© Verkehrsverein Steinhuder Meer e. V.

Water Activities

...when you learn to love the water

Here, Water Will Become Your Passion

Water is a great element all year round, especially at Lake Steinhuder Meer. On hot summer days it is a pure delight to cool off in the water. On cooler days in the summer, spring or fall you can use the elements sun and wind for sailing, surfing, kitesurfing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding or canoeing. But this is not all: You can rent electric or paddle boats, go on a boat tour with the shipping company Steinhuder Personenschifffahrt, go on a hike or bike trip or simply sit on a landing stage and enjoy the astonishing sunset. Even in the coldest winter, the frozen lake is a unique sight and when the ice is thick enough you can go ice sailing or ice skating. It doesn’t matter if you have been loving the water before or not – here at Lake Steinhuder Meer water will become your passion!

Lake Steinhuder Meer in Autumn and Winter

Lake Steinhuder Meer is also worth a trip in autumn and winter. Between November and spring, no boats are allowed in the water. The lake is an important bird sanctuary and thousands of birds stay or rest here. Therefore, it is a paradise for birdwatchers and conservationists.

When it gets cold, strange ice formations can occur on the shore.

Kleine Eishütchen haben sich an einem kalten Wintertag an den Binsen gebildet
© Christine Kölling -SMT
Glitzerwasser am Steinhuder Meer
© Christine Kölling - SMT

What Can You Experience Here?

On this page there are some tips what you can do in or on the water:

  • Sailing
  • Surfing and kitesurfing
  • Canoeing
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Sensational sunsets
  • Steinhuder Personenschifffahrt
  • Boat rentals
  • Important tips concerning water sports
  • Water quality
  • Beaches and swimming locations

Winter Water Sports

Lake Steinhuder Meer is also a sensational place for water sports during the winter, if, yes if, the surface freezes over. Then it is the time for ice sailing. To glide over the ice with up to 80 km/h is a true adventure, for which courage and skills are needed. Is is also exciting to watch from the shore at a safe distance. 

Eissegler warten im winterlichen Sonnenschein auf ihren Einsatz, um über die Eisfläche des Steinhuder Meeres zu segeln
© Christine Kölling - SMT
Auf dem zugefrorenen Steinhuder Meer ist ein Mann mit Schlittschuhen unterwegs. Im Hintergrund sieht man die Insel Wilhelmstien und das Hovercraft der Feuerwehr Steinhude.
© Hans F. Meier

Ice Skating with Caution

Sometimes it is also possible to go ice skating on the lake. But one has to be very careful. Lake Steinhuder Meer is a natural lake and rarely freezes entirely. In some places the ice is not thick enough to carry a person. Only after a long period of temperatures below the freezing point it is possible to go ice skating on the lake, which is truly sensational due to the beautiful scenery.


The Legendary Origin of Lake Steinhuder Meer

The origin of Lake Steinhuder Meer is still a matter of debate. Scientists think it developed during the ice age.

However, there is a new legendary theory, which becomes more and more popular: Long time ago, giants and dwarfs lived in a flat and sandy land. One day, a giant left his village and went through the dwarf’s territory and got sand into his boots. He emptied the sand from his boot on a pile, which is today the White Dune in Mardorf. When he put his boot back on, several dwarfs picked on him and he wanted to scare them off by stamping on the ground and he left a big footprint. The giant left. Unfortunately, one of the dwarfs was fatally injured by the giant. The other dwarfs were so sad and cried so much, that the footprint filled up with tears. This is how Lake Steinhuder Meer was formed!

Eine Frau sitzt auf einem Steg und schaut ins Abendrot
© Hans F. Meier
Neun Boote nehmen an einer Regatta auf dem Steinhuder Meer teil, alle haben das bunte Spinnakersegel gesetzt
© Florian Toffel - SMT


Lake Steinhuder Meer is one of the most popular sailing locations in Northern Germany. There are more than 3300 boats on the lake and many regattas take place here every year. Among these are German, European, and even World Championships. Youth and amateur promotion are especially important to the sailing clubs at Lake Steinhuder Meer.


Mardorf – Surfer’s Hotspot

Mardorf is the hotspot for surfers at Lake Steinhuder Meer. There is a surf beach on the north shore, which offers ideal prerequisites for surfing. This is where Northern Germany’s windsurfing and kitesurfing scene meets. For learning kitesurfing, Lake Steinhuder Meer is the ideal place. The surf beach is open from beginning of April until the end of October.

Am Kite- und Surfstrand in Mardorf sind viele Kites und Surfer auf dem Wasser
© Florian Toffel - SMT
Drei Kanufahrer spiegeln sich bei herrlichem Sonnenschein im Wasser
© Christine Kölling - SMT


Canoeing is very popular at Lake Steinhuder Meer and the river Leine. There are numerous spots where you can get your canoe into the water. You can either rent the equipment or book a guided tour. Both locations offer exclusive experiences while canoeing.




SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding)

The new trend Stand Up Paddle Boarding has also been introduced to Lake Steinhuder Meer. Being one with nature in combination with a light but complete body training, this is how SUP can be described. You are standing on a board and move forward using a paddle while experiencing a new body awareness. Just try it!

Eine junge Dame macht Stand Up Paddling auf dem Steinhuder Meer, im Hintergrund sieht man den Wilhelmstein
© Stefanie Pohler
© Hans F. Meier

Beautiful Sunsets

Yes, it is true: We have the most beautiful sunsets here at Lake Steinhuder Meer!
Behind the 18th century fortress, the sun sets in the summer. It is a unique scenery with the water, the shore, the landing stages, the fortress Wilhelmstein and the beautiful glowing sunset colors.


The Most Beautiful Sunsets

Boat Rentals

Significantly smaller than the passenger ships, but not less popular, are pedal boats and motorboats, that can be rented in Mardorf and in Steinhude. Sitting behind the steering wheel you feel like a captain of the open sea. Just follow the light breeze and observe ducks, swans and other inhabitants of the Nature Park Lake Steinhuder Meer.

Bunte Tretboote liegen am Steg im hellen Sonnenschein
© Christine Kölling - SMT