Round trip of 27 km. along the side of the Lauwersmeer, the Zuider Ee, Dokkumer Grootdiep and De Oude Zwemmer.
Round trip of 37.5 km. passing Zoutkamp and return on the Keegensterried.
Starting point Nieuwe Dokkumer Zijlen:The starting point is easy to find. From Leeuwarden you go east on the N355. Just before Buitenpost there's a roundabout where you turn left on the N358 towards Lauwersoog. After you passed Kollum the road makes a bend to the right and then a bend to the left. When you see a big bridge you're at the starting point. Just across the bridge you'll find parking space and a kayak pier on your right.
1. A round trip along the side of the Lauwersmeer, the Zuider Ee, Dokkumer Grootdiep and De Oude Zwemmer.A route of 27 km. Extra detour to Dokkum will make it 33 km. Starting point at the locks Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen. There is a small campsite:"De Brandgans", tel.: 0511-408579. No kayak rentals. Take care if there's a strong wind, especially if it comes from the north or north-east. The locks Willem Loréslûs are a main passage from the province Friesland toward the Lauwersmeer and the Waddenzee. From here we start going east on the Dokkumer Diep (photo above). The water is shallow outside the channel, but with a kayak you'll have no problem. The canal makes a bend to the north and becomes wider. You pass a small island on the left side. If there's a strong wind from the north there will be tricky waves after you pass the island. From the island it will be 1,5 km before you turn left into the Raskes. There is a stone dam stretching into the lake marked with a wooden triangle to indicate the entrance of the canal. After 1,5 km you reach the locks of Ezumazijl. There is a kayak pier on the right side. You have to carry the kayak across the dike and across the bridge. Ignore the no-entrance-sign (verboden toegang) at the locks as there is a kayak pier just on the other side of the locks behind the stone edge. From here you paddle west on the Zuider Ee for about 7 km. The last part there is a main road along the canal. When you see a park on your right where people are fishing, you turn left for the 27 km trip. (For Dokkum you go straight on for 3 more kilometers, and there turn left twice). Now you come on a small canal with several bends. At the end you see the chimney of an old stone-factory. Here you have to take the kayak out and carry it for about 150 meters and lift it over one or more iron gates to reach the Dokkumer Grootdiep. At the Dokkumer Grootdiep there are just remains of a kayak-pier. The place is marked with a pole with a yellow top. From here you turn left. The Dokkumer Grootdiep was around 1600 a sea-arm on which war-ships could sail to the center of Dokkum. For a quick return to the starting point you keep following the canal east until you come at the locks of the starting point. This way you can reduce the total distance with about 3 km. The adventurous way back is turning right after 1,5 km. After a short distance you come at a bridge. You have to carry the kayak across a dam. There is a pier on the other side of the bridge. Follow the canal to the east, and it makes a bend to the right. There's another dam at the windmill where you'll have to carry the kayak around. Continue south and at the T-junction you turn left. Now you're on the Oude Zwemmer, an old stretch of river. You come at a weir and you'll have to carry around it. You can get out at a wooden shed with a round roof, or just before the weir on the right if you don't mind flattening the reed and stinging nettles before you can make your way through. On the other side there is a ditch connected to the Zwemmer where you can get in. Be careful not to break any of the flowering rush. This is a protected plant in the Netherlands. Keep going east. Just before the canal ends, you turn right en left again to reach a small lake. Across the lake you have to carry the kayak across a small dike with a road. There is a canal on the other side with a kayak pier. But because there's a lot of reed it is diffucult to find. You make your way through the reed just before the first white reflector pole and you'll find the kayak pier. Follow the canal and then turn left. The canal makes a bend to the right and you come back on the Dokkumer Grootdiep. From here it is 2,5 km to the starting point. Just before the locks you'll see a kayak pier on the left.
GPS Willem Loréslûs: Lat 53.3170, Lon 6.1593.
GPS Ezumazijl: Lon 53.3587, Lat 6.1485.
Starting point Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen.
Old stone factory along the Dokkumer Grootdiep.
2. A round trip passed Zoutkamp and return on the Keegensterried 37.5 km.
The starting point is at the bridge and locks Dokkumer Nieuwe Zijlen.
From the starting point you head east. After a bend to the left you come at a gully. You pass the small island Senner Oog. On the west-side of the island you can go to the side. You come at the lake Lauwersmeer and turn right passed the Sennerplaat. You head east and cross the gully Simonsgat. On the other side you follow the branches that indicate shallow water. You cross another gully, but this one is not as wide as the previous one. You make a bend to the right and enter the Zoutkamperril towards Zoutkamp. When you're near Zoutkamp you take the canal to the right. It ends at a lock named Friese Sluis. There is a kayak pier, but you have to climb across the dike and an electric cattle fence. There is a step made of wood to make it easier to pass the wires. It took me two hours from the starting point to get here.
The canal Munnekezeilsterriet makes a bend to the right and you pass the villages Lauwerszijl en Munnekezijl. At the bridge in Munnekezijl there is a picnic table and even a toilet. After Munnekezijl you take the first canal to the right. At a bridge there is a row of farmhouses on your right. This is named De Leegte (Emptyness). After 300 yards you turn right into a narrow canal, the Keegensterried. There is a concrete dam with iron doors. You have to carry passed the obstacle. This canal makes many bends. There are some side canals, but you keep on the main (widest) canal. At a point the canal makes a sharp bend to the left and you see big satellite dishes ahead. When you are near Kollum you come at a pumping station. There are kayak piers so you can carry around. The sides are very slippery though! A little further on you come at old locks. They seem rather usesless to me as there is a new pumping station just a little further on. But they're still there and closed, so you have to carry around. At the next junction you turn right. At the end of the canal you go under a bridge and turn right again. After a bend to the left you see the bridge of the starting point with a kayak pier on the left.
GPS Willem Loréslûs: Lat 53.3170, Lon 6.1593.
GPS Munnekezijl: Lon 53.3017, Lat 6.2742.