The Brda River
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The Brda is said to be canoeable for 233 km from lake Pietrzykowskie Duze to its junction with the Vistula at Bydgoszcz.   The usual starting point is Nowa Brda at 25 Km and even here the river is narrow and liable to be obstructed by fallen trees.  From  Kornowo (191 Km) the river character becomes industrial.   Between these points are two easily portaged dams, sixteen sizeable lakes and about 94 Km of flowing river.  


Our guide was Lech Augustynski.  Click here for his site.

0.0 km - Launch on the west bank at the north end of Lake Pietrzykowskie Duze at the village of Swieszyno.


4.5 m - The river flows out of the south end of Lake Pietrzykowskie Duze


5 km - Bridge


6 km - Bridge.   Trzyniec village left


7 km – Bridge


9.5 km – Bridge


11.0 km - Obstructed bridge with 70m portage right bank at Stara Brda Pilska


11.2 km - Bridge.  Rough camping left bank below bridge


14 km - Bridge


15 km - Bridge


15.5 km - Bridge


16 km – Bridge


17.5 km – Bridge


19 km – Bridge. Zolna village right.


19.2 km Bridge. Zolna village right.


20 km – Rough camping left bank just before bridge


21 km – Les Zolna village and forest cabins left


21.1 km – Bridge


24.5 km - Bridge.  Nowa Brda right.  


24.6 km – bridge


25 km – Railway Bridge.  Rough campsite right bank immediately below. A good starting point for a cruise

The next 13 miles to Lake Szczytno follows a winding course through a narrow band of grassland between the forest.  Where the trees approach the bank the river is frequently obstructed by fallen ones.

30 km – River Modra joins right


30.5 km – Road bridge.  Rough campground right above the bridge


The river enters the small Przyton reservation and runs through a deep valley.

33.5 km – Road bridge


34 km – River Ruda joins right


35 km – Bridge


36 km – The Osiedle Kormoanow reservation lies on the right bank


39 km – Most Dolink road bridge


39.5 km – Lake Szczytno.  This is a large lake.   

Look out for cormorants.  Follow the wooded left bank for about four km until the lake angles sharply left (east).  After a further one km Rzewnica rough campground lies on a small promontory at a point where the lake narrows on the right bank.    The lake suddenly widens out after another 0.5km.  Keep left at this point paddling past a small island, the site of a 13th century wooden castle.  Paddle on to the narrow junction with lake Szczycienko.

47 km - Lake Szczycienko.  We are now facing east.


49 km – Bridge.  Szczytno right.  Zawada left.  Shop


49.5 km Start of Lake Konskie


51.5 km – Exit Lake Konskie  Campsite and kayak hire left.  All facilities


51.6 km – Bridge.  Lisewo right

The next 24 km of river, before lake Charzykowskie, runs predominatly between reeds and grassy swamps.

56 km – Bridge.  Plaszczyca right.   Shop. 

Jemielno Park and stately home left.

60.5 km – Railway Bridge


61 km – River Lipczynke joins left via two of channels


61.5 km – Bridge. Sapolno left.  Shop, restaurant, bar and post office


62.5 km – Bridge. Konarzyny left.  High banks intermittently for the next few km.


66 km – Road Bridge.  Ciecholewy right.  Rough camping below bridge on left.


66.5 km – The river enters Zaborski national park and woodland closes in.


71 km – Road Bridge


72 km - Rough campsite left


72.5 km - The river enters Lake Charzykowskie through a reedy delta.


Lake Charzykowskie is large but canoeists touring the Brda need only paddle across one corner.  Turn left and paddle across the bay to the small headland where there is another rough campsite.  Round the headland exit the lake travelling north for about 0.5 km of river. 

72.5 km – Bridge.  Male Swornegacie right.   Rough camping and a bar below the bridge right. 


73 km – Lake Dlugie.  

Paddle down the middle of the 2 km long lake, past the woodland and small headland on the left to find a rough campground in front of you on the left bank just before the exit into Lake Karsinskie

 75 km – Enter Lake Karsinskie.  Keep near the left bank, passing the mouth of the Chocina River after 0.5 Km. Paddle across the bay towards the boats and activity marking the exit to Swornegacie


75.5 km - Chocina River enters left. Click here.


78 km – Exit the lake under a concrete road bridge.  Easy landing either bank for the village of Swornegacie.  Bar, shops, restaurants and post office.   A lovely km of gently flowing water till Lake Witoczno


78.1 km – Pipe bridge


78.2 km - Wooden footbridge


78.9 km - Canoe and campsite left for .   We canoed with them.  They are a wonderful company. 


79 km - Lake Witoczno.   There is a camping and canoe hire site on the lakeside about 0.5 km along the left (west) bank.   The river Zbrzyca (click here) enters the north end of the lake.  We head right to the Brda river exit in the middle of the east bank of the lake.


80.1 km – Exit Lake Witoczno under bridge


84 km – Rough camping right.


84.1 km – Enter lake Malolakie


85.5 – Enter Lake Lackie


87 km – Exit Lake Lackie under the 236 road bridge.  Drzewicz right.  Bed and breakfast.   Rough camping left bank below bridge.


87.2 enter Lake Dybrzk.  A 4 km long lake.   Paddle more or less due east.


90.5 km – Rough camping left bank.


91 Km – Lake narrows and we pass into the smaller lake Kosobudno


92 km Exit lake right as it narrows into Lake Zapora.  There is a rough campsite at the east end of the lake just beyond the exit. 


Lake Zapora is very long and narrow and scenically like a broad river, albeit with little flow.   The next nine km to Mylof are a beautiful short easy tour.  John Paul II sailed along this route during a papal visit.


93.5 Good landing and launch point right


94 km – Bridge.  Mecikal.  Post office, shops and bar.


IMAGE0011[1].JPG.JPG (480846 bytes) Our lunch spot that day

99 km – Mylof dam and village left.  Land right above the dam for a 200 m easy portage.   On busy days a fellow with a set of wheels will help for a small fee. 


One of two power stations on the Brda.  22 cubic metres of water per second, dropping 12 metres provides 2MW of power.

The Brdy canal leaves the river here to the left of the dam.  

Begin of the Great Canal of Brda - Mylof.JPG (419788 bytes)


Quite unlike the deep and heavily locked English canals with which I am familiar, it is neither used for transport or to bypass river obstructions.  There is no lock to enter it; the first 200 metres have been given over to a fish farm.  Beyond the fish farm the canal is shallow, with steadily flowing water but does not appear to lead anywhere.  It is an irrigation canal.  


After 15 km the Fojutowo aqueduct, built in 1848, carries the canal over the river Czerska Struga which is flowing back to the Brda.   The canal, which was built by the Prussians to irrigate grassland for horse feed, is canoeable for about 20 km.


Below Mylof dam the river changes character and has numerous small rapids.  As far as I could learn these are mostly pretty mild stuff, but I’ve not canoed below Mylof.  Any details gratefully received and I’ll put them up on the site. 

  river Brda below Mylof.JPG (357495 bytes)

Jim Thornton Sept 2004


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Last modified: September 26, 2006