Close to Amsterdam you can find a beautiful hiking route that takes you along green meadows, historic dikes, forts, windmills, stately country houses, and two idyllic rivers: a hiking route from Abcoude to Weesp.
During the hike you walk along two idyllic rivers that meander through the ancient Dutch landscape full of culture and history: the Gein and the Vecht. You cross green meadows, historic dikes, forts, windmills, stately country houses, a spectacular foot and bike bridge, picturesque villages and get to see the Defence Line of Amsterdam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many painters and poets were inspired by this beautiful Dutch landscape. It’s a beautiful hike in an even more stunning landscape.
Continue reading and experience the hiking route from Abcoude to Weesp.
Practical information for hiking from Abcoude to Weesp:
The hike starts at NS Railway station Abcoude (Spoorlaan, 1391 GS Abcoude, Utrecht) and is about 14-15 kilometers long. The route is 85% paved and goes mainly over car-free asphalt roads. The hiking trail is signposted with blue arrows and is part of the Waterline path.
Tip: walk this route on a weekday, so you will encounter fewer cyclists. Then it’s nice and quiet, while you’re still close to Amsterdam.
Special features of the hike:
- Typical Dutch landscape: dikes, rivers, windmills, meadows
- Defence Line of Amsterdam: Unesco World Heritage Site
- Fort Nigtevecht
- Fortress town of Weesp
Hiking route from Abcoude to Weesp:
NS Railway station Abcoude – the White Lady
From NS Railway station Abcoude you head northwest on Stationsplein toward Stationsstraat. At the end of this street you see the hotel-restaurant de Witte Dame (White Lady).
The hotel-restaurant de Witte Dame is located in the former station building of Abcoude, dating from 1871. It’s a great place to drink some coffee and eat apple pie. Be sure to take a look at the particularly tasteful interior.
The White Lady – Fort Nigtevecht
After the pitstop you walk for about 2.2 kilometers along the reed-covered banks of the river Gein. I hiked this trail in February and saw plenty of people ice skating on the idyllic river. It was fun to see.
In summer you probably see many birds and boats passing by the river. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful country houses along the road. You will also cross a typical Dutch windmill. After 2.2 kilometers you turn right onto Velterslaan and after 1 kilometer you turn left and enter a grass path to continue your way to Fort Nigtevecht.
After a short walk you arrive at Fort Nigtevecht, which is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam. In times of war, the land around Amsterdam could be flooded. Fortresses and batteries were used to keep the enemy under fire. Until the 20th century, the Defence Line of Amsterdam (in Dutch; Stelling van Amsterdam) was intended to keep intruders away from the capital. This old line of defense is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Fort Nigtevecht had to protect the Merwedekanaal (now Amsterdam-Rhine Canal), the Vecht and the locks from the enemy. The fort is now used as a resting and memorial place and is beautifully hidden in the greenery.
Fort Nigtevecht – Bridge of the Line
After passing Fort Nigtevecht, you turn right onto Kanaaldijk West and walk along the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal. You will have a beautiful view over the wide canal. A little further on you’ll cross the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal via a spectacular foot and bike bridge (Bridge of Line, in Dutch; Liniebrug).
Bridge of the Line – Nigtevecht
After crossing the canal, you turn right and then left onto Vreelandseweg. Walk towards the drawbridge and turn right onto kanaaldijk oost. You now arrive at Nigtevecht, a quiet village with a small marina, a drawbridge and an old village church.
In nigtevecht you walk past beautiful monumental houses, the 16th century village church and (closed) catering establishments. You will also pass the second idyllic river of this route: De Vecht.
Nigtevecht – Fort Hinderdam – Weesp
Continue your hike via the Klompweg and walk for about 2.2 kilometers along the banks of the river Vecht.
Fort Hinderdam – Aetsveldsche Polder – Weesp (14 km)
At Fort Hinderdam you can turn left and walk via the centuries old Aetsveldsche Polder towards the cosy centre of Weesp. The Aetsveldsche Polder will crackle beneath your feet while you look out over wide, flower-filled grasslands to the skyline of Weesp.
Nigtevecht – Aetsveldsche Polder – Weesp (15 km)
At Fort Hinderdam you can also decide to continue your hike along the river Vecht to Weesp. This will be around 1 kilometer longer, but a fantastic route along the river banks.
At the end of the Klompweg you will see a roundabout and continue your way to the Lage Klompweg. After 500 meters you turn left onto the Utrechtseweg and walk along the River Vecht towards the cosy centre of Weesp. Along the way you spot some more windmills and cheerfully colored wooden houses.
Weesp: from dyke village to fortified town
The inner city of Weesp is beautiful. It originated as a village on the banks of the river Vecht and grew into a real fortress town. In Weesp you find beautiful canals, historic buildings, an impressive fortress and cozy churches.
From Weesp you can easily take the train back to Abcoude. Of course you can also decide to stay overnight in this beautiful town.
Accommodation in Weesp
Weesp isn’t that far from the center of Amsterdam and is a great place to stay overnight. Even Though it’s near Amsterdam, please note that it’s difficult to get public transit during the overnight hours to Amsterdam.
In the historic city centre of Weesp you can find the hotel ‘Het Hart van Weesp’. The rooms have a private bathroom and are cosy in style. Another option is to stay just outside the city centre at ‘Boerenhofstede de Overhorn’, a renovated farm from 1886 situated in a tranquil countryside location next to the Vecht River. A beautiful summer house and definitely my favourite!
I hope this hike from Abcoude to Weesp, across the picturesque landscape and two rivers Gein and Vecht, will stay with you for a while. Enjoy!
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