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River Guide • Central Area
Rivers by Region

There's no detailed description of the rivers of this region available yet. If you need further information please feel free to contact us directly.

Central Area map
Central Area map

The central area of the European part of Russia, surrounding St.Petersburg and Moscow, is a mainly flat, sometimes slightly hilly landscape. Obviously there is no substantial whitewater in this area, except for some local playspots. Due to the reason that this region is well populated (by kayakers), all these places are well-known and are infested by the paddlers all the season.

Type of Paddling
Park&Play. All the rivers are flat class 1 (rarely 2) and running them is better done in a recreational family canoe, rather than a whitewater kayak.

Season & Climate
April till September. Climate is temperate; all the rivers are at sea level and fed mainly by spring snowmelting. The winter is gone typically early April, and April-May is the high water season, best for paddling, but water is very cold at the beginning. Most rivers come to low water level quickly, within few weeks, and playspots disappear.

Getting There & Away
Obvious gateway cities are Moscow and St.Petersburg, with numerous flights to most of Europe and world. There is an option to come to St.Petersburg overland from Finland or Baltic countries, either by train or bus/car.

Local access is better done by car, because most of the spots are within few hours drive from either city.

Rivers (Playspots)

Located halfway between Moscow and St.Petersburg, this river has a number of playspots condensed on a stretch of few kilometers. April-only.

Msta playspot Msta playspot Msta playspot Msta playspot

An excellent breaking playwave (provided water is high enough) just 30 km south of St.Petersburg, this playspot is very popular for evening ride. April-only. Some 500 m downstream is a nasty horseshoe drop with almost river-wide terminal-looking hole.

Tosna playspot Tosna playspot Tosna playspot Tosna horseshoe fall

An easy playhole, suitable for intermediate paddlers, some 40 km south-east of St.Petersburg. April-only.

Mga playspot Mga playspot Mga playspot Mga playspot

A big volume all-season river flowing from Finland contains a bouncing rapid 90 km north of St.Petersburg. Depending on the water level, there are numerous waves, holes and boiling eddylines.

Vuoksa rapid Vuoksa rapid Vuoksa rapid Vuoksa rapid

Probably the best playspot in this region, the Shuya River offers either breaking wave (May) or playhole (June-July) near Petrozavodsk in south of Karelia, 400 km east of St.Petersburg.

Shuya playspot Shuya playspot Shuya playspot Shuya playspot

Not quite in Russia, as the name suggests, this artificial hole / wave (exit channel of a power plant cooling system) is located near Kharkov, Ukraine, some 700 km south to Moscow. Very fast and dynamic, but first of all, almost all year round due to its warm water.

UA Hole UA Hole UA Hole UA Hole

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