Kayaking trips down the Krutynia river organised by us set off from SORKWITY (a campsite at the PTTK riverside hostel) . You can get there by bus from Olsztyn to Mrągowo.
For individual kayaking trips down the Krutynia river we provide kayaks from our seat in Krutyń. There is also a free parking lot for your car to wait while you enjoy your trip.
Our offer range includes one-day trips as well. Such a one-day kayaking trip is perfect for those, who have little experience and want to start their kayaking adventure - route sections are easy and cause no trouble for beginners.
One-day kayaking trips down the Krutynia river – routes
Krutynia Kayaking trip – the route
Zgon - Krutyń
If the weather is good, you’ll be amazed how beautiful the Mokre Lake is, surrounded by the Puszcza Piska forest, which seems to be pristine once you pass the Zgon village. Sandy banks that slope gently create favourable conditions for bathing. Three isles on the lake are also stunning.
Krutynia Kayaking trip – the route
Ukta - Iznota
The Krutynia River will guide you trough this stage of the route. Once you leave Ukta behind, the river changes. The riverbed is slightly narrower and often limited by fallen trees. There are alders, aspens, rowans and birches growing along the banks.
You need 7–9 days in order to go along the entire 100 km section of the route. Accommodation on the Krutynia river route is very well developed:
- PTTK riverside hostels offer campsites, camping cabins, hostel rooms
- agritouristic farms (a very few of them, unfortunately)
- private campsites
8-day kayaking trips down the Krutynia river
When going on a kayaking trip down the Krutynia river, don’t take a lot of food provisions with you. There are shops, bars ans restaurants available almost everywhere:
- Sorkwity – shops, a restaurant, a bar at the riverside hostel
- Bieńki – no shops, a bar at the riverside hostel
- Babięta – shops in the village, a bar at the riverside hostel
- Spychowo – a shop, a bar in the riverside hostel, a ropes course
- Krutyń – a shop, several restaurants
- Ukta – shops, a riverside hostel 1.5 km on the right bank behind the bridge
- Nowy Most - no shops, a bar in the riverside hostel
- Wygryny – a shop
Places, where you need to carry your kayak over:
- Babięta – get off the kayak on the left bank before the bridge and carry it approx. 80 m over
- Spychowo - closed Lalka lock, carry your kayak along the right bank for approx. 100 m
- Lake Mokre – Lake Krutyńskie - 20 metres
- Krutyński Piecek – a mill dam, carry your kayak along the right bank for approx. 100 m
Krutynia – a brief description of the kayaking route
The Krutynia river route is one of the most beautiful lowland routes in Europe. It is very interesting and diverse. It runs through the Puszcza Piska forest, and from the Mokre Lake – also through the Masurian Landscape Park created in December 1977. The MLP is located on the border of two different geomorphological forms - a terminal moraine and an outwash plain. It’s surface covers 53,655 ha, and its protective zone has 18 608 ha. There are more than 29,000 ha of forest and ca. 17,000 of rivers and lakes. The remaining area includes buildings and fields.
Rich natural values protected by the MLP covers over 60 lakes with the area exceeding 1 ha, including the largest lake in Poland - Lake Śniardwy, 11 nature reserves; nearly 850 species of plants with rare orchids, blue rose, forkbeard, round-leaved safflower, delicate flea, fragrant bellflower or golden-headed lily; animals such as wolves, lynxes, elks, otters, minks, beavers; and over 200 species of birds, including black stork, kingfisher, bittern, merganser, lesser spotted eagle, white-tailed eagle, osprey, corncrake or Eurasian eagle-owl.
The Krutynia river route is 102 km long, 60 km of which includes stagnant water. The river flows among pristine and wild nature. It collects water from a basin of 711 km2. It’s not uncommon to come across a white-tailed eagle or a golden eagle on the route. Sponges and red algae living in the water form “bloody stains” on the stones, which is worth paying attention to (Hildenbrandtia rivularis that grows on boulders and a freshwater sponge Euspongilla lacustris are provided a stringent protection!). River banks along the route are overgrown with magnificent oaks and tall pine trees, the trunks of which used to be cut for ship masts. Usually, the trip begins in Sorkwity. When passing through Sorkwity, it is worth seeing the Evangelical church built around 1470 and the neo-Gothic palace of the Von Mirbach family built in 1850–1856.
