Emmelkamp

3 hours 30 minutes (51.0 km)
Managed by: Recreatieschap Drenthe

Did you know that Schoonebeek is where black gold was found? The Schoonebekerveld harbours the second largest oilfield in mainland West-Europe. The listed pumpjack in the centre of Schoonebeek is reminiscent of the old extraction technique.

Passing the Dutch-German border heightens your holiday experience. Dozens of active pumpjacks dominate the landscape here. The German village of Emlichheim is beautifully situated along the Vecht. The Low Saxon name Emmelkamp is still used on signposts. This is because there was a time when Dutch was the language spoken in this region.

The route brings you back across the border at Coevor…

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Did you know that Schoonebeek is where black gold was found? The Schoonebekerveld harbours the second largest oilfield in mainland West-Europe. The listed pumpjack in the centre of Schoonebeek is reminiscent of the old extraction technique.

Passing the Dutch-German border heightens your holiday experience. Dozens of active pumpjacks dominate the landscape here. The German village of Emlichheim is beautifully situated along the Vecht. The Low Saxon name Emmelkamp is still used on signposts. This is because there was a time when Dutch was the language spoken in this region.

The route brings you back across the border at Coevorden. This medieval town has a unique historical past. As the gate to the north of the Netherlands, the town had to defend itself against hostile oppressors, the castle and fortifications still testify to this. The tension of yesteryear has disappeared and the ambiance nowadays is amicable. Enjoy one of the terraces and you will surely agree.

The route is signposted with signs bearing the name ‘Emmelkamp’ in both the Netherlands and Germany. The route also follows the bicycle hub points in the Netherlands. The route can be started at hub point 01 in Schoonbeek at the Beekweg-De Beeklanden crossroads. There is free parking available nearby. It is also possible to join the route at other locations by following the signs. You cross the border at hub point 34.

 

