The Dender is a calm river with, particularly in Walloon, quite a height difference. In case of heavy rain, the water is quickly disposed of thanks to the high capacity. River tourism mainly focuses on motorised pleasure cruising. At “café De Zwarte Flesch” in Pollare (Ninove) you can taste the special “Zwarte Flesch beer”, or you can go on a kayak or canoe adventure in “Provinciaal Domein De Gavers”.
Ninove and Geraardsbergen do everything they can to accommodate tourist enjoyment. A beautiful footbridge across de Dender river in Ninove connects the river banks and makes the marina accessible. Foreign yachts regularly moor there so that the local area can be explored. Geraardsbergen too has a wonderful marina and many tourist destinations. This little town at the foothills of Pajottenland is an excellent base for all types of outings.
Nature and industry intermingle. There is not too much traffic on the water, but the path alongside is heavily used by cyclists. Although foam can be regularly seen floating near the sluices the quality of the water has greatly increased and it is full of fish. During the summer, dozens of carps can be seen near the surface.
The use of a canoe cart is advisable at the sluices, unless your team is strong enough to carry the canoes.
The infrastructure along the waterfront is progressing slowly but surely: the “Schiptrekkersbrug” in Denderleeuw was opened to the public on 25 June 2007, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge, a slipway, a beautiful jetty, a picturesque vicarage with the “Hof Ter Leeuwe” playground and benches. And what about a small jetty downriver near the lock in Huisegem, a wonderful canoe route from Geraardsbergen to Denderleeuw, restaurants, picturesque town centres and shops within walking distance? A wonderful boost for the recreational use of water and tourism!