The Göta Canal, also known as ‘Sweden’s Blue Ribbon’, is one of the country's most important hydraulic engineering achievements. The 190-km long canal runs from Gothenburg in the west, to the Baltic Sea. Because of the large altitude differences, the canal has 58 locks. The Berg locks, 10 km from Linköping, are a spectacular sight.
In Berg there are seven successive locks that gradually lower or raise the passenger boats over a height of 30 metres, the difference in altitude between Berg and Roxen Lake. The forested landscape along the canal is wonderful for cyclists and walkers. To protect the natural environment of the canal, part of the fees paid by pleasure boats to use the canal is dedicated to planting new trees. In the summer season, up to 3,000 pleasure boats sail through the Göta Canal. The dates for the boating season vary each year, so always check in advance.
Inaugurated in 1832, the Göta Canal was partially dug by hand. Led by the Swedish engineer Baltzar von Platen, 58,000 soldiers dug up 87.3 km of the canal. The other 104 km were part of a natural waterway. The locks make it possible to navigate the 91.7 m difference in altitude between the Baltic Sea and Lake Vänern.