Łupawa is situated in Pomeranian Voivodeship and it originates near Jasień Lake (20km from Bytów), in Słupia Valley Landscape Park. As it goes on it crosses Oborowo Lake and runs trough morainic hills and coastal plain. At the end it falls into Gardno Lake in Słowiński National Park. Łupawa route is definitely one of the most beautiful and wildest routes in Pomerania. You can find hydroelectric power stations on Łupawa as well and it is the second route, after Słupia River, where you can admire the hydrotechnological infrastructure. You can even visit part of the station. Łupawa offers a route leading to the Baltic Sea itself!
DIFFICULTY OF THE ROUTE AND CAMPING CONDITIONS:
Traveling down Łupawa is not a piece of cake. It is a difficult route and requires experience. Obstacles (usually in a form of stone rapids) are usually quite easy to omit but there are plenty of them. You should expect carrying the canoe – luckily not for long distances. It is crucial to keep significant distance between the canoes to avoid dangerous mishaps. At the same time eye contact between the canoeists must be maintained so in case of troubles one can quickly help the other. The beginning of the route on Łupawa is suitable for canoeists with less experience. The more experienced ones can set off in Kozin. One-person kayaks equipped with skirts are recommended in case of Łupawa. One must add here that Łupawa is not the best place for winter or mass canoeing – you probably know why… It is a perfect route for pioneer wandering of only with few canoes. Late spring and days immediately after immense rain are convenient to travel along Łupawa – higher water level facilitates omitting the stones and rapids are much more calm. Of course, ignore these pieces of advice if you seek more excitement. Although there are more and more canoeists on Łupawa, it does not encourage the development of touristic infrastructure. Luckily there are many wild places suitable for camping (most camping sites are prepared for maximum 45 tents). Moreover, there are no problems with obtaining food. As a result, Łupawa is a perfect spot for real pioneer expedition. It is a river with a temper.
DESCRIPTION OF ROUTE:
The upper section of Łupawa runs through Jasień Lake which is interesting as far as landscape is concerned (it is the biggest lake of Słupia Valley Landscape Park). Further Łupawa, just like a mountain river, cuts an area of moraines and finally falls into the waters of Gardno Lake. The upper and middle section provide extraordinary attractions in a form of high steep hills situated near the water as well as old backwoods covering the banks of the river. One has to prepare well for facing that route bearing in mind that although the route itself is not long, sometimes even 46 days, which is a standard period for covering the route on Łupawa, are not enough.
The alternative for the upper section of Łupawa from Jasień to Kozin can be the right tributary called Bukowina which joins Łupawa in Kozin. Quite long valley of this river is the extension of the valley in the middle section of Łupawa. Not only the size of this tributary but foremost the beauty and untamed wild temper of Bukowina constitute a great introduction for what Łupawa has to offer.
Bukowina is available for canoeists starting from Kamienickie Lake. It is a short route – only 21 km long but very burdensome and difficult at places, still picaresque and interesting – especially near its end. Fast current, stone rapids, boulders and shipots as well as old beeches blocking the way make the route suitable for the ones with experience. We recommend you using polythene canoes for this route – they make canoeing down stone rapids and overcoming obstacles much safer.
As there are few people in surrounding area, the river offers first class of purity almost on the entire length. We are also not likely to meet many tourists here opposite to popular canoeing routes.
Canoeing down Łupawa is an option for those who crave for real adventure and dislike getting bored while paddling. Additional attraction of this route is the possibility of organizing a one day trip to Słowiński National Park and observing the panorama of the Baltic coast from the tops of the highest dunes, reaching 40 m. Remember that entering Gardno Lake requires the permission of the management of Słowiński National Park (sekretariat @ slowinskipn.pl, www.slowinskipn.pl). As far as the lake itself is concerned its coastal location results here in high waves and one is forced to move against the wind which requires much strength and it is often dangerous.
- Jasień/Obrowo - Kozin 14 km
- Kozin - Łupawa 19 km
- Łupawa - Łebień 14 km
- Łebień - Damno 10 km
- Damno - Żelkowo 16 km
- Żelkowo - Smołdzino/Gardna 12 km
MOST IMPORTANT ATTRACTIONS OF ŁUPAWA:
- Słupia Valley Landscape Park
- Forest Preserve "Rowokół" (going up Rowokół 115m above the sea level with panorama on the Baltic Sea)
- Słowiński National Park
- Church from the 17th century in Łupawa
- Late baroque palace with park in Łupawa
- Neogothic church from 1879 in Damno
- Palace surrounded by old trees in Damno
- Brick mill from the 19th century with the museum of rural carriages in Poganice
- The Church of Holy Trinity in Smołdzina
- Natural History Museum in Smołdzinie (devoted to the nature of the national park)
- Hydroelectric Power Station Łupawa
- Hydroelectric Power Station Poganice (available for visiting)
- Hydroelectric Power Station Łebień
- Hydroelectric Power Station Drzeżewo
- Hydroelectric Power Station Żelkowo (available for visiting)
- Hydroelectric Power Station (available for visiting)
To enter Gardno Lake one necessarily has to obtain a permission, it results from the fact of passing through forest preserve as well as from dangerous waves which are frequent in this shallow basin. Below you will find contact information useful for obtaining permission:
Management of Słowiński National Park
ul.Bohaterów Warszawy 1A
phone 059 81 17 204 ; 059 81 17 339 ; 059 81 17 509
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org