Reestdal route

3 hours 10 minutes (47.0 km)
Managed by: Recreatieschap Drenthe

A cycling route through the stunning Reestdal, on the border between Drenthe and Overijssel. De river Reest winds its way through the varied brook valley landscape like a lifeline. The variation in natural beauty is caused by the transition between high and low and dry and wet. Your route leads you through forests, past heathlands and meadows full of flowers. The brook valley is home to unique flora and fauna - you might even spot a kingfisher.

Near Meppel and De Wijk, the loud clattering and jabbering of the storks will guide your journey. The stork population of the Reestdal can be found in the meadows, in trees or on their pole nests. And finally, the country estates lend the landscape some allure. They have been nestled between the trees here for hundreds of years.

The rou…

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A cycling route through the stunning Reestdal, on the border between Drenthe and Overijssel. De river Reest winds its way through the varied brook valley landscape like a lifeline. The variation in natural beauty is caused by the transition between high and low and dry and wet. Your route leads you through forests, past heathlands and meadows full of flowers. The brook valley is home to unique flora and fauna - you might even spot a kingfisher.

Near Meppel and De Wijk, the loud clattering and jabbering of the storks will guide your journey. The stork population of the Reestdal can be found in the meadows, in trees or on their pole nests. And finally, the country estates lend the landscape some allure. They have been nestled between the trees here for hundreds of years.

The route can be started in Zuidwolde, on the corner of the Burg. Tonckensstraat-Kerkweg between bicycle hubs points 62 and 64. The Hoofdstraat offers various parking options: by the church or at the supermarket. It is also possible to join the route at other locations by following the signs.

The route includes the following bicycle hub points: 64, 90, 99, 37, 36, 35, 88, 87, 86, 85, 01, 80, 89, 81, 98, 97, 73 and 62. This route can be shortened at the following hub points: 99, 88 and 98.

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Locations on this route

Start point : Burg. Tonckensstraat
7921 KB Zuidwolde

De Wieker Meule

Dorpsstraat 65
7957 AS de Wijk
End point: Burg. Tonckensstraat 49
7921 KB Zuidwolde

Directions

Start point : Burg. Tonckensstraat
7921 KB Zuidwolde
  • The cycling route starts in the traditionally set-up Angerdorf-type village of Zuidwolde. The penultimate ice age saw the formation of a protruding sand ridge here. An old connecting road ran along this ridge, to the Vechtdal via the Ommerschans. The settlement Zuidwolde was formed here during the Middle Ages, then called Suthwalda. It was situated in the middle of vast marshlands. In the 17th century, peat cutting meant the area was reclaimed and used for extraction.
  • Zuidwolde has a special museum: the cultural-historical and handcart museum ‘De Wemme’, where a new exhibition is showcased every year. It is also home to the largest collection of handcarts in the Netherlands. The orchard is an inviting place to marvel at the sculpture exhibition. The ‘Tin-Art’ tin works are situated next to the museum. The tin works exhibits temporary collections with one-off pieces, as well as a large assortment of tin jewellery and items.
  • When you resume your route, you will leave Zuidwolde in a southerly direction. Here, at the border between the ridge and the Reest valley, lie various nature reserves with deciduous forest, heathland and marshland and peat moss. Enjoy the marvellous vistas while cycling past the villages of Bazuin, Drogt and Fort.
  • And then, there it is: the Reest. Stop here to contemplate the babbling brook and watch it wind its way through the landscape. The Reest is without doubt the best-conserved brook in the Netherlands. Get back on your bicycle and pass the Reest. Your route now takes you towards the forest.
  • The forestry area Staphorst suddenly transports you to a vast woodland. This used to be heathland. During the crisis years before the Second World War, this forest was planted by unemployed workers, to prevent sand drifts. The tedious rows of trees have since made way for beautifully natural landscapes, with a wide variety of plants and animals, as well as marshland. Some heathland has remained, like De Vier Bergen.
  • After the hamlet of Halfweg and Lankhorst, the route takes you across the Reest again and back into Drenthe. The hamlet of Schiphorst is the most bountiful part of the Reestdal. The soil was so fertile here that it produced hay in abundance. These riches are still clearly visible from the magnificent old farmsteads and country houses.
  • The stork outdoor station ‘De Lokkerij’ is situated on the edge of country estate De Havixhorst near Schiphorst. The station monitors the stork population and also serves as a stork shelter. Take a break to admire the extraordinary estate. De Havixhorst manor house has been hidden among the trees for hundreds of years, only a stone’s throw away from the Reest. De Havixhorst was mentioned as early as 1409, in the archive of the Dickninge abbey. The stately fortified house, as it is today, stems from 1753. It is now a very chic hotel-restaurant. The (sculpture) garden is a lovely place to take a stroll in, as is the rest of the 100-hectare estate.
  • De Wijk is your next stop, a perfect opportunity for a nice cup of coffee and a sweet treat. This village evolved in the Middle Ages. It was a dry spot along the Reest where farmers settled. In 1325, the Ruinen monastery was moved to the Dickninge estate, which had a great impact on the village’s development. De Havixhorst and Dunningen manor estates also played a part in this process. Along the Dorpsstraat in the heart of the village is the ‘Wieker Meule’ mill, which is still running today thanks to volunteers.
  • After your break, the route takes you across the Reest and into Overijssel once more. The next village along your route is IJhorst. IJhorst is first mentioned in 1176 as a village consisting of 5 farmsteads along on the banks of the Reest. The church in IJhorst is mentioned as early as 1292 and was dedicated to Saint Nicolas. The current building dates back to 1823. Below the choir is the crypt of the lords of Munster, dating from 1658. The crypt also contains the remains of the abbots of Dickninge monastery and the lords of De Havixhorst. Next to the church, a foundation of boulders supports a belfry, which was the second-best option for church communities that could not afford to build a bell tower.
  • De Stapel is home to information centre ’t Ende, run by the Het Drentse Landschap foundation. It is located in the rear section of the beautiful farm ‘t Ende. Farming still took place here until the 90s, but nowadays the centre is a wealth of information on the Reest valley.
  • There is the opportunity for quiet reflection on mindless violence alongside the Commissieweg near Eemten, the location of the national monument Muur tegen Geweld (Wall against Violence). The monument bears plaques with the names of victims.
  • The route now takes you back to Zuidwolde. Enjoy the remarkable landscape along the way! Cycling definitely works up an appetite. Allow the many hospitable restauranteurs in Zuidwolde to spoil you. They are sure to serve you the most delicious food.
End point: Burg. Tonckensstraat 49
7921 KB Zuidwolde