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Sights on this route

01

Burgemeester Osselaan 5
7761 BS Schoonebeek

Schoonebeek

Europaweg 116
7761 AL Schoonebeek
34

Coevorden

Emlichheim

7742 Coevorden
43 76 77

Haven 4
7741 JV Coevorden

Markt
Coevorden

Kerkstraat 1
7741 JW Coevorden

Kerkstraat 6
7741 JC Coevorden

Friesestraat 9
7741 GR Coevorden

Kasteel 4
Coevorden

Het Kasteel 29
7741 GC Coevorden

Kasteel 6
7741 GD Coevorden

Van Heutszpark 8
7741 CV Coevorden

van Heutszpark 10
Coevorden

Ballastweg 6
7741 ZL Coevorden

De Bente

De Bente 40
7751 GM Dalen
56 07 09

Plopsa Indoor Coevorden

Reindersdijk 57
7751 SH Dalen
20

Stieltjeskanaal 41
7756 PB Stieltjeskanaal

Schansweg
7244 Coevorden
24 02
01

Directions

01
  • Schoonebeek is first mentioned in 1250. The oldest farmsteads in the region are located in the hamlets around the village. The restored museum farmstead Zwaantje Hans Stokman’s Hof is a delightful example of a Saxon farm with shed, dating back to the 17th century. This museum also features a permanent exhibition of petroleum extraction by the NAM.
  • Schoonebeek became especially well-known due to the oil found here. Oil was found nearby in 1943. This oilfield is the largest land-based oilfield in Northwest Europe. The Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM, Dutch Petroleum Company) used pumpjacks to extract a quarter of the available oil between 1948 and 1996. NAM ceased extraction in 1996. The oil was too tough and viscous for the available technology at the time. Thanks to new technologies, NAM resumed the extraction of oil in 2010.
  • The route leads you in a southerly direction from Schoonebeek. The Schoonebeekerdiep has formed the natural border between the Netherlands and Germany since time immemorial. Cross the border. You are now in the Landkreis of Grafschaft Bentheim, in the federal state of Lower Saxony. You couldn’t fail to notice the pumpjacks dotted around the landscape; there are dozens of them. A pumpjack, or nodding donkey, nods about 5,000 times a day. The oil in Emlichheim is very viscous and is stuck in the pores of the Bentheim sandstone. The oil is extracted by first heating it using water vapour to make it more fluid.
  • Emlichheim has existed since the time of Charles the Great. In a certificate from the year 1312, the place is referred to as Emminchem. The name Emmelkamp is still used today in the regional Lower Saxony dialect. Due to the close bonds with the Netherlands, Dutch was the common language from the 16th century. Until 1853, Dutch was used as the main language for teaching. In the church, Dutch was commonly used until the end of the 19th century, although some churches continued to use Dutch even after that time, and there are still churches that conduct services in Dutch and in the dialect today. Emlichheim has around 7,500 inhabitants. The church at the Am Kirchplatz is a good reason to take a little break. Take a look at the extraordinary blocks of Bentheimer sandstone used to build this Westphalian hall church that dates back to 1150.
  • The route continues away from Emlichheim, and almost immediately brings you to the Overijssel river Vecht, called Vechte in German. The purpose of this river is to dispose of rainwater. It is 167 km long and its source is in Münsterland, And it into the Zwarte Water near Zwolle. The river harbours a tragic saga. It is said that around the year 400, prince Vechtan drowned while crossing the river. The prince lives on in the name of the river.
  • The route now takes you along the Vechte for a while, providing stunning views of babbling water, swaying grassy banks and common moorhens. Laar is a rural village with an old mill built out of Bentheimer sandstone.
  • Keep cycling; the border will be in sight in no time. The route already crossed the Coevorden-Alte Picardie canal once already at Emlichheim. The canal is 25 km long and runs from Coevorden to Alte Picardie and the Süd-Nord-Kana. The Dutch section was constructed by the province of Overijssel between 1882 and 1884. Particularly because of the exorbitant canal rights levied in Germany, shipping traffic here was never of any significance.
  • Coevorden, city of monuments. Synonymous with battle and fortifications. For centuries, the town was of paramount strategic importance. It was one of the few access points into Drenthe and Groningen from the south. There were skirmishes here as early as the Middle Ages. In 1672, the bishop of Münster conquered the town. His nickname was Bommen Berend. However, thanks to a clever plan by Coevorden schoolteacher Meindert van der Thynen, the bishop and his men were driven off.
  • Are you looking forward to a bite to eat and a drink? The owners of the cafes, bars and restaurants in Coevorden will certainly extend you a warm welcome! Take stroll around the town. Across from the Kerkstraat is the gooseherd statue ‘Ganzengeesje’. This bronze statue on a pedestal of artificial stone is an ode to the gooseherds who - until the start of the last century - brought their geese to the Ganzenmarkt (Goose Market) on the second Monday in November every year. Since 1962, the Miss Gooseherd competition has been an annual occurrence at the Ganzenmarkt. The Coevorden Castle is the only castle in Drenthe and has a history that goes back 1000 years. The cycling route is bordered by parts of the inner and outer town canals and its restored bastions.
  • Escape the hubbub and make your way towards Dalen. This village developed in medieval times along the old road from Coevorden to Groningen. The village has seen significant expansion with new-build estates, but it can also boast several listed farmsteads. The church dates The Dutch Reformed Church dates back to the 14th century and is characterised by its immaculate interior. The village has two mills too. The route leads you past ‘De Bente’ mill for 1814
  • You now head towards Schoonebeek once more. Along the way, the magnificent landscape flashes past. Pass the Stieltjeskanaal and stop for a while at the Schans De Katshaar, a military reinforcement of raised earth from 1672. This national monument never really fulfilled a military role. It mainly served as a checkpoint for border traffic. The information panel by the door provides more information on the history of the building. In July and August, thousands of maiden pinks spread a colourful blanket of blooms across the meadows to the south of the site.
  • It seems as if the listed farmsteads have been randomly dropped from the sky in the Westerse Bos. However, the buildings are built along certain patterns, following the sandy ridges on which they stand. The farmsteads display remarkable stylistic features from both Twente and Germany, such as lattice work and Bentheimer sandstone.
  • Once you arrive back in Schoonebeek, you will probably find that a cup of coffee with a traditional Drenthe treat tastes delicious after such an amazing cycling route. 
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