Discovering the nature and monuments of Powiśle


Kayaking routes proposal

1.Gonty/Julianowo = Młyn II (7 km)
2.Młyn II – Szadowski Młyn (14 km)
3.Szadowski Młyn – Kwidzyn (16 km)
4.Kwidzyn – Mareza (13 km)
5.Mareza – Biała Góra (26 km)

Kayaking attractions

1. Dzierzgoń Lake. One of the largest lakes of the Iława Lake District with an area of almost 800 ha and the depth up to 15 m. It includes a diverse shoreline, and the river Liwa going through its south part.
2. Liwieniec Lake. The largely shallow and incremental lake constitutes an oasis of serenity. The waterfowls living on the lake has perfect nesting conditions because the lake is protected as a nature reserve. Kayakers going across the lake have to go through vast cane fields in which it is easy to lose the orientation.
3. Liwa canyon. The canyon forest section of Liwa constitutes the most interesting part of this kayaking trail. Multiple obstacles and a rapid current make it a challenge even for experienced kayakers. The river flows through a deep gorge and the water current was used by small mills which few can still be found in the valley.
4. Biała Góra Lock. Here it is possible to see a complex of hydrotechnical facilities constructed since the 16th century in order to separate the waters of Wisła and Nogat which until that time constituted Wisła’s main stream. It is worth to go up to the highest point of the facility from which a vast panorama of the Wisła Valley can be seen.

Worth seeing

1. Prabuty – A small town with an interesting history and multiple monuments. Unfortunately the bishop’s castle on the Liwieniec Lake slope was not preserved, but its miniature can be seen among the ruins of the castle’s walls. It is also possible to see a gothic cathedral and the so called Polish Church, while a unique attraction of the town consists in 18th century water tunnels underneath the square which are available for visitors.
2. Kwidzyn – A large industrial city located on Wisła’s slope and surrounded by the waters of the Liwa River. In the past Kwidzyn constituted the location of the legendary Prussian gord Zantyr in which the Teutonic Order established its stronghold, and later the bishop’s castle was erected – still standing today. It is one of the most beautiful medieval strongholds in Poland, well preserved up to this day. The city includes a lot of buildings with a historical residential, industrial, and barrack character because in the 19th century Kwidzyn was an important railroad node and garrison. The Liwa River surrounds the enormous cellulose processing plant located in the south part of the city.
3. Biała Góra Reserve – A small nature reserve at the slope of Wisła near a town of the same name. It protects xerothermic communities, typical for the steppes of Eastern Europe. The name of the town comes probably from the light color of these plants.

Liwa is a remarkably picturesque and rarely known kayaking trail. Its central forest section between Prabuty and Szadowski Młyn is especially interesting. It is rich in charming and uninhabited locations. However, the river includes a serious water problem, especially in its most interesting central section. At a low water level in many cases it will be necessary to carry the kayak. Furthermore, it is possible to come across many difficult, burdensome, and inconvenient portages.

Upper Liwa is available for kayakers starting from Kamieniec Suski (monumental palace ruins). Meandering across fields and grasslands near the interesting and small town of Prabuty, it goes through the vast Dzierzgoń Lake and cane fields of the Liwieniec Lake waterfowl reserve. From that point it goes through a tight forest complex of Kwidzyn for circa 30 km. At its lower section, from Kwidzyn to its mouth, it constitutes basically a regulated, monotonous, and leeved canal. Only before Biała Góra the river starts to meander and the trail becomes interesting. An award for perseverant kayakers consists in the possibility to see the historical locks at Biała Góra and continue the trip down Nogat towards Malbork.

  • Trail length: 76
  • Number of days: 4
  • Number of portages: 9
  • Recommended route of the trip: Prabuty (J. Dzierzgoń) - Biała Góra (76 km)
  • Difficulty: medium difficult in its central section (obstacles, problems with the water, portages), an easy lower section