The Leine near Sarstedt-Ruthe
|States||Thuringia, Lower Saxony|
|Reference no.||DE: 488|
|Main source||In Leinefelde in the Eichsfeld
|River mouth||Near Schwarmstedt into the Aller at km 52.26
|Length||281 km (175 mi)|
|Progression||Aller→ Weser→ North Sea|
|Basin size||6,512 km2 (2,514 sq mi)|
The river's source is located close to the town of Leinefelde in Thuringia. About 40 km (25 mi) downriver, the river enters Lower Saxony and runs northwards.
Important towns along its course, from upstream to downstream, are Göttingen, Einbeck, Alfeld, and Gronau, before the river enters Hanover, the largest city on its banks. Downstream some 40 km (25 mi) north of Hanover, near Schwarmstedt, the river joins the Aller and reaches the North Sea via the Weser. Its northern (lower) reaches are only navigable today by the smallest commercial carriers, though in the past, it served as an important pre-railway barge transport artery as far upriver as Göttingen.
The river is somewhat polluted by industry, so the water is not used for drinking, but the pollution has never been severe enough to prevent fish from living in it. Like many western rivers since the 1960s, it has enjoyed increasingly cleaner waters since the implementation of environmental controls. Sport fishing is enjoyed from small boats and along the banks, although yields are normally low.
At least one point of the river (Göttingen) is partially diverted into a canal that runs more or less parallel to the river.
In his 1986 bestseller Red Storm Rising, author Tom Clancy uses the Leine as a major obstacle to the Soviet Union's Red Army drive to the Rhine and the North Sea ports of the Netherlands and Belgium through West Germany.
- Längen (in km) der Hauptschifffahrtswege (Hauptstrecken und bestimmte Nebenstrecken) der Binnenwasserstraßen des Bundes, Wasser- und Schifffahrtsverwaltung des Bundes
- Uwe Schmida: Die Leine - Eine fotografische Reise. ISBN 3-00-020567-5
- Gerd Lüttig: Neue Ergebnisse quartärgeologischer Forschung im Raume Alfeld-Hameln-Elze. In: Geologisches Jahrbuch Band 77, Seite 337–390. Hannover, Juni 1960.
- Media related to Leine at Wikimedia Commons
- Bundesamt für Naturschutz: Landschaftssteckbrief "Leine-Ilme-Senke"
- Bundesamt für Naturschutz: Landschaftssteckbrief "Leine-Niederung"