AUGUSTÓW CANAL is a precious masterpiece of water construction,
unique on the European scale, dating from the first half of
the 19th century. Preserved
wholly, it is a testimony to engineering art of Polish constructors,
both military and civil. Historically, this waterway was to
link the Vistula with the Neman through the Narew, Biebrza,
Netta and Czarna Hańcza Rivers. Further, through the Windawa
River it was connected to the Baltic port Windawa. Because eventually
the Windawski Canal was not built, the Augustów Canal linked
with the Baltic Sea through the Neman River. For a long time
the Canal has had a well-earned reputation among experts, lovers
of water sports and Suwałki Region admirers. Already its first
"discoverers" described this water track as "an illustrious
masterpiece", leading "through the most exquisite and very picturesque
area (...) with numerous sluices tastefully built, which contribute
to its beauty". Indeed, that the Canal is exceptionally beautiful
and offers sightseeing and tourist attractions is thanks to
its unrivalled beauty. First, it is the landscape and natural
value of the Biebrza River valley where it meets the Netta River.
Second, these are the views of coniferous forests and lakes
of Augustów Primeval Forest, which the Canal cuts from the west
The Canal's combined length from Dębowo Sluice on the Biebrza
to Niemnowo Sluice in Belarus is 101,2 km, out of which 20 km
are on the Belorussian side. The idea to build the Canal was
based on the intention to make trade of the Kingdom of Poland,
via the port in Gdańsk, independent of the Prussian mediation.
An advantageous end of the "customs war" with Prussia was the
reason, why building of the "windawski" section of the waterway
was relinquished. Consequently, the Augustów Canal, which had
already been completed, remained a country waterway of local
significance used for commercial shipping and to transport wood
to the Vistula and Neman. Between the World Wars the Canal became
an important tourist attraction, as it was a picturesque route
providing excellent sport for canoeists, sailors and for boating.
Such was also the function of its Polish section after the last
war. The plans to commence tourist movement on the Belorussian
part of the Canal should be soon realized.
quickest way to visit the Augustów Canal is by car. Asphalt and
gravel roads run close to its banks. It is easy to reach the old
and most beautiful sluices like Przewięˇ, Paniewo, Perkuć, Sosnówek,
Tartak and Kudrynki. A marked green trail awaits hikers and cyclists.
It runs along the Canal's bank from Augustów to Mikaszówka - a distance
of 39,4 km. Certainly the biggest attraction is crossing this water
route in a kayak, canoe, fishing boat or a motorboat. Sluicing gives
a lot of emotions (it is payable but the prices are low). It is
a good idea to visit part of the Canal and Augustów lakes in a passenger
ship of Augustów Navigation.
Augustów Canal route
Navigation, Augustów, 29 Listopada 7, tel. 643 21 52; 643 28 81
Campsite on the peninsula Ostry Róg 643 2115
Campsite in the village 643 28 73
Restaurant "Myśliwska", 643 24 11
Recreation Center "Leśnik" (200 places; a canteen, watering place,
equipment rental) 643 20 11
Training and Recreation Center of The Prosecutor's Department (200
places; sauna, bar, watering place, equipment rental, campsite)
643 24 21
Training and Recreation Center "Agrawit" (70 places; brick houses,
catering, water equipment and bicycle-hire service) 643 51 00
Recreation Center "Drogowskaz" (200 places; canteen, cafe, water
equipment rental, beach) 643 22 58
Campsite "Patelnia-Binduga" (bar, water equipment rental, beach,
watering place) 643 53 29
To see: a monumental sluice in Przewięź.
In the village - a monumental wooden church and on the peninsula
- a chapel ( a place of worship of the Mother of Jesus).
Riverside hostel Swoboda (bungalows, campsite, canteen, shop).
Campsite 643 37 38
Private guest houses 643 43 99
To see: an old sluice Swoboda on the eastern shore of Lake
Center "Invest Nord" (bungalows, canteen, shop, campsite, beach,
watering place) 641 88 41.
Recreation Center "Serwy", (250 places in the hotels, catering,
watering place, water equipment rental) 641 89 51; 641 8841.
Riverside hostel Serwy - on the Dębowo Island (bungalows, canteen)
641 88 35.
Catering: bar "Pod Krasnalem" in the middle of the village.
Holiday village, numerous agrotourist houses, two bars, post office,
health care center, Commune Council seat, police station.
Equestrian Center "Oxer", Płaska 28b
Youth hostel (in the primary school), tel. 641 87 26
Inn "Starożyn" 641 87 29
To see: two-chamber sluice Paniewo, and 2 km away a monumental,
beautifully situated sluice Perkuć
In the village an old wooden church and nearby - an old sluice Sosnówek.
One should look for accommodation in private houses on one's own.
There is a bar near the road to Płaska.
trails of the Augustów Canal
- the Bystry Canal -Lake Sajno - the Netta River to its junction
with the Biebrza, from where back to the sluice Dębowo along the
Augustów Canal to Augustów.
2. Augustów - Lakes Necko, Białe, Studzieniczne and next
along the Augustów Canal to the sluice Tartak (the return trip on
the same route).
3. Augustów - on the Augustów Canal route to the Sucha Rzeczka,
next along the Sucha Rzeczka to Lake Serwy, from where (after transporting
the equipment) across Lake Wigry and next along the Czarna Hańcza
to its junction with the Augustów Canal and back to Augustów.