The Gowienica is a river entirely located in the district of Goleniów. It flows through the communes of Maszewo, Goleniów, Osina, Przybiernów and Stepnica and the towns of Bodzęcin, Niewiadowo, Łoźnica, Budzieszewice, Dzisna, Babigoszcz, Widzieńsko, Stepnica.
The spring of the Gowienica is located in the commune of Maszewo, near the town of Mosty, whereas its mouth is located in the town of Stepnica, where the Gowienica flows into Stepnica Bay in the Szczecin Lagoon.
Bodzęcin is the place where the Stepnica flows into the Wółczenica as its largest tributary.
The Gowienica is a river with a length of nearly 48 km, starting its course in the peat valley near the town of Mosty. The river has mostly kept its natural current; only its final part has been regulated.
First the Gowienica flows northwards, then, about at the half of its length, it turns westwards. It flows through the Goleniów Refuge and the Goleniów Forest - the protected areas belonging to the Natura 2000 programme.
This river is rather shallow, deeper sections are located on the bends, or sometimes in the vicinity of fallen trees and other obstacles in the mainstream.
It is worth mentioning that the Gowienica is only slightly damaged by human activity so that its original, sometimes wild charm, has been preserved. At the beginning of its course, the river meanders picturesquely among the meadows, and then flows into the typical forest area in the vicinity of Bodzęcin. Its wild shores are covered with liverworts and rare species of mosses. Meadows and forests turn into deep gorges in the middle section of the river.
The last section of the Gowienica takes the form of a regulated canal; and, although regulation made the river lose inevitably some of its savagery, it is worth turning attention to birds such as ruffs or cranes occurring in the area.
The Gowienica, apart from landscape values, is also a paradise for anglers. It is there that the annual salmon and sea trout spawning takes place. In addition, You can catch there trout, ide, dace and sometimes grayling on the occasion of the mating season of mayflies in late May and early June.
The Gowienica is also one of the most interesting canoeing routes throughout the entire Zachodniopomorskie [Western Pomerania] Province. It leads both by the Goleniów Forest and Goleniów Plain. The route is intended rather for more experienced canoeists due to the large number of natural obstacles located in the river current and piling thresholds appearing along it, of which one is a remnant of an old mill in Babigoszcz, where You should, in fact, begin rafting (exactly by the bridge of the national road No. 3). It is best to go rafting in spring or autumn because the water level in Gowienica may be a bit too low in the summer. Due to its nature and large number of obstacles, You should take the minimum amount of equipment with You to make kayaks the least loaded if You decide to go rafting on this river in the end. Although rafting along this trail is demanding, You can admire beautiful and varied views that definitely reward the rigors of kayak expedition.