ABCOUDE - WEESP (13,2 KM)
The Dutch landscape is characterised by defence lines that stretch along the waterline. The Waterliniepad is a special route that takes you along two former defence lines: the Stelling van Amsterdam and the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie. This long distance path runs from Edam to Muiden on the former Zuiderzee to Werkendam at the Biesbosch. You will walk alternately through nature that is steeped in history. Forts, bunkers, floodgates, dikes and canals tell the story of water as an ally in the defence of the Netherlands.
The eighth leg of the Waterlinie trail starts at the Abcoude train station from where you can see the Fort of Abcoude right along the railway line. From here, you start your walk along the banks of the small river Gein, where several monumental farms await you.
On to Nigtevecht
The Gein is a narrow meandering river whose banks you’ll follow during this hike. After a while you’ll leave its banks and in the distance you’ll see the fortress near Nigtevecht. A concrete barracks built in 1892, offering protection to some 300 soldiers. This fort is part of a 135 km line of defence consisting of forts, dikes, floodgates and batteries called ‘de stelling van Amsterdam’. This line is now part of the Unesco World Heritage List and was once built to protect Amsterdam. The fortress is hidden between the greenery at the edge of the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal (Canal) on a quiet road. The condition of the structure is impressive, as is its size. During the walk, it’s a nice place to discover the inside or to take a break.
Through the meadows to Weesp
From the fortress you walk along the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal, which you cross via the bicycle bridge. On the other side of the canal lies the picturesque village of Nigtevecht, along the river Vecht. Again you follow a meandering path along the river where you will find large country houses and classical farmhouses. Suddenly you turn left into the meadows towards Weesp. In the distance you can already see this fortified town. Slowly you get closer and you see the contours of the older houses in the centre of this town.
The walk ends at the foot of the Tower Fortress at the edge of the old town centre. This fascinating circular structure stands on a small island in the river and is characterised by its round shape. This made it easy to see the enemy from all sides. The tower fort also marks the end of this stage of the Waterliniepad.