My plan was to hike from Schiedam to Terbregge, Rotterdam, but during my hike I changed my mind. This is the report of my hike on the Great Rivers trail from Schiedam to the Kleiweg, Rotterdam (part of Variant A Rottemeren). Recently I also bought the booklet of the Great Rivers trail. This is a lot easier to take along than a stack of printed A4s.

Hiking map Schiedam - Kleiweg, Rotterdam
Hiking map Schiedam – Kleiweg, Rotterdam

I start at the point where I stopped last time: at the northern edge of Schiedam, the end (now the beginning) of the long cycle path of last time. I now turn right into a cycle path with rows of tall trees on the horizon. I don’t see any red-and-white markings, but I just continue on the cycle path. When the cycle path bends to the right, I can walk on a footpath. Still no markings. I take a look in the booklet. I think I’m going in the right direction, but I’m not entirely sure. There are several footpaths in this area. I keep following the edge of Schiedam, then at least I should go the right way.


Kerkbuurt at Schiedam

According to the booklet, I have to walk parallel to the train track and then end up on the other side of the track. The next road at a T-junction is the train track crossing, but there is a sign about construction work and I cannot get through. So I turn right. I walk past a riding school and an old brick house and at some point I pass the Sint Jacobus de Meerdere-church.

I’m going the wrong way after all, in the booklet the trail goes along the Kerkbuurt (Church quarter), but not actually along a church. I do walk parallel to the trail the whole time. I decide to turn left and walk towards the trail. I end up at a railway bridge and can walk underneath it on a boardwalk. At the next bridge over the Poldervaart I finally end up on the trail.

Illustration railway bridge
Illustration railway bridge

The trail now follows the Broekkade which becomes the Polderweg eventually. There are houses on the left-hand side and water on the right-hand side. A pair of swans with young are standing by the water. I walk around it with a big curve and take some pictures at a (one and a half meter 🙂 ) distance.

Various beautiful flowers, in all kinds of colours, grow at the waterside. Young ducklings and coots swim in the water. It is surprising that such a quiet country road lies just North from Rotterdam and that you don’t notice much of the city.


Overschie

At the end of the Polderweg I go for a while across the industrial area of the Spaanse Polder and end up at the Hoge brug of Overschie. The Grote Kerk of Overschie is also visible in the background.

Illustration of the Hoge brug and the Grote kerk at Overschie
Illustration Hoge brug and Grote kerk at Overschie
The current Grote Kerk Overschie dates from 1901. I have made an illustration of this church, with the Hoge brug in the foreground. The Grote Kerk existed for a long time, even before the current one, the previous church was burned down by lightning. This church was immortalized by Johan Barthold Jongkind (of whom I came across a statue in my previous hike) in a number of paintings.
Overschie bij maneschijn
Source: Wikipedia

I continue my way through the old part of Overschie, and where the Rotterdamse Schie starts I turn right. I’ve been in this part before, so from here on I don’t see any new things. I do take a picture of various colours of water lilies. After the underpass of the A13 highway I rest for a while on a bench.


Zestienhoven park

After my break I walk along the edge of Zestienhoven park. Zestienhoven district is one of the newest districts of Rotterdam, with parts still under construction. The new residential area has already grown quite a bit. The high-speed railway line also runs under the district. This has been nicely resolved by creating a park with bridges over it. On the right hand side I come across the mill called de Speelman.

I finally arrive at the Kleiweg in Rotterdam near the Sint Franciscus Gasthuis. I decide to stop and walk home. Luckily I live not far from here.


Final thoughts

The start of the trail was a bit of a search, but all in all it was an excellent hiking trail with more greenery than you’d expect. The best part was the Broekkade and the old part of Overschie.

Trail: section 18 Long distance trail 6 Great rivers trail, Variant A via Rottemeren.
Where: from Schiedam to Kleiweg, Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland in The Netherlands
No. of km: +/- 12 km
Hiking date: 21 june 2020
Materials used for illustration: watercolour pencils (map) and coloured pencils (rest)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Trail booklet:

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