TOUR 7: Houtrak

 This tour leads through Amsterdam's western harbour area and the Houtrak Polder where the village Ruigoord lies. The turning point is at the Spaarnwoude recreational area near the Noordzee-kanaal. You thus may combine it with tour 4 (Spaarnwoude). A map is to be provided.

NOTE: I have named the "Spaarnwoude-Houtrak" recreational area within the Houtrak polder "Houtrak recreational area" and termed the larger recreational area (see tour 4) lying near the Noordzee kanaal "Spaarnwoude recreational area". To make things worse there is also a village named Spaarnwoude under Spaarndam (situated near the Spaarne river !), but the tour does not lead through there. Confused ? Just follow the directions and you'll be OK.

35 km.

Asphalt Rating
 5-9. Overall the asphalt is good. The rougher (but not extremely) parts are:
 1) the country road from the Houtrak recreational area to the turning point at the bridge near the Spaarnwoude recreational area,
 2) the bicycle path along the N202 on the way back.

 We encountered two snackbars: in the Houtrak recreational area (after 10 km) and at the turning point opposite the ferry (after 19 km).

Getting There
By car: not recommended (meter area), except on sundays.
By bus: line 22 stops near the entrance of the Westerpark
By tram: line 10; take the stop "Van Limburgstierum Plein" and skeel to the Westerpark (few 100 meters; direction Haarlemmerweg; cross it and the bridge over the canal (Haarlemmervaart).
By train: you may start the tour also at the Sloterdijk railway station

The Route
0 km (Westerpark):
Start from the bike path running through the northern side of the Westerpark. Watch out for the steel grating (veeroosters) at all of the park entrances. Take the path westwards, until it ends at some tram tracks and the Haarlemmerweg.
Continue west, crossing the short patch of brick paving under the A10 freeway.

Take the first right, along the facade of the "Belastingdienst" building, and then the second left onto the Teleportboulevard. The ramp takes you up to the level of the main entrance of Sloterdijk train station.

Continue west over the tram tracks and cross down to the Naritaweg.

At the end of the Naritaweg, turn left. The first bicycle path westward is the Brettenpad.

5 km (Brettenpad):
Follow this path as it winds its way over the landfill.

When the Brettenpad surfaces on the southwestern side of the Australiehavenweg, turn left.

Soon you see a bike path at your left through a field. Don't take it. The asphalt becomes rough after a few hundred meters. Instead, take the next road left through the industrial zone. Follow the asphalt as it zig zags west and north. The final stretch west as you leave the buildings behind is the Aberdaan.

Cross the short patch of brick paving where the Aberdaan ends. Just as you pass the water pumping installation, take the clay coloured bicycle path that veers to the right. Follow it to Spaarnwoude Houtrak.

10 km (Houtrak Recreational Area):
Turn right, following the sign "Houtrak + Ruigoord 2" (Zuiderweg). From here on a series of "mushroom-signs" (ANWB paddestoelen) leads you through the recreational area and further through the Houtrak Polder up to the turning point at the Spaarnwoude recreational area. Each mushroom has a number on top.

 Mushroom #24099: follow "Spaarndam 5.9"

 Mushroom #??: follow "Spaarndam 4.9"

 Mushroom #24111: follow "Spaarndam 4.2"

 Mushroom #24114: follow "Spaarnwoude 3.2"; cross the road near the farm called "Cravenstein"

 Mushroom #24354: follow "Spaarnwoude 2.7"

 Mushroom #24807 at 3-cross (driesprong): follow "Ruigoord 1 + IJmuiden 13" (right)

 Mushroom #24100 at 3-cross (driesprong): follow "Werdhofbos 2,9"

 Mushrooms #24101 and #24102: follow "Werdhofbos 2,9"; turn left at Noorderweg.

The country road leads to a road along a canal (Zijkanaal C). Cross the road and turn right (direction Buitenhuizen) taking the bicycle path alongside it going towards the bridge you should see ahead.

19 km (Turning Point; Spaarnwoude Recreational Area):
When crossed under the bridge you should see stairs directly left of you. When you want to go to the Spaarnwoude recreational area you should climb these and take the road immediately right. For our tour we don't take the stairs but go along with the same road (turning slowly right) towards the ferry and the snackbar. At the snackbar turn left taking the bike path alongside (at the left of) the provincial road (N202). The asphalt/concrete bike path is somewhat rough but doable. Keep following the bike path for 6 km. Just when you have passed gastanks at your left there is a road (Heining) to the right (at the other side of the N202) with a sign saying "Spaarnwoude".

25 km (Groote IJpolder):
Turn right crossing the N202 in the direction of Spaarnwoude/Heining. After a few meters the road goes left along some shacks with used cars. It's a bit gloomy here. You will hear and see some watchdogs. After a few hundred meters you will reach the red clay bike path over which you came earlier (Wethouder van Essenweg). You will pass the water-pumping station again. From here on just follow the same road back up to the Westerpark.

 From the pumping-station go straight until you reach Aberdaan. Follow Aberdaan and Vaalmuiden. Turn right at the Australiehavenweg. Take the winding Brettenpad again (left from the Australiehavenweg). At the end of the Brettenpath at the Seineweg turn left and go along until you reach the Naritaweg again.

30 km (Naritaweg):
Follow the Naritaweg until you reach the Teleportboulevard. Pass under the railroads. Follow the bike path (direction Amsterdam Center) until you are back at the Westerpark again.

35 km (Westerpark):
you've made it !

Alice C.P Gee has provided the route for the Westerpark up to the Houtrak recreational area as part of the Amsterdam Skeeler Exit Routes .

Last modified: July 6, 1997 22:00