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The nature of Dalsland

Photographer: Roger Borgelid

Operating times

Planning your trip on Dalsland's canal is not about planning in detail. Take your time to enjoy the nature, silence and tranquility. No stress, beautiful views and space for reflections and good company. We have listed all the information you need to make an approximate plan of your trip.

To get the most out of Dalsland's canal with all its secondary routes, visit exciting and must-see places, we recommend that you plan about 5-7 days. Exploring all parts of the Dalsland Canal's lake system takes several weeks.

Expect the distance Köpmannebro - Bengtsfors to take about three days and the distance Bengtsfors - Nössemark about two days during peak season. During June and August, the time required is shorter.  

The table below shows the time required for passage at each lock station (not including waiting time), and the time it takes to reach the next station.

Lock stations and number of locks per station Lockage time per station (not including waiting time) Operating time to next lock* Total distance (10 km) Total distance (km)
Köpmannebro -1 10 min 45 min 4.8 8.8
Upperud -2 20 min 10 min 0.9 2.0
Håverud -4 60 min 20 min 1.9 3.6
Buterud 1 10 min 40 min 5.4 10.0
Mustadfors -1 15 min 10 min 1.0 1.9
Långed -4 60 min 10 min 0.3 0.7
Långbron -1 15 min 25 min 3.4 6.2
Billingsfors -2 30 min 5 min 0.4 0.8
18:e -1 10 min 10 min 0.5 0.9
19:e och 20:e -2 30 min 15 min 1.7 3.1
Bengtsfors -2 25 min 160 min 21.5 39.8
Lennartsfors -3 30 min 95 min 10.8 20.0
Töcksfors -2 60 min      
Bengtsfors -2 25 min 100 min    
Gustavsfors -1 20 min 45 min    
Krokfors -2 25 min      
Köpmannebro -1 10 min 10 min    
Snäcke -1 20 min 45 min    
Strömmen -1 15 min      

* Based on a speed of 8 knots in the open water and a top speed of 3 knots on channels.

The specified time for the lock closing is not the same as the time for the last boats to lock through

The basic rule is that you can´t start lock through if you can´t finish before closing time. After closing time, it is not possible to use the lock.

In Håverud and in Dals Långed it takes 1 hour to go through the lock, so you need to arrive at least an hour before the lock closes to have time to go through the lock that day.


During your journey on the canal, waiting times can occur for various reasons. Here you can read about some of the most common reasons for waiting.

1. Passenger boats always have priority in the locks

You may have to wait until the passenger boat has passed through the lock before it is your turn.

2. The lock keepers working hours

The lock keepers have long days. During the working day, the lock keepers have two flexibly breaks  for meals and rest. We hope you understand that the lock may be closed during these breaks.

3. Thunderstorms

During a thunderstorm, there is a risk of power outages, which can lead to problems with closing gates, doors and bridges. Therefore, the lock guard can interrupt / postpone the lock or bridge opening until the thunderstorm has passed.


Tips for saving time

In Håverud we recommend planning your trip so you can pass the lock before 10.00 a.m. or after 4.00 pm. This will shorten your wait considerably.

In Dals Långed, queues can arise during the high season between 11.30-13.30 due to the priority of passenger boats in the lock stairs. If you don´t want to wait, choose another time. 

Photographer: Jonas Ingman

Operating times – Tour of Western Sweden: 1.5–2 weeks

If you decide to travel along the Dalsland Canal, taking land transportation to Västerhavet, continuing southwards along the Bohuslän coastline and then returning to your starting point, set aside 1.5 to 2 weeks in total. This is entirely dependent on the weather conditions along the Bohuslän coastline.

Gothenburg–Vänersborg (around 14 hours).

The Trollhätte Canal section (or the river Göta Älv) stretches from Gothenburg to Vänersborg. (33 nm.)

A speed limit of 5 or 7 knots is in effect on certain sections. A limit of 10 knots applies on all other sections. Expect a counter current of around 2 knots on certain sections. There are three lock stations along the canal:

  • Lilla Edet 1 lock
  • Trollhättan 4 locks
  • Brinkebergskulle 1 lock

Depending on the traffic; that is, the volume of professional services, set aside 1 day for the section between Gothenburg and Trollhättan (8–10 hours).

For the remaining section of Trollhättan–Vänersborg (8 nm), set aside a period of around 4 hours, (including lockage in the Trollhätte Canal and at Brinkebergskulle).


Vänersborg – Köpmannebro

The distance between Vänersborg and Köpmannebro is around 30 nm.

Based on an average speed of around 6 knots, this means it will take you 5 hours to reach Köpmannebro. Don’t forget to listen to the shipping forecast before heading out on Lake Vänern. The wind can get up really quickly.