The Wielkopolska Ring
Wielka Pętla Wielkopolski [The Great Wielkopolska Ring] is a unique, almost 700 km long cruising trail starting from picturesquely situated Ślesin (the location of our base) southwards via the Ślesin Canal and 2 locks to Konin. Gathering near the town boulevard, we have an opportunity to walk into the little streets of the old town. Afterwards, downstream of the Warta river, we flow by Śrem, Poznań – the capital of the region (the historical Old Town Market Square is not far from the river), Międzychód – almost 350 km to Gorzów Wielkopolski where we will be welcomed by wide Warta boulevard with a few interesting pubs and bars located there. In this point we will change direction into eastward and, after a dozen of kilometres or so, in Santok, we will flow into the Noteć river, along which after passing 14 historical locks, we will reach Nakło upon the Noteć, after one hundred and a few dozen kilometres.
Keeping eastwards, we will pass next 6 locks and 30 km along the Bydgoszcz Canal, which connects the Vistula and Odra waterways. This is a unique example for Europe of 18th century engineering concept, so perfect that the system is successfully functioning until present. The cruise through the centre of Bydgoszcz makes an unforgettable impression.
Old buildings, granaries and modern opera building located right at the Brda river bank are just within our reach … and compose the so-called Venice of Bydgoszcz. Not far from the river bank there is the market square and picturesque Wyspa Młyńska [the Młyńska Island] with numerous restaurants and cafes. We return to the mid-point of the Bydgoszcz Canal where we turn southwards to the Górnonotecki [Upper Noteć] Canal and Górna Noteć river. There we will pass further 8 technically interesting locks to reach the Gopło lake with legendary Kruszwica situated in the centre of the lake. Another 2 locks and we are back in Ślesin.
The attractiveness of the Great Wielkopolska Ring trail is in its diversity. For some time we go along canals, further along the swift river, afterwards along a river regulated by a system of locks, then canals again to eventually reach beautiful lakes. The loop offers us all the possible impressions. On the one hand, there is wildlife and magnificent landscapes, on the other – there are interesting structures of water engineering and cities and towns attractive to the tourists.
In spite of the substantial distance, the Loop can be done in whole (cruising clockwise) within two weeks without any problem. Along the Warta we go downstream all the time, while on the Noteć the locks significantly slow the river stream, making is almost imperceptible.
For those who have not so much time available, we offer a few options of one-week trails. In addition, every tourist may choose an individual version of the trail, adapted to their capacities and expectations. We are ready to suggest the best solutions for you.
For the Great Wielkopolska Ring we offer Vistula Cruiser 30 SE yachts with outboard engine and bow-thruster.
The possibilities to pass the particular fragments of the Great Wielkopolska Trail depend on the hydrological conditions. We cannot guarantee the accomplishment of the assumed cruise plan. Therefore, before setting off, please become familiar with the current hydrological situation or contact the organizer.
for 1 week:
1. Ślesin – Konin – Barcin – Ślesin, 10 locks, about 200km
2. Ślesin – Bydgoszcz – Ślesin, 30 locks, about 270km
3. Ślesin – Konin – Bydgoszcz – Ślesin, 34 locks, about 310km
for 2 weeks:
WPW: Ślesin – Konin – Poznań – Gorzów Wlkp. - Bydgoszcz – Ślesin, 36 locks, about 700km
VISTULA CRUISER 30 SE with outborad gasoline engine Yamaha 30 HP and bow-thruster.