The LF4 Middle of Holland Route (Midden-Nederlandroute) is a beautiful route along the horizontal axis, from the west to the east of the Netherlands. The route ties together several typical Dutch landscapes from beautiful parks and country estates near Wassenaar to cultural landscapes with forests in the Achterhoek. On the way, you can marvel at the landscapes of the Veluwe with its heaths and sand dunes. Throw some interesting cities like Utrecht and Arnhem into the mix and you have a wonderful cycle route right through the middle of the Netherlands.
With an average daily distance of 53 kilometres (33 miles) on well-maintained cycle paths, this route is suitable for every cyclist. The paths are almost completely flat, with the exception of some climbing over the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and in the Veluwezoom Nationaal Park. In the last two stages, you can expect some gravel paths and sand strips, but with normal trekking tyres, you need not worry.
Each stage ends at a location with at least one hotel, B&B or guesthouse. If you ride the Middle of Holland Route in spring or during the summer, I recommend reserving accommodation in advance. Although I haven’t taken camping into account in this Collection, the route is absolutely suitable for campers. If you prefer to sleep in a tent, check the locations of campsites along the route.
You can easily reach the starting point from anywhere in the Netherlands by train. The starting point of the route is just 100 metres (328 feet) from The Hague Central Station. The end point of the LF4 route is near Enschede station. From here, you can easily travel back home. If you prefer to travel to The Hague by car, take the train back to the starting point. Woerden, Utrecht and Arnhem also have train stations, allowing you to adjust the stages to suit your needs.
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The first stage of the LF4 Midden-Nederland route starts in the Hofstad. To be precise, close to the Binnenhof, the Hofvijver and The Hague Central station. Despite the fact that you start in the middle of a big city, you quickly roll through beautiful estates and parks between The Hague and Wassenaar. Via the Haagse Parkenroute you pass one piece of green after another.At Landgoed Ivicke you make a turn to the right and continue to the east. Shortly after crossing the train track, you cycle along a passage with water on either side. This piece of nature reserve, called the Vlietlanden, is an oasis of tranquility. The next nature reserve on the route is the Zoetermeerse Plas. This recreation area was created by the extraction of sand. If you drive past here on a summer day, you can take a refreshing dip here.The further you cycle, the more you see the landscape change. Instead of flower gardens and long tree-lined avenues, here you will find endless ditches and meadows with greedily grazing cows. You are in the Green Heart. When you have passed the old lift bridge in Boskoop and Fort Wierickeschans - which was part of the Dutch Waterline -, the end of the first cycle ride comes in sight.The finish location is in the historic city center of Woerden with many shops and restaurants. You will also find some hotels here.
During the second stage of the LF4 Midden-Nederlandroute you will pass some unique highlights. Shortly after your departure from Woerden, you take a short detour and leave the contours of the Oude Rijn behind. After approximately ten kilometers you cycle on a beautiful narrow path that cuts its way through the greenery. Meadows and trees characterize the environment.Not much later, the large watchtowers of Kasteel de Haar loomed. This is a special attraction, as this is the largest castle in the Netherlands. The accompanying garden of approximately 55 hectares is also worth a visit, especially when the garden is in full bloom.As soon as you reach the town of Vleuten, you will cycle through the built-up area for the next few kilometers. Via separate cycle paths you reach the bridge over the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. Only a few kilometers later, you cross the heart of Utrecht. One of the most striking places is of course the Oudegracht, the most famous canal in Utrecht.When you leave the Dom City on the east side, you will pass another unique attraction: the Rietveld Schröder House. A house that was designed in 1923 by Gerrit Rietveld and is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Via a winding road along the Oude Rijn and numerous castles you arrive in the municipality of Langbroek. Here, a 13th-century castle has been turned into a hotel - definitely a tip for overnight stay.
