Mølleåen is a river connecting four lakes 10 miles north of Copenhagen, Denmark. If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon in the summer while visiting Copenhagen, kayaking here is a perfect choice. It certainly was for me.
Getting to Mølleåen
I went Kayaking with Josh and Ashley of The Way Away, as well as two of their local friends in Copenhagen. There are four kayak rentals at the Mølleåen lakes. We rented from Nybro Boat and Canoe. To get there, take the B metro line to Sorgenfri Station, 11 stops north of Copenhagen’s Central Station. Leave the station and follow the trail southwest along Lyngby Lake to where it connects with Lake Bagsværd (about 1 mile of walking). Alternately, you can take the B or E lines to Lyngby Station, and then take the 191 bus right to the kayak rental.
Exploring the Lakes
There are four lakes in the Mølleåen system. Lake Bagsværd to the south of the kayak rental is the second-largest and where international competitions occur for kayaking, sailing, rowing and windsurfing. There is a small island (Øen gåseholm) in the center of the lake where you can see a lot of birds, but you are requested not to walk on the island and damage the ecosystem.
Lyngby Lake to the north is the smallest lake. Due to a lack of water flow…and some more unwanted items flowing into the water, this lake tends to be avoided. However, the algae is quite beautiful and attracts the birds. It’s not that you can’t kayak here, but the other locations are better.
The big lake is Furesø. Unfortunately the wind was strong on the day we went. As soon as we left the shelter of the trees, the wind hit us like a Mac truck and we were immediately pushed into the rocks on the shore. Luckily the kayak was metal and wasn’t damaged. We beached the boat and spent an hour at a restaurant on the shore eating ice cream and enjoying the lake.
Farum, the fourth lake, is on the far side of Furesø Lake and thus a bit far to kayak to.
Kayaking Down Mølleåen
By far the best part of the area is Mølleåen, known as the Millstream River. Connecting the four lakes, it passes through the forest with a thick tree canopy overhanging the sides.
There is one small lock on the river where you have to carry the boat up or down. Otherwise, the river is easy and peaceful. From the kayak rental to Furesø, it’s about 1.35 miles. At a comfortable pace, it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to traverse Mølleåen from one end to the other.
Renting a Kayak
The price for renting the kayak is $25 for an hour, $50 for 3 hours, $65 for 6 hours and $80 for the full day. I’d recommend the 3-hour option, which will give you enough time to make it to the far end of the river and back with a rest in the middle on the shores of Furesø.
The water in the lakes isn’t suitable for swimming in, but it’s not really harmful either. There’s always a chance you’ll fall into the water, so wear swimwear or clothes you don’t mind getting wet. You’ll get a plastic bag to put your possessions in, but I’d recommend bringing your own. Sea to Summit makes great dry sacks. Investing in a pair of aqua shoes would be wise too, but sandals work just as well.
While you’re north of Copenhagen, consider a visit to Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park. Just remember that Denmark is not the cheapest country. Make sure you budget your travels accordingly.