After the second bend to the left the canal splits. You keep left on the narrow canal. You go through a culvert and a little further the canal ends. You you portage back to the Hunze. There are good kayak piers. You turn left and after a short distance you return at Spijkerboor.


From the portage at De Groeve it's 1.4 km to end of the canal in Zuidlaren. There's no kayak pier, but it's not too difficult to get on the side. Here you visit the museum windmill De Wachter.

Upstream 20 km.

Many of the old meanders are restored. You can navigate upstream for quite a distance. The further you go, the more current there is. Much depends on the rainfall in the past days/weeks. The distance from Spijkerboor to the junction Voorste Diep and Achterste Diep near Gasselternijveen is 20 km. From there the river is canalized and less interesting.

Downloadable GPS-track 18.2 km: Hunzeroute.

Starting point Spijkerboor.



Old meander of the Hunze.


Windmill "De Boezemvriend" along the Zuidlaarder Kanaal. At the bridge there is a kayak pier where you can portage to the canal "Leiding 2".

View from the bridge across the Zuidlaarder Kanaal.

Kayak pier at the canal Leiding 2.
The kayak piers have been removed in 2017. Portage is a lot more difficult now.

The kayak piers have been removed in 2017. Portage is a lot more difficult now.

At the portage place back to the Hunze.


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