Explore the shores of the largest contiguous water sports area in the Netherlands. The Maasplassen extend, with an area of 3000 hectares, between various Limburg villages and towns. The water sports area was created by the extraction of gravel, which took place on a large scale in the twentieth century. When the lakes were created, the surrounding municipalities took advantage of them and managed to turn them into a wonderful recreational area. Cozy marinas, nice restaurants, beaches and campsites attract many people to the Maasplassen, while there are also beautiful nature reserves a stone's throw away. This cycle route also takes you to the most beautiful windmills and castles in the area, even across the Belgian-Dutch border! The Uffelsemolen is the old ban mill in the former Kessenich area. The mill in Haler was initially located on the Abeek, but now the channeled Uffelse Beek provides the mill with water power. The first mill on this site was built in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, but in 1800 the long-gabled farm on which the wheel hung had fallen into such disrepair that it was decided to rebuild it. The Uffelsemolen originally had three couples of grinding stones, but one couple was replaced so that a diesel engine could be installed in the mill to which another couple was connected. The third couple continued to work on hydropower. You will pass one of the few remaining water mills on the Ittersebeek. The Armenmolen is a water mill that was used to grind corn. In 1686, the undershot water mill was built to give poorer people the opportunity to have their grain milled. The mill performed its function until 1950. The exterior still looks authentic, but the Armenmolen is now used as a home. After crossing the border with Belgium you will pass Kasteel Groenenberg. This beautiful chateau dates back to 1890 and is located in the middle of a beautiful 45-hectare park. With winding roads, curved forest edges and extensive lawns, the design of the beautiful park fully fits into the typical image of English garden architecture. The park is an oasis of tranquility with beautiful plants such as azaleas, hydrangeas and rhododendrons. You then cycle to De Grote Hegge Castle. This breathtaking castle is located on the outskirts of Thorn, about 300 meters from the old core. This unique monumental location breathes history, but also has a modern touch. The castle is now used as a conference center and has several halls. Among other things, weddings, parties, funerals and coffee tables are organized. You then continue to Castle Heel. This beautiful castle is located on the southern edge of the village of the same name. Kasteel Heel is first mentioned in 1264, but little of the old castle has survived over the years. The current building dates from the seventeenth century. The house has two lower side wings that were added in the eighteenth century. The castle cannot be visited from the inside. When you arrive in Grathem, you will find the Grathemermolen, a water mill that was built on the Uffelse stream in the center of Grathem. The history of the Grathemsemolen dates back to the thirteenth century. At that time there was a ban mill in Howth, which later came into the possession of a family who lived at the Groot Buggenum castle. In 1915 the mill was converted into a turbine mill. From the connection to the electricity grid in 1930, electrical pumping was used. The water wheel you see now is a replica of the original. The wheel was replaced in 1995 and coupled to a cast iron interior from 1866; the oldest cast gear for millstones in the Netherlands. This interior came from the burnt Brunssumer Mill. A little over six kilometers later you will return to the starting point of the cycle route in Ell. At Eetcafé'De Prairie\\\' you can end your tour with a small snack. A snack and a drink will taste good after this long bike ride of more than fifty kilometers. After 5 p.m. you can also have dinner there, so that you can enjoy a nice meal and a drink even if you enjoy the trip longer.