Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions

Packrafting Poekebeek

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As we discovered last winter, Poekebeek is an excellent option for a little packrafting adventure close to home, especially during periods of high water. Hence, this is where Evert and I decide to go for our first packrafting trip of the new year.

After some overnight frost, we put in around 10 am at the N37 bridge in Ruiselede, while the early morning sunshine is gradually being obscured by clouds. A local farmer comes to greet us, totally bewildered, as he claims never to have seen paddlers here before. He is happy to take a selfie with us.

From Ruiselede, we paddle to the Poeke castlegrounds, and then further until Nevele. The water level is relatively high (although by far not as high as early March last year), and in several places, low-lying meadows are flooded. As is typically the case on these kinds of creeks, we encounter several obstructions and have to step out of the boat a couple of times.

At 2 pm on the dot we arrive in Nevele, after 15 km of paddling, and have to perform the usual acrobacy to get out of the water (would be nice if a ladder or a small jetty could be installed here). The day has been pretty cold (2-3°C), and the trip muddy, we are therefore happy to return home for a hot bath…

A little side note: Poekebeek was once the subject of a funny sketch in the infamous program “In de Gloria” on national TV…

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