Distance: Around Leusden 16 km, canals of Amersfoort 5 km extra.
Kayak rentals:XL Adventures and Events. Chromiumweg 119, 3812 NM Amersfoort. Tel.: 033 - 4690667 (ma - fri, 9.00 am - 5.00 am)
The 16 km trip around Leusden is a marked ANWB route provided with kayak piers. The marked route starts outside Leusden at the weir in the Vallei Kanaal and goes counter-clockwise. This has the advantage that you go with the current on the canal (actually this is the canalized river Eem). You go the other way on the Heiligerbergerbeek, but there is hardly any current here. I made this trip the other way around. The Heiligerbergerbeek passes through the woods Lockhorsterbos and the estate Den Treek. It is very beautiful. I can also recommend making a few kilometers extra and make a tour along the canals of the city center of Amersfoort. The Vallei Kanaal is a bore, but you'll have to pass it to make a round trip.
To the starting point:From highway 28, take exit 7 towards Leusden. Go straight on at the roundabout, two traffic lights, and at the second roundabout. Then turn left at the traffic lights (Asschatterweg). After 500 m there is a bridge across the Vallei Kanaal. Just across the bridge you turn left. You see the weir with kayak piers at both sides.
Kayak trip around Leusden (clockwise)You start going upstream for some time. You pass the kayak rental-rental. A little further on you see the former locks Bonenburgersluis with a kayak pier on you right. Carry the kayak across the hill and lower it into the Oude Lunterse Beek. The Oude Lunterse Beek (no visible current here) goes trough the woods and there are many bends. After a few km you come at a busy road. The bridge is too low to go under. But there is a great invention here, maybe unique in the world. You put the kayak in a carrier. The bottom is below the water-line so that any kayak or canoe (if not too long) can pass under the bridge. By turning a wheel, a mechanism pulls the carrier to the other side of the bridge (see photo below). You continue and go straight on at the next weir (see photo above). After a while you pass under the highway and you come at a device to stop floating woods and things. You have to carry the kayak around it. Then you can turn right towards the Vallei Kanaal. But I can recomment to make a detour straight on towards the city center. You have to carry across the weir though. There are no kayak piers (not the official ANWB-route), but the sides are low, so this is no problem. Just follow the canal, and turn left at the bleu bridge (straight on is a narrow canal, this is a dead end). When you come at the city-wall, turn left and right and go under the gate. At the next intersection you can either turn left or right to make a circle and end up at the same point. Straigt on is a dead end. After you've seen the city, you go back the same way. At the weir you turn left and you come at the Vallei Kanaal. Here you have to take the kayak out of the water one more time. Turn right, and after 2 km you return at the starting point.
GPS: Lat. 52.1362 Lon. 5.4479
Leave the Vallei Kanaal and carry across towards the Oude Lunterse Beek here.
The device to bring your kayak to the other side of this very low bridge.
Amersfoort: turn left or right here, to make a circle through the city center.