Skipper's stories

Cycling in Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands

Cycling route 336226

Provided by: Groots Genieten

2861 72
26.7 km
01:34 h
470 kcal
30 m
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Height Profile


About colonial goods and silver sand
The Achterhoek was connected to Germany and the nearby trading cities of Zutphen and Deventer via a network of 'schipbeken'. There were country roads, but they were often difficult to pass. So a lot of transport was done by water. Summer pens were built especially for these shallow brooks: barges with a flat bottom. The main products upstream were peat, gin and colonial commodities. Downstream, the cargo consisted mainly of silver sand (for the floor), wood and pottery.

The nickname of Gerrard Wolfs, a short and fat man who went down in history as the very last Berk skipper. Around 1890 he transported many barrels of petroleum, barrels of gin and also silver sand. The silver sand came from the Vreden area and was used by the housewives to scatter once a week on the floors of their kitchens. But it was not only used as a floor covering, gold and silversmiths also benefited from it.

Rough guys, loose hands
The Berk skippers had the reputation of rough fellows who had their hands rather loose, but also of cheerful drinking brothers, who liked to go through life singing. But that picture hardly corresponded to reality. It was different, it was a hard and uncertain life on the barely navigable Berkel. Often the barge had to be towed with manpower, because the summer could only sail at high tide and a decent wind, the strongly meandering Berkel was not suitable for this.

The Achterhoek is pre-eminently a beautiful region for cyclists and walkers. Explore this beautiful region by bike or on foot in a special way: with your smartphone. With the AbelLife app you can enjoy interesting anecdotes, videos, photos and great tips for on the road. The app shows you the way and you will learn more about historical sights, the nature around you and nice restaurants in the area along the way.
Would you like to try that?
Download the AbelLife app and download a separate route or purchase a route booklet at one of the VVV's in the Achterhoek and use the voucher code at the front of the booklet. More information can be found at or at
Waterwheel mill Windmill

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Below you will find various suggestions for breaks that you can visit during your route. These are divided into different categories, making it easy for you to choose.


# Description Distance
Mallumse Molenweg, 7152AV, Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands 0.00 km
66 (7152KM, Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands) 0.61 km
18 (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) 13.77 km
74 (Zuid Rekkenseweg, 7157BL, Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands) 17.15 km
71 (7157AJ, Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands) 17.56 km
70 (7157BB, Berkelland, Gelderland, The Netherlands) 18.42 km

Place name directory

  • Berkelland, Gelderland
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Vreden, North Rhine-Westphalia


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