Flowing with Franconia’s main artery: A trip along the River Main
The River Main is a paradise for canoeists – the signs for the “yellow wave” show the way.
The boating trail along the River Main in Franconia is 354 km long. It runs from Obermain Jura past the Steigerwald, the Haßberge and the Franconian wine country to Spessart-Mainland and the Liebliche Taubertal. These regions are very diverse, as is the boating trail itself. The route begins in Michelau in Upper Franconia. The upper stretches of the route go through “God’s Garden”. Here the River Main is still quite narrow, and paddlers have it all to themselves as they follow it through the picturesque wetlands to Hallstadt.
Just past Hallstadt the river turns into a busy waterway, but it is wide enough here for sports boats, barges and cruise ships to pass each other with ease. The natural experience is still just as lovely, as is demonstrated on the next stretch to Haßfurt, which passes through the Main wetlands with their water meadows, fens and sandy grasslands as well as the Abt-Degen wine valley.
From here on, vineyard-bedecked hills are a constant companion, as the river runs through Schweinfurt and along the beautiful Volkacher Mainschleife. It then passes Kitzingen and Ochsenfurt before reaching the UNESCO World Heritage site of Würzburg. Karlstadt, impressive cliffs and the merging of the Wern and Main rivers point the way onwards to Lohr am Main. From here, the River Main now snakes its way through the extensive Spessart forests to Marktheidenfeld, Wertheim and Klingenberg. The final part of the boating trip to Stockstadt brings together all the elements that make this active experience so distinctive: wine and nature, culture and historical sites.
All the way, the “yellow wave” marks the route. Signs with their distinctive symbol show travellers where to enter and leave the water while at the same time providing information about accommodation and local infrastructure. The tour is also made easier by the many boat suppliers, who rent out kayaks and Canadian canoes. They often arrange transfers for paddlers and boats or put together more extended tour packages.