For TTP (Tourist Transfer Point) trails, I create smaller blog versions, similar to Wooden shoes trails. Trail information is easy to find and clear enough. A hiking map is not needed to accompany the blog. The trails are sometimes a bit outdated, but because you follow numbers from the hiking network, very doable.
This time, I’m hiking the Zaanse Rietveld trail near TTP Hazerswoude in the Netherlands.
Unfortunately, the TTP trail network website appears to have been down for a while. My hope is for a revamp of the website and not that this is the end of this informative site.
TTP stands for Tourist Transfer Point and these are found throughout the Netherlands. At these points there is often an information panel with information about the region and trails you can hike, cycle or even canoe using the trail network. There are also often nearby parking spaces, charging points for electric bikes or possibly a restaurant to grab a bite or drink.
These blogs are about the TTPs located in Zuid-Holland and West Utrecht region, or the Green Heart and Dutch Delta for short. You will recognise these TTPs by the Great Green Grass blade (I think it sounds nicer than just grass blade 😄).
The starting point of the Zaanse Rietveld trails is at TOP Hazerswoude next to activity farm Jeu de Boer, but this is difficult to reach by public transport. The trail passes through Alphen aan den Rijn for a bit and let this town have a train station. The Zaanse Rietveld trail is 15.7 km long. Mine is about 17 km on the counter, because I had to make a detour (see below further in the story).
So I start from Alphen aan den Rijn and through a chain of parks and green areas I walk out of Alphen. I soon reach a nice