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This third stage promises to be a challenging, but promising ride. For example, there are various climbs over the Utrechtse Heuvelrug on the program. There is also plenty to experience in natural beauty.Shortly after you got on at Langbroek, the road winds a few times to the left and to the right. But after about five kilometers you will see the number of trees increase rapidly, you cycle through the forests of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park. The cycle path on the first part of the route mainly runs along the southern border of the park. When you have passed the village centers of Leersum and Amerongen, you really dive into nature.Beautiful views over heaths and extensive forests follow quickly. Just like the number of climbs, because the Heuvelrug has some considerable height differences by Dutch standards. The climb over the Defensieweg is the longest, but the cycle path is beautifully lined with trees.After Rhenen you follow the cycle path that runs parallel to the floodplains of the Nederrijn. If you thought you were done climbing, you are wrong. Just before the finish location is another real calf-biter: the Holleweg towards Doorwerth with a maximum gradient of 10 percent! In Doorwerth you can find some comfortable hotels where your legs can rest well deservedly.
This fourth stage takes you from Doorwerth to Wichmond. Most of the day is characterized by forests and heathland of De Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom National Parks. A break between all the natural beauty is a visit to Arnhem.The first kilometers take you along the very southern edge of the Duno estate,
Origin and Pietersberg, all of which are part of De Hoge Veluwe. You cycle here on dusty dirt roads and cycle paths paved with concrete slabs. You can enjoy the beautiful green surroundings around you.Arnhem's old city center is a nice break from all that greenery. Here you can enjoy a cup of coffee and enjoy the rich cultural history and beautiful architecture. Are you not in the mood for this? Then go straight ahead at Willemsplein and continue straight out of the city.After about seventeen kilometers you reach the flanks of the Veluwezoom National Park. The next few kilometers you wind your way through untouched nature with conifers, deciduous trees, heaths and sand drifts. In addition to a winding road, the road also undulates quite a bit. The highest point is 100 meters above sea level.At the end of the route you can continue relatively quietly on flat cycle paths. When you have crossed the IJssel with the ferry between Brummen and Bronkhorst you are almost at the final destination. In one around Wichmond, the final vote, you will not find too many sleeping facilities. It is therefore advisable to book in advance.
In this stage of the LF4 Midden-Nederlandroute you cycle through the typical cultural countries of the Achterhoek. Count on stately avenues with ancient trees and characteristic farms. After you have made a number of sharp turns, the cycle path directs you through the village of Vorden.During the part of the route around Borculo you experience the Achterhoek in optima forma. Beautiful estates, meandering streams and beautiful oak and beech forests form the backdrop. Unique to this part of the route are the many unpaved country roads. Don't worry, regular trekking tires will get you through strips just fine.A nice highlight, also in a literal sense, on the route you pass the Nature Observation Tower De Needse Berg. From this watchtower you can gaze from a height of sixteen meters over the eponymous nature reserve. The Needse Berg is an old moraine that was formed about 150,000 years ago by accumulating ice. Who knows, you might spot a red deer from the tower!The route then makes a small loop through the nature reserve. The finish is in front of a hotel in the Haaksbergen area. After you have checked in, you can visit the Oostendorper Watermill, which was already built in 1548.
This stage winds its way through the nature reserves in the Twente region. The start is slightly south of Haaksbergen. Only five kilometers away you will already pass the first nature reserve of the day. The Buurserzand and Haaksbergerveen is a beautiful high moor area, which is quite rare in the Netherlands.The cycle path leads right through fantastic landscapes, with the bright purple colors of the heather plants. Shortly after you cross the N18, you cycle past a large sand extraction site. You will cycle through Boekelo at about halfway through your cycling day. This is a perfect destination to stock up on some snacks for the remainder of the stage.A short while later you cycle through the Buurtschap Twekkelo. Here you can still enjoy the peace and emptiness before you cycle towards the final destination of the LF4 Midden-Nederland route. As soon as you pass the Twente Canal, you can almost touch the finish. However, the route makes another loop north of Enschede.Landgoed Hof Espelo is centrally located in this loop. Here you can clearly see how nature and culture can go together. Farmers' fields, grassy meadows, old farms and tree-lined avenues tell a bit about the 800-year history of Twente. A look at the visitor center is definitely worth it! The final destination is six kilometers away: in the old city center of Enschede.