The Lakes and Meadows Route

2 hours 40 minutes (39.0 km)
Managed by: Recreatieschap Drenthe

The Lakes and Meadows Route takes you past the lakes Paterswoldsemeer and Leekstermeer. The area between these lakes is called De Onlanden. The area has been structured as a nature reserve and water storage. Old rivers and hollows have been restored to their former glory. Swamp forests and wet grasslands develop here as a result of the area’s partial submerging in winter. A true paradise for river-bank and swam flora, as well as swamp birds.

Kop van Drenthe is spacious and water-rich. Swamps stretch out as far as the eye can see. But there are also authentic brinkdorpen (a brink- or esdorp is a type of village in the Netherlands, often originating in medieval times, bordering on an area of sandy soil) and bustling areas with plenty of leisure options.

Leekstermee…

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The Lakes and Meadows Route takes you past the lakes Paterswoldsemeer and Leekstermeer. The area between these lakes is called De Onlanden. The area has been structured as a nature reserve and water storage. Old rivers and hollows have been restored to their former glory. Swamp forests and wet grasslands develop here as a result of the area’s partial submerging in winter. A true paradise for river-bank and swam flora, as well as swamp birds.

Kop van Drenthe is spacious and water-rich. Swamps stretch out as far as the eye can see. But there are also authentic brinkdorpen (a brink- or esdorp is a type of village in the Netherlands, often originating in medieval times, bordering on an area of sandy soil) and bustling areas with plenty of leisure options.

Leekstermeer is Drenthe’s largest lake. Its broad reed belts are home to many water birds—among them, shy types such as the Eurasian bittern. Surrounding Leekstermeer is a charming and varied bocage landscape—perfect for long bicycle rides or walks.

This route goes right by the city park of bustling student city, Groningen. If you have time, visiting the authentic fish market, Grote Markt and the Groninger Museum is an absolute must. Groningen is a lovely city to spend a few hours in.

With a total length of 39 kilometres, this route takes you past many of highlights that shaped the province of Drenthe.

The route starts in Peize (intersection 35). There is plenty of parking space nearby the departure point.

The route follows the following cycling intersections: 35, 02, 11, 39, 83, 81, 82, 58, 17, 12, 13, 01, 09, 10, 03 and 25.

This route can be shortened at the following cycling intersections: 02, 11, 39, 17, 12 and 09.

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Sights on this route

Starting point: 9321 Peize

Kerkstraat 2
9321 HB Peize

Paiser Meul

Molenpad 1
9321 CA Peize

Woldzigt

Hoofdstraat 58
9315 PC Roderwolde

Hoofdstraat 25
9315 PA Rodenwolde

Midwolderweg 19
9351 PG Leek

Madsloot
Roderwolde

Schipsloot
9315 PA Rolderwolde

Achterom
9766 Eelderwolde

Hoofdweg 266
9765 CH Paterswolde

Drentsedijk
9766 Peize
End point: 9321 Peize

Directions

Starting point: 9321 Peize
    • In the 17th and 18th century, Peize was Drenthe’s most important grower of hop, one of the raw materials used for to manufacture beer. The close proximity of the city of Groningen certainly had something to do with this. Production here was three times as high as in second- and third-ranked Roden and Eelde—also close to Groningen. But, in the second part of the 19th century, the production of hop vanished in lieu of the more lucrative growing of potatoes. Hop can, among other places, still be observed in the municipal coat of arms, the names of nursing home De Hoprank and restaurant De Hopbel—which had a beer tasting until 2009. At a slight distance from the route, along Hoppekampweg on the north side of the village, four hundred metres to the north of the church, a small hop field has been reconstructed.
    • From Peize, you cycle towards Leek. To the north of Peize, into De Onlanden. Natuurmonumenten (The Netherland’s Society for the Preservation of Nature) keeps De Onlanden open by mowing the area. Large grazers, such as Exmoor ponies and Scottish Highlanders, assist in doing so by grazing on the land. The many swamp birds in the area profit from the high water level in the area. The region’s relative safeness as a living and breeding ground allows them to raise their offspring here in spring. De Onlanden offers a unique experience of nature close to the city Groningen.
    • Still regularly in operation, an eye-catching feature in Rolderwolde is the large windmill from 1852, Woldzigt. The mill is used to mill grain and crush oil. Special events are still regularly organised around Woldzigt.
    • In Kop van Drenthe, you find various country estates and manors. Some are accessible as museums. Close to Leek, one of these estates is Borg Nienoord. The original borg (a type of fortified castle) was constructed in 1525, but sadly burnt down in 1850. The current estate was constructed on its foundations in 1885 by the Van Panhuys family. Unfortunately, they were only able to enjoy their estate for 22 years; they died following a tragic carriage accident. They drowned in the Hoendiep canal. The borg is presently home to the National Rijtuigmuseum (“National Carriage Museum”). Family Park Nienoord is also located nearby. Swimming pool Het Zwemkasteel is a lovely place to enjoy your leisure time. Various model railway tracks can also be viewed here.
    • Although the route doesn’t go through Midwolde, Midwolde Church is clearly visible from the route. This church dates back to the 12th and 13th century and has a delightful interior. The organ is from 1630 and is originally from Borg Nienoord.
    • The route runs along the north side of the lake Leekstermeer. Leekstermeer developed from an old watercourse under the influence of the sea thousands of years ago. Due to the erosion of the peaty banks, the watercourse became wider and larger. The lake has traditionally been an important area for greater white-fronted geese and barnacle geese.
    • The route goes straight through Matsloot. This is an area which partially lies in the Groningen municipality and partially in Drenthe’s Noordenveld municipality. The region is named after Drenthe’s Matsloot, a wide watercourse that discharges into Leekerstermeer. Matsloot is also the name of the road running through the area. The part of Matsloot to the north of the A7 is part of Groningen. The area has been set up as an industrial estate and is called Westpoort.
    • Via Matsloot, you cycle towards the City Park Groningen. This is a 140-hectare-large park which is also a municipal monument. The park’s creation was an initiative of famous Groningen industrialist Jan Evert Scholten. He founded Vereeniging Het Stadspark (“city park association”) in 1909. The objective of this association was to collect money for a public park. Works on the park started in 1913. The park was designed by landscape architect Leonard Springer in cooperation with Groningen director of public works J.A. Mulock Houwer. The park’s official opening took place in the centrally-located Stadsparkpaviljoen (“city park pavilion”) on 19 May 1926. Building the park took 13 years. In 1931 a monument in tribute of Scholten was placed at a prominent location along Concourslaan.
    • Eelderwolde borders on the lakes Paterswoldsemeer, Hoornsemeer and Hoornseplas. This village offers a host of recreational options. Around 1850 Eelderwolde was a hamlet with only six houses and farms. In 1870 new roads Groningerweg and Veenweg were opened, making Eelderwolde a road-side village, with Café Welgelegen as its greatest attraction. This café was later transformed into a Chinese restaurant, a grocery shop, a baker, a nursery and a smithy. Today, the former smithy is a bicycle shop, while the baker’s house of baker Van Ham and the house connected to the grocery shop are still in the same condition as in 1930.
  • From Eelderwolde, continue the Lakes and Meadows Route back toward Peize, the end point of this cycling route.
End point: 9321 Peize