Packrafting the Limmat River – Switzerland08/09/2013
Throughout the summer 2013, we did several packrafting trips over the weekend in Switzerland. Even during the weeks, we did some short evening packrafting trips after work. The Limmat River was one of them which we finished in two parts.
We started at the Platzspitz in Zurich just behind the Zurich Mainstation. Please be aware, that at the time of writing paddling down the Limmat from the Zurich Lake is NOT allowed due to the official ship traffic. Obviously, an opportunity exists to officially “register” and get a permit to do so – but we haven’t tried it. The local kayak/ship clubs can probably help here.
Until Dietikon, the Limmat flows quite fast and can be done within 1-2 hours. You have to get out though several time due to various barrages. Near the finish (Spreitenbach), the Limmat flows quite slowly and a lot of manpower is needed to move forward. Going back to Zurich is easy – just take the next S-Bahn.
For the second part, we omitted the distance from Spreitenbach to Baden and started directly in Baden near the train station. Please be aware that after the entrance, when the river turns left towards west, there is quite a “huge” whitewater part where the locals also try to surf. Afterwards, except for some minor barrages where you have to get out, the river can rafted easily.
The Limmat River is a perfect after-work river in case you live in a Zurich. In summer, the local use it extensively for taking a bath after a hot summer day. However, in spring and fall the Limmat can grow and become quite a “huge” river with fast flowing water.
Special: Near the finish of the second part, Döttingen, lies the nuclear power plant Beznau which releases “hot” water into the Limmat. So don’t go crazy when you pass it and the water temperature strongly raises. Guess this must be fun in winter