About the route
The route starts and ends at the Zaanse Schans, but can be started at any point along the route if desired. A number of points of interest:
- After junction 72, keep to junction 73. Then you will automatically arrive at the departure/end point at the Zaanse Schans. The route runs across the grounds of the Zaanse Schans, so you keep to the right of the Zaan.
- Junctions 92, 89, 59 and 43 are on the other side of the water. It should be noted here that you do not go to the nodes themselves, just follow the signs for the direction. This is self-evident.
During this route you will get to know the beautiful nature of the Zaan region. The Weidemolens have the leading role. There are nice places along the way to stop, to marvel and to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink. Have fun cycling!
Tips and information for the road
Walk with your bike along the Zaan, towards the Molenmuseum.
The interactive Mill Museum opened its doors in 2020. Here you will get everything explained about the variety of different types of windmills. The enthusiastic volunteers can tell you all about it. In the hinterland you can see the Weidemolens.
About the Meadow Mills
On the (white) islands in the peat meadow areas that surround us, wooden and iron windmills stand proud in the landscape. They seem to have been put there for the composition of your photo, but even today they still have an important task in managing and maintaining the peat meadow area.
For centuries, the meadow mills have been used to regulate the water level per piece of land. The function of the mills is twofold. They use wind power to remove the excess water from the ditches and keep the pasture passable for cows and mowers. Without grazing and mowing, the open landscape would soon turn into low moor forest. With all its consequences for the historically valuable landscape that is so popular with meadow birds, such as our national bird, the black-tailed godwit. The meadow mills also grind up the water in drier periods so that the meadows do not become too wet, but also do not become too dry.
When you have passed junction 93 after some time, you will see the Poelboerderij
on the right. Note: this is still in front of the lock you are going over. The Poelboerderij forms the gateway to the beautiful Wormer- en Jisperveld nature reserve. Originally a low moor area with a unique flora and fauna. There are numerous Weidemolens here. The area is ideal for boat trips. For example, beautiful canoe routes have been set out. More information is available at the farm.
During the continuation of the cycle route you will see the Weidemolens scattered throughout the water-rich landscape. You will come to many picturesque locations and villages such as; Nail drill, Jisp and Wormer.
An eye-catcher along the Westerdijk is De Herkules
. This is an American wind engine and you can't miss it. It was installed as a polder mill in 1922. In 1993 it was replaced by an electric pumping station, and now mainly has a decorative function in the landscape.