Roldertoren route

(49.0 km)

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  • The Roldertorenroute runs straight through the ‘Drentsche Aa’ national park and features a number of dolmens. The village green at the picturesque village of Rolde is the site of dolmens D17 and D18. Dolmen D18 is one of the largest surviving dolmens.

    The Roldertoren cycling route literally takes you …

    The Roldertorenroute runs straight through the ‘Drentsche Aa’ national park and features a number of dolmens. The village green at the picturesque village of Rolde is the site of dolmens D17 and D18. Dolmen D18 is one of the largest surviving dolmens.

    The Roldertoren cycling route literally takes you to new heights. This route leads you along the famous Boomkroonpad (Tree Crown path), where you can enjoy the stunning surroundings from up to 22 metres above ground. The majority of the route runs through the forestry near the beautiful villages of Grolloo, Drouwen and Borger.

    This cycling route (the Roldertoren route) spans 49 kilometres and leads you past a variety of Drenthe’s highlights.

    The route starts in Rolde. There is plenty of parking available near the starting point.

    The route includes the following bicycle hub points: 73, 71, 65, 55, 61, 02, 42, 40, 94, 86, 83, 80, 96, 95, 37, 79, 53, 09, 23, 69

    This route can be shortened at the following hub points: 65, 55, 61, 86, 83, 84, 53

    Sights on this route




    Dolmen D17 and D18





















    • Dolmens, a church, a mill, meadows, farmland, village greens, farms and even some less predictable sights: Rolde has it all. Rolde also has plenty of great places to eat or drink. In short, it is an excellent starting point for the ‘Roldertoren’ cycling route. When you immerse yourself in the history of Rolde, the year 1232 stands out. Along with the town of Balloo, Rolde played an important role in Drenthe during medieval times. Rolde was the ‘capital’ of Drenthe and until 1688, it was one of the three meeting places where the Etstoel, the highest court in Drenthe, would hold its annual gatherings. The current church with its imposing tower was built in the 15th century. The church’s neighbours are probably the two most famous dolmens in Drenthe. Fun fact: in 1925, almost a century ago, the TT circuit of more than 28 kilometres ran along a long triangular route from Rolde to Borger, via Westdorp to Schoonloo and from there via Grolloo back to Rolde.
    • Start the route with a coffee and treat in Rolde and then set off for Anderen.
    • Anderen is very quiet, to a degree that is unusual for the Netherlands, with its large and immaculate farmsteads in green surroundings. Anderen is home to ‘De Eenheid’, an old dairy that has stood unused since 1908. Many villages used have their own dairies, until paved roads and motorised vehicles signalled the end of production for dozens of small dairies in Drenthe. It was much more efficient to for dairy processing to occur in a centralised location, such as at Domo in Beilen.
    • The area between Rolde and Grolloo can be described as beautiful farmers’ country. There are fields of potatoes and beets, of grains and sunflowers. Nurseries with garden plants and berries, and breath-taking orchards. And of course, the inevitable meadows with cows and sheep. In amongst all this beauty, there are splendid heathlands, tranquil forests and marshy brook valleys in Forestry Area Gieten-Borger.
    • The route continues towards Gasselte, a village that dates back to around 1309. The whitewashed reformed church in the village dates back to the fourteenth century.
    • The magnificent nature between Drouwen and Borger offers a huge variety of landscapes: sand, heath, farmland, meadows, a canal with bridges and weirs, forest, flat and undulating land and a good few dolmens. The Drouwenerzand is a stalwart of wilderness surrounded by extraction sites.
    • If you would like to experience the woods from a different perspective, a stroll along the Boomkroonpad (Tree Crown path) is a great idea. It is situated near the village of Drouwen. This path takes you high into the tops of the trees. This outdoor centre is also home to Play Forest Lorken.
    • There are five dolmens located close to one another to the west of Bronneger. Some of the dolmens are pristine, while for some, only a few rocks remain. There are indications that dolmens not only served as graves, but were also used as territorial markings. Building a dolmen was a message from one tribe to the world: ‘we live here, these farmlands are ours - keep out!’
    • On the outskirts of Borger is the ‘Hunebedcentrum’ (Dolmen Centre), located next to the largest dolmen in the Netherlands with a length of 25 metres. The Hunebedcentrum in Borger showcases a great permanent and informative exhibition on the Dutch dolmens and the Funnelbeaker Culture.
    • The route takes you to Grolloo via the Drouwenerveld. Blues singer Harry Muskee lived in a cottage in Grolloo for many years and his band Cuby & the Blizzards used the place for rehearsals. This cottage became a museum in 2011 to honour Cuby & the Blizzards. The name naam Grollo (with one "o") was used in the title of a Cuby & the Blizzards album: Groeten uit Grollo (Greetings from Grollo). There is a bust of Muskee in the centre of the village. Moreover, one of the first climbing parks in the Netherlands is near Grolloo. Various trails and courses with obstacles and zipwires challenge you to move through the forest and over the Kleine Moeren lake.
    • The small village of Amen was founded as early as 944. The name has no Christian connotations, but probably refers to a settlement along the small river Aam, no longer in existence.
    • The route takes you via Ekehaar, Nijlande and the Deurzerdiep, back towards Rolde.
    • On the way, you will come across the Tumulibosch forest containing more than 35 burial mounds dating back to the Iron Age. The last highlight along this cycling route is the Balloerkuil. This mystical pit is said to be where jurisprudence was carried out in the past. However, archaeological investigation has shown that this is not the original pit.
    • The route now takes you back to the starting location in Rolde.

    • 73
    • 71
    • 65
    • 55
    • 61
    • 02
    • 42
    • 40
    • 94
    • 86
    • 83
    • 83
    • 80
    • 96
    • 95
    • 37
    • 79
    • 53
    • 07
    • 09
    • 23
    • 66
    • 69
    • 70