Windmill Trail


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Windmill Trail


The Windmill Trail is a bike tour that takes you over old sea beds. Yes, that’s right, because in the seventeenth century two old inland seas were drained and turned into flat, fertile agricultural land. Remnants of that time still stand unchanged on the landscape: the polder mills.





How to get there


Bus line


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in the direction of Purmerend Overwhere or De Rijp
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minutes
Get off at


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Stadhuis in Purmerend
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You will cross these junctions









Directions



The Windmill Trail is a bike tour that takes you over old sea beds. Yes, that’s right, because in the seventeenth century two old inland seas were drained and turned into flat, fertile agricultural land. Remnants of that time still stand unchanged on the landscape: the polder mills. During the reclamation, the water was pumped out of the polder and moved it to a higher level on the ringvaart (ring canal). If you want to see how that was done, then stop at junction 27, at the Museum windmill in Schermerhorn.


During this trip you will begin to realize just what an amazing accomplishment this was for Dutch engineers, led by hydraulic engineer Jan Adriaanszoon Leeghwater, four hundred years ago. And even though you can’t see the seas any more, there are several indications that they were once here, such as the dykes that were built around the former Schermer island in the twelfth century. Nowadays they form a beautiful dividing line between the old land with its winding streams and historical villages and the sharp geometric new land on the other side.


During this trip you also see two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Beemster polder and the Stelling van Amsterdam (Defense Line of Amsterdam) as you pass no less than three forts. In the village of Graft-De Rijp there are still plenty of reminders of the old fishing era, when adventurous herring fishermen and whalers sailed through the Beemstermeer towards the Zuiderzee and the high seas.

Directions from the bus stop to the bicycle rental
Step off the bus and turn left. Follow the sign in the direction of the train station. The bicycle rental is here.

Address Bicycle Rental
BaanStede Fietsenstalling en -verhuur
Beatrixplein 100
1441 JR Purmerend
(+31) 0299 43 14 02

Directions from the bicycle rental to the first junction
Cycle under the railway line and follow the signs in the direction of junction 25.