Johans Kayak Site


A round trip from the Hoendiep to the Onlanden: 17.5 km.
From Leek you can make a round trip of 18.7 km or 26.9 km. across the Leekstermeer and canals.

Starting point Hoendiep

Exit the A7 (Heerenveen - Groningen) at exit 34a Westpoort. At the third roundabout you turn left towards Enumatil. You drive along the Hoendiep passed De Poffert. After 2 km you turn left. The starting point is just across the bridge on your right. There is a picnic table and a kayak pier.

Round trip of 17.5 km passed the Onlanden

From the starting point you go to the right (east). After 2 km. you turn sharp right on the Munnikesloot. You go under highway A7 and then you come at the inlet of the Leekstermeer named Rietboor. You turn left passed the holyday houses. When the waterway narrows you turn right through a narrow passage. This is for kayaks/canoes only. There may be a little current. Follow the canal. At a T-junction you turn left. The canal makes two bends to the right. Then you go straight on and keep on the main canal. It's not permitted to leave the main canal. At the end you portage to the Peizerdiep. There are good kayak piers. Here you turn left. After the railroad bridge you go straight on. Follow the Aduarderdiep and after 2 km. you turn sharp left. Pass the houseboats at Nieuwbrug. After the railroad bridge there is a kayak pier on your right with a picnic table. At De Poffert you pass through a culvert and you turn right twice to the Hoendiep.

Starting point Leek

Exit the A7 (Heerenveen - Groningen) at exit 34 and head south on the N372 towards Leek. At the second roundabout after this junction you turn left on the Tobertsestraat. At the next roundabout you go straight on and then at the next junction you turn left on the Schilhoek. On your left you see castle Nienoord, on your right is a small lake. Turn right and a little further there's parking space on your right. You can unload the kayaks at the boat-ramp at your left (no parking here). There is a kayak pier.

Round trips from Leek

From the Nienoordshaven you follow the canal. After 2.7 km you come at the lake Leekstermeer. You keep left and turn left to the canal Lettelbertdiep. You pass the kayak rentals and camping. You go straight on under highway A7. Just before you enter the village Enumatil you turn right on the Hoendiep. This is a long straight canal. There is a kayak pier and picnic table at the bridge halfway. At the next junction you turn sharp right for the round of 18.7 km. You can do an extra 8.2 km if you go straight on and turn left under the low bridge. Follow the narrow canal. At Nieuwbrug there are some houseboats. Turn sharp right on the wider Aduarderdiep. At the end of the canal you're on the edge of the city Groningen and you see a sugar factory ahead. You turn right. Go under the railroad bridge and keep to the right on the main canal. Follow the canal and you come at the junction where you were before. Turn left at the Y-junction. The canal bends to the left and furhter on you go under the highway A7. You come at the Leekstermeer. You go straight on across the lake. The canal towards Leek is at the north-western corner. On the corner in the soutwest is Watersport center Cnossen with a restaurant. They charge € 1,50 for launching your kayak, so that's why I don't advise this place to be your starting point for the trip.

GPS Hoendiep: N 53.2105 E 6.4346 Leek: N 53.1642 E 6.3965

Update January 2022: The passage on the Lettelberterdiep and the Hoendiep are open again. The weirs are ready, and they are open for passage. The kayak pier at the Hoendiep has been removed, so you can not take the kayak to the water here. It will be replaced later this year.

March 2021: Work in progress in the Hoendiep. The blockage has been lifted (update January 2022).
Photo by Frank Boerlage.

Downloadable GPS-track 17.5 km: Onlanden
(unpack and open with Garmin Basecamp or other program).



Passage from the Leekstermeer to the Onlanden, seen from the Onlanden.

Canal in the Onlanden.

Portage point to the Peizerdiep.

Railroad bridge at Vierverlaten.

Factories along the Hoendiep at Vierverlaten.


January 2020: New railroad bridge across the Zuidwending (photo Frank Boerlage).

Passage from the Hoendiep to the Zuidwending.




South side of the Leekstermeer.


Watersportcenter Cnossen.

The Leekstermeer is also named Zulthermeer or Zulthe. This is an old local word for saltlake. In the past this lake was connected to the sea, so maybe this explains the origin of the name. The lake has a surface of 3.35 km² and it is between 1 and 1.5 meters deep. The border between the provinces Drenthe and Groningen used to be in the middle of the lake, but since 1998 the lake belongs to Drenthe and the border is the northern shore.

The Onlanden

After part of the city of Groningen was threatened by flooding in 1998, it was decided to create a large water storage area. This area is about 2500 hectares in size and includes the Leekstermeer and its immediate surroundings and an area that extends to the southeast to the Eelderdiep. From the Leekstermeer, a canal ran in the northeast to pumping station Gemaal Matsloot, which kept the water level in Matsloot area under control. This pumping station is now out of service and nature is now allowed to determine the water level. A large marsh area has been created. A route for canoes between the Leekstermeer and the Peizerdiep was made.