Before your trip
The Finow Canal between the Ruhlsdorf(#1) and Liepe(#12) locks
If you’re not in a hurry, you will choose the historic portion of the Finow Canal, Germany’s oldest artificial waterway still in use.
For this stretch of the canal you’ll need a minimum of two days.
Your reward is a unique experience of the canal’s combination of nature scenery and the many opportunities to stop for shoreside tourist attractions. If you travel with children, they will love your suggestion of a stop at a playground. Or you will need to replenish your supplies of liquid or solid food; you may enjoy the farmers‘ market in the city of Eberswalde (Tue + Fri). You may want to climb the former brass factory’s water tower for a marvelous view of the Eberswalde – Torun Glacial Valley, and more.
If you have access to a bike, enjoy a trip to the Chorin monastery or to the Schorfheide UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
In any case, you will not regret to have taken the slow route, as opposed to the freeway-like Oder-Havel Canal.
Our twelve historic locks are staffed daily from 9 a.m. through 4:30 p.M. between 17 April and 12 October (2014). There are no self-service locks, except for the Werbellin Canal. Lock keepers leave pretty much in time, so if you’re running late, do make sure to talk to the lock keeper. There is information available on the internet, but don’t count on an english-language service.
So how does it work?
If you’re inside the lock keepers‘ working hours, approach the lock slowly and wait until the lock keeper notices you. They normally announce you by phone, so the gate may already be open. Wait for the lock keeper’s hand signal and enter the lock slowly. The lock keeper will indicate the position where he wants you to lay in. Going up the canal, you will experience turbulent waters; gong down will be quiet.
In case the gate is closed and nobody is in sight, the lock keeper may be busy with another boat. Just wait. Or get out and approach the lock – on a slow day the lock keeper may be mowing the lawn and thus fail to notice you. However, this would be a very rare occasion. The lock keeper will know whether you need additional mooring lines; in most of the cases a line or your grappling hook – or even a hand holding on to a rail – will do the job.
The entire process of locking through will take you approx. 15 – 20 minutes.
When the exit gates open, do wait for another hand signal and wave good-bye. Most lock keepers are friendly types; not all of them are fluent English speakers.
The use of the locks is free of charge. Tips are not encouraged though tolerated ( 1 or 2 Euros max.). Half the boaters do not tip at all. Some lock keepers enjoy a beer in the evening.
We hope that you enjoy your stay on the Finow Canal.