Dag 5 - Van Thorn naar Kanne – LF7 Oeverlandroute
Bike Touring Highlight
Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan planned a bike ride.
June 17, 2021
The fifth stage of the Oeverland Route runs along the Belgian west bank of the Grensmaas. Between Thorn and Maastricht, the river forms a natural border between the Netherlands and Belgium. Nature is allowed to run its course much more freely in this part of the Meuse, since most shipping sails through the Juliana Canal.The river meanders and meanders and you cycle long puddles that you will want to take a refreshing dip in on a summer's day. The villages you pass along the way are wonderfully quiet, and have interesting churches. Enjoy the unspoilt view from the bicycle of the vast nature, the wide Meuse with its river arms, water birds and natural banks full of wild plants and herbs.After 20 kilometers you will cycle straight through Maasweerden Nature Reserve. From the dike you have a beautiful view of the pond with its numerous inhabitants. The ornithologists among us (the bird watchers) can have fun in this natural floodplain!Just before half of this stage you turn right towards Maasmechelen. A true shopping paradise with the well-known Village Designer Outlet, but the restaurant scene of Maasmechelen is also excellent. Thanks to the mining past, Italian cuisine has a significant influence here. According to the locals, you can eat the tastiest Italian lunch at Osteria Cellini.From Maasmechelen you can also make good speed along the Zuid-Willemsvaart (and then the Albert Canal). You follow the water all the way to Kanne, south of Maastricht. But don't cycle too fast past the interesting sights along the way. In the water castle Pietersheim you can learn all about the rich history of the castle and view the animals at the petting zoo.In Kanne you can dive into the marl caves with a guided tour. The bridge with the almost poetic name Le pont de Kanne (which simply means the bridge of Kanne in French) takes you across the canal where you will find the caves. The underground world tells a special story about the history of the quarry with its meters high corridors: about mining, fossils, Neanderthals, but also cave beer and soft drinks! In July and August there is a guided tour every day at 1.30 pm.Then it is time to return to Dutch territory. Cross the bridge to the other side, after which you cycle along the Sint-Pietersberg and Fort Sint Pieter to the Vrijthof in Maastricht. From Maastricht you can easily take the train back home. But of course not before you have spoiled yourself at one of the many restaurants and cafes in Maastricht. Here you can really enjoy Burgundian, and you have earned it after these beautiful 386 kilometers.Have you not cycled yet? How about cycling the Fietserpad next to this route (komoot.nl/collection/1185440/)? In this Collection I describe the route from Pieterburen to Sint-Pietersberg, but of course you can also just reverse it and cycle from south to north!