The first stage of of the kayaking trip goes across the Lake Lampackie, Lake Lampasz and a shallow section of the Krutynia river called Sobiepanka down to the riverside hostel located by the Lake Białe in Bieńki. The subsequent sections of Krutynia allow you to enjoy the surrounding nature and give you the opportunity to try the survivors’ life as you can spend the night on a desert island. While on the route you can visit the Królewska Sosna reserve where a 500-year old oak named after Karol Mełłek grows together with a Masurian pine tree, the oldest pine in the region, today, unfortunately, dead. The farm of Adam Szubski in Zgon makes an amazing attraction. There, you can see very colourful real-size sculptures created by the owner. They present people occupied with their everyday chores. The Zakręt reserve is noteworthy as well, with its dystrophic lakes and floating islands. The section from the Lake Krutyńskie to Ukta is considered to be the most beautiful one on this route, which confirm numerous trips of foreign tourists going down the river from the Lake Krutyńskie to Krutynia in flat-bottomed boats pushed by local rafters, which you will certainly meet. The tradition of rafting in boats, just as kayaking down the Krutynia river dates back to pre-war times.
On the way from Krutyń to Ukta, you can visit the Filipon Monastery in Wojnowo, where icons, crosses and photos of Old Believers are available to sightseeing. The village of Ukta offers another attractions - hiking or cycling trips to the Wild Animals Park in Kadzidłowo (over 30 species of animals such as elks, bisons, beavers, lynxes or wolves), or to the Pranie forester, where the famous polish poet - Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński - created his pieces. Ukta was established around 1754 as the settlement of Krutyńska Szklarnia with a glassworks. Later, it was named “Ukta” by the Old Believers. In the village, you should definitely see a neo-Gothic church from 1864 with the Sauer company’s organs from the late 19th century and the historic belfry from 1846. When you come back from the trips, you can relax in a sauna at the “U Wajsa” campsite, located at the riverbank. The next section of the Krutynia route goes through the reserve named after Melchior Wańkowicz. This well-known author completed it in 1934, which resulted in a famous book “Na tropach Smętka”. There are only several days left until you end this trip through astonishing forests down the Krutynia river. At the end you will go through the Guzianka lock which is an amazing adventure, and then it all ends in Ruciane-Nida. Everyone who completed the kayaking route down the Krutynia river admits that it deserves to be called the most beautiful and interesting lowland trail in Europe. Even the greatest poets find it difficult to truly describe its beauty. You need to go there and see for yourself! People say that if you haven’t seen Krutynia, you haven’t seen the true Masuria as well.
Characteristics of the Krutynia River route section by section:
- Lake Lampackie – Lake Krutyńskie (Krutynia river from the 102nd km to the 45th km) - according to the scale of difficulty used in guidebooks - T1a, e.g. a route suitable for beginners, very easy. Kayaking conditions: slow current, current without disturbances, no ships traffic. Very picturesque route.
- Krutynia river from the 45th km to the 15,5th km - T1b, e.g. a route suitable for beginners, easy. Kayaking conditions: small and regular rapids, slight thresholds, gentle bends, shallows and shoals. Very picturesque route.
- Lake Bełdany from the 15,5th km - T1, e.g.route suitable for beginners, very easy. Kayaking conditions: slow current, current without disturbances, no ships traffic or very irregular ships traffic. Very picturesque route.
Example sections of kayaking trips down the Krutynia route (sections 10–15 km long which takes 3–4 hours of rowing).
Section Sorkwity - Bieńki (approx. 15.5 km): the trip starts in Sorkwity on the Lake Lampackie. This section guides you across several picturesque lakes, including: Lake Lampackie, Lake Lampasz, Lake Kujno, Lake Dłużec and Lake Białe. The most attractive part is probably the section down the Sobiepanka river - quite a fast current, numerous obstacles and bends, as well as frequent shallows make this section of the trip a real adventure. However, unusually clear water, shaded with trees on both banks, freshwater sponges and schools of fish on the bottom, which often jump into the kayak, make everyone amazed.
Practical information: Bieńki - no shops, a bar in the riverside hostel. You can also pitch a tent on an island on the Lake Białe. The next nearest shop close to the river is in Babięta and in Spychowo, so you’d better buy some provisions for the first two days.
