Bikepacking along the Oder River


May 8, 2024☕️ 4 min read 25

Exploring the Oder (Odra) River by bike had been on my to-do list for quite some time. The first weekend of May 2024 turned out to be the perfect time for this adventure, as the weather was ideal, and the 1st and 3rd of May were public holidays in Poland. On short notice, we decided to go for it, starting from Kostrzyn in Poland and cycling north along the Oder toward the Baltic Sea. When we reached the Szczecin Lagoon, the Oder estuary, we circled the lagoon, beginning on the German side, and completed our loop in the city of Szczecin on the Polish side. The route was mostly a paved bike path with some light gravel sections and included two ferry crossings.

Oder River and Szczecin Lagoon

  • Distance: 400km
  • Elevation: 800m
  • Time: 3 days
  • Date: May 2024

It took us three days to cover 400 km; paved bike paths and a helpful tailwind kept our pace up. We spent two nights at campsites:

  • Campingplatz am Oderstrom in Mescherin, right next to the cycling route along the Oder River. You should arrive by 8PM to check in and receive the shower tokens.
  • Campingplatz Kamminke in Kamminke, situated on the northern edge of the Szczecin Lagoon. Arrivals need to be before 7PM to collect keys to the facilities.

It was a fantastic start to the bikepacking season and an excellent warm-up for our upcoming trips this year. The route is well-maintained, featuring clear signage and plenty of spots to stop for a break. I believe it’s an ideal choice for anyone looking to try bikepacking for the first time.

Oder River Cycle Route

The Oder river cycle route is part of the Oder-Neisse Cycle Path, which follows the two rivers along the border between Germany and Poland.

From the point of our start - Kostrzyń, near Frankfurt (Oder) - the route follows to the Oderbruch marshland and the Lower Oder Valley National Park. Near Mescherin, the River Oder bends towards Szczecin in Poland, while the cycle path heads in the direction of Ueckermünde and the Baltic Sea.

Oder River Cycle Route

Lower Oder Valley National Park

The bike path took us through the Lower Oder Valley National Park, a sprawling 10,000-hectare sanctuary of wetlands, meadows, and forests. This protected area is a haven for diverse bird species, including gray herons, storks, and swans, among with many others. The park’s rich biodiversity highlights its importance as a key ecological zone, underscoring the conservation efforts by Germany and Poland that aim to preserve this habitat.

Wetlands in the Lower Oder Valley National Park

Szczecin Lagoon

Upon reaching Świnoujście on the Polish side, we made another ferry crossing and followed a stretch of Eurovelo 10. After arriving in Wolin, we turned south towards Szczecin, following the Szczecin Lagoon Cycle Route. The eastern part of our loop traced the Blue Velo trail, with significant portions running directly along the shores of Lake Dąbie and the Szczecin Lagoon. This offered ample opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature and engage in birdwatching.

The route predominantly consisted of gravel paths with some paved sections and was exceptionally well-maintained, making it a pleasure to ride on a loaded gravel bike.

Pod asfaltem rośnie las - Artist unknown
Gravel sections along the Szczecin Lagoon