LOCATION AND PARAMETERS:
Wda is a beautiful low-lying forest river. It is a left tributary of Vistula River and joins it right after Świecie. Wda originates near Lake Wieckie in the vicinity Bytów. Wda runs through Kashubian Lake District, Tuchola Plain covered by forests and Wysoczyzna Świecka. It is one of the most low-lying rivers in Poland. Wda is also called Black Water due to its dark-brown color. It is a rather clean river (II class of purity). Wda is deep sometimes – up to 1,5 m. Moreover, it does happen that it gets deep right after the shallows, which can result in unexpected bath of a person towing the kayak. Wda meanders beautifully among forests creating many curves and changing the direction quite often. Route is conveniently situated as far as communication is concerned. Wda is special as it is suitable for canoeing even during the drought. A problem of too low water level does not occur here
DIFFICULTY OF THE ROUTE AND CAMPING CONDITIONS:
Wda route is easy, not troublesome and perfect for a family trip. Obstacles are rare and easy to overcome. You do not have to carry the kayaks often. It is a safe and not demanding river. Camping conditions are splendid, many camping sites, shops and entire touristic infrastructure. You can set off only with tents and food supply for one day – at any time you will find well stocked shops. An especially developed tourist base can be found around Lake Żurskie and Wdzydze – camping sites, agrotourism.
Wda route is popular so you can expect some camping sites to be crowded. Another analogy with highway is the great signage of Wda – it is impossible to get lost here. Big information signs indicate camping sites, necessity to carrying the kayaks, villages and kilometers
DESCRIPTION OF WDA ROUTE:
Wda route is one of the most picturesque ones. It is situated in area with insignificant population, it charms with the beauty of wild nature and amazing landscape. Major part of the route runs through Wdzydzki and Wdecki Landscape Park created especially to protect the unpolluted nature of Wda and nearby lakes.
You can start the trip on Lake Wieckie but this part is not the easiest nor most pleasant one. The upper section of the river is known to be very whimsical and not suitable for a family trip. It is more attractive for those who like challenges.
Majority of kayak trips starts in village of Lipusz and ends in Tleń – that is the so called “basic” route. This section can be covered, on average, during one week, the ones who want to reach the mouth of the river need two more days.
The section from Lipusz to Wdzydze is very charming: we paddle down Wda splendidly meandering among fields and meadows. Here we enter the area of Wdzydzki Landscape Park. Up till Wdzydze the travel is very peaceful, perfect for a family trip. The basin of wdzydzkie lakes, popularly called the Kashubian Sea, is the place where you can easily spend few days visiting magical islands and countless bays. The main attraction of almost every kayak trip is visiting the oldest antique building museum in Poland – Kashubian Ethnographic Park. To visit the museum you need an entire day. You definitely have to taste the local cuisine!
For those who don’t have time to stay at Kashubian Sea for longer we recommend taking a trip on keelboat from marina „U Grzegorza” (“At Grzegorz’s”) which allows you to see the entire basin. Another attraction which should not be ignored is Kamienne Kręgi (Stone Rings) – archeological nature preserve in Odry. Undoubtedly you cannot skip that place during your trip. You should also visit and spend the night in Czarna Woda. Here you can see an interesting exhibition „The nature of Tuchola Forest”. The river still has a friendly character encouraging free, summer kayak tourism.
Another attraction on the route is a historic church from the 18th century in Huta Kalna. Just outside the village of Błędno we enter Wdecki Landscape Park. From now on we face the wildest and probably the most beautiful part of Wda. While on Wda an attentive observer frequently notices the traces of beavers. They live in lodges or holes in the grounds with underwater entrance. The presence of beavers is proven by the cut trees you will notice in the water which constitute a sort of attraction for the kayakers.
Unfortunately Wda route, as every other, comes to an end, usually the trip finishes in Tleń. This short description of Wda route does not compare to the real beauty of this river. You must come here for yourselves – Wda is a „must go!” place for kayak enthusiasts…
- Lake Wieckie – Lipusz (16 km)
- Lipusz – Wdzydze Kiszewskie (18 km)
- Wdzydze Kiszewskie – Miedzno (19 km)
- Miedzno – Parcele (23 km)
- Parcele – Młynki (22 km)
- Młynki – Żurawki (24 km)
- Żurawki – Błędno (13 km)
- Błędno – Tleń (23 km)
- Tleń – Leosia (20 km)
- Leosia – Świecie (22 km)
MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF WDA:
- Wdzydzki Landscape Park
- Kashubian Ethnographic Park in Wdzydze Kiszewskie
- Nature Preserve "Kamienne Kręgi" („Stone Rings”) in Odry
- Exhibition „Nature of Tuchola Forest” in Czarna Woda
- Mansion from 19th/20th century in Wdecki Młyn
- 17th century church in Huta Kalna
- Nature Preserve „Krzywe Koło w Pętli Wdy” („Bent ring in Wda loop”).