Section Bieńki - Babięta (approx 10 km): you enter the second section of the Krutynia river, which is called Dąbrówka here. Next you need to go 3 km across the Lake Gant until you reach Gancka Struga, which changes into Babięcka Struga. It will take you to the riverside hostel in Babięta, situated on the right river bank. Nest, the Krutynia route will lead you across the picturesque Lake Gant. On its both shores there is a huge spruce-pine forest, while on the water there are numerous white and yellow water lilies and common duckweed. Babięcka Struga meandres through a beautiful and changing landscape, allowing you to enjoy the cool shadow of the trees and the heat of the sun in swamps and meadows.
Practical information: the outflow from the Lake Gant into Babięcka Struga is one of the most hidden on the trail. Head to the end of the lake and take the route through the middle of the reeds. Then you’ll see the pass leading to the Babięcka Struga river. Right before the Babięta village you need to carry your kayaks over: go out on the left bank before the bridge and carry the equipment for 80 m.
Babięta - shops in the village, a bar at the riverside hostel.
Section Babięta - Spychowo (approx. 12 km) Babięcka Struga flows into the Lake Zyzdrój Wielki. Next, you row across the Lake Zyzdrój Mały until you reach the Lalka lock, where you need to carry your kayaks over (approx. 100 m). The subsequent section covers a wide riverbed of Spychowska Struga. After 3 km right before entering the Lake Spychowskie, you reach the riverside hostel in Spychowo, situated on the left bank. This is the point when you enter the wild areas. Babięcka Struga ends in the Lake Zyzdrój Wielki. At the end of the lake in the middle of it, there is the Island of Love, a very picturesque island with shores and a descent that allows you to swim in the lake. It’s worth stopping there for a moment and enjoy what it has to offer. You are probably tired of the struggle with large lakes so at the end of today’s section you need to go down the easy Spychowska Struga river. It’s a short section of the river but extremely rich in waterfowl - ducks, swans, gray herons and even extremely rare white herons.
Practical information: The closed Lalka lock is situated between the Lake Zyzdrój Mały and Spychowska Struga. Carry your kayaks over (100 m) along the right river bank.
Spychowo is the biggest village on the route. It offers shops, a post office, church, train station, bus station and a pharmacy, as well as the PTTK riverside hostel and a campsite.
Section Spychowo - Zgon (approx. 8.5 km) If you start at Spychowska Struga, you enter the Spychowskie Lake for a while, however very soon you leave it behind. Remember to swim along its left shore and then follow the river current along the buildings of Spychowo. The river flows into Lake Zdrużno, which you leave very quickly behind as you turn right, just right by the reeds. Head left and enter the Lake Uplik - a quite long lake surrounded by the forest. On its right shore there is a Czaplisko Reserve - a reserve area where gray heron lives. Go under the road bridge, turn right and you reach the PTTK riverside hostel in Zgon.
Practical information: the name of the village - Zgon - comes from the Polish verb “zganiać”, which means “to herd animals”, because during hunting animals were herded to the steep shores of Lake Mokre.
There are several campsites, a riverside hostel, a shop and an inn.
Section Zgon - Krutyń (12.5 km): You’re in the middle of the Pisz Forest, in its heart. Lake Mokre is one of the biggest and the deepest lakes on the route. Its fairly simple and wide basin seems to be endless at first, however, it’s not that scary at all... The Lake Krutyńskie is the beginning of one of the most beautiful sections on the route. Unlike Lake Mokre, Lake Krutyńskie is very narrow and winding. At first, it’s difficult to say whether it’s a river or a lake. This area along with the Krutynia River flowing out of the lake up to the village of Krutyń, is a strict reserve. This section of the Krutynia route impresses with the diversity of natural phenomena: fallen trees, lush vegetation, a huge amount of waterfowl and clear water.
Practical information: Sometimes Lake Mokre has its humours as well. In windy conditions, it can greet you with a pretty strong wave, which can bring a bit of trouble and prevent you from admiring the views. On the other hand, it will allow you to experience a real adventure, if you are not afraid of challenges. Usually in the afternoon the wind diminishes and allows you to calmly go through the lake.
Between the Lake Mokre and the Lake Krutyńskie, at the old lock, you need to carry your kayaks again (20 m).
Krutyń offers you the following: a shop, restaurants, inns and a hotel, a PTTK riverside hostel, a campsite and a market. The village is also a seat of the Management of the Masurian Landscape Park and the AS-TOUR company :)
Section Krutyń - Ukta (13.5 km)
The Krutynia River will guide you trough this stage of the route. It’s one of the easiest and most pleasant parts of it. Start from Krutyń and after a kilometre or so you reach a water mill where you have to carry your kayak over. The river flows through the wild landscape and few buildings, banks and meadows hidden in the trees.
Practical information: you can extend this section by entering Lake Duś in Wojnowo, where a 19th century Old Believers' monastery is located on the shores of the lake. Krutyński Piecek – a mill dam, carry your kayak along the right bank for approx. 100 m
There’s a pretty heavy traffic here and some amenities as well due to numerous campsites and bars. To avoid crowds, especially on sunny summer weekends, we recommend setting off on this section in the morning (until 10.00 a.m.) or in the afternoon.
Ukta offers shops, restaurants, several nice campsites by the bridge and a PTTK riverside hostel around 1.5 km after the bridge. We recommend buying some provisions before starting the next section.
Section Ukta - Nowy Most (7 km): it’s a river section. Krutynia winds among forests, wet-ground forests and swamps. The trees grow further from the banks which are densely covered with aquatic vegetation with many very rare species such as: orchids, sundews, lilies and pasque-flowers. Though the river is deep, the water is clear so you can observe underwater fauna and flora with some rare bird species such as white-tailed eagle, osprey, common crane, eagle owl, kingfisher or corncrake.
Practical information: The PTTK riverside hostel in Nowy Most is located 500 m behind the bridge on the right riverbank. There are camping lodges, a campsite and a bar available.
Section Nowy Most - Wygryny (14 m): go across 3 lakes (Lake Gardyńskie where you turn right into the Lake Malinówko, from where you turn left into the Lake Jerzewko). When approaching the village of Iznota, you pass several buildings, the most picturesque ones on the route, and then the river takes you to the Lake Bełdany. The landscape changes extremely and it differs from the current calm waters of the route. A huge area of water and countless white sails will welcome you on the Masurian shipping route.
Practical information: You must be careful on the Lake Bełdany and watch out for larger vessels, including ships, to avoid collisions. Wygryny: a campsite and a shop.
Section Wygryny - Ruciane Nida (7 km)
This stage of the trip route consists of large lakes, including the Lake Bełdany. In the morning, the lake surface is usually very calm, which allows you to cross the lake without problems. The bank line on this section of the Krutynia route is very varied, taken alternately with forest and buildings. Numerous peninsulas and coves may make the lake seem smaller so the trip seems shorter as well. From the lock head to the Lake Guzianka Mała and then straight ahead to the Lake Guzianka Wielka. Take the right-shore route which is the last, but very picturesque, part of your trip. Turn right and reach the town of Ruciane-Nida, at the very beginning of which there’s a yacht port - "Faryj". Your trip ends here. Say “Goodbye!” to the kayaking route down the Krutynia river.
Practical information: It is worth setting off early to avoid heavy traffic on the lake and queues at the lock. The lock: set to the left side and wait for the green light to allow you to enter the gate. Having entered the lock, move towards one of the sloping walls and grab one of the lines. When the lock closes, it gradually fills with water until it rises you two metres up to the level of the next lake. The kayaking trip down the Krutynia river ends by the pier at the “U Faryja” marina (not on the beach!).
Krutynia is one of the most beautiful lowland trails in Europe of great natural variation, passes though Pisz Forest, behind Mokre Lake and flows into Masuria Landscape Park.
Along 102 km, of which 60 km are still waters, you can see many wonders from astonishing red algae stones in crystal clear waters to eagles sparing above. The tour starts in Sorkwity at Lampackie Lake. There you can visit an evangelic church built around 1470 and a palace of the von Mirbach family built 1850-56.
First you pass through Lampackie and Lampasz lakes to a shallow part of the Krutynia called Sobiepanka and awords the campsite at Bia³e Lake in Bieñki. Further along the Krutynia you will see awe inspiring nature. In Królewska Sosna nature reserve you encounter a 500-year-old oak and the most ancient pine tree in the region. Between Krutyñskie Lake and Ukta is the most beautiful part of the trail attracting many tourists from afar in flat boats pushed by local raftsmen.
On the way to Ukta you can visit an othrodox monastery in Wojnowo. And a few days leter, after passing the Guzianka Sluice our adventure comes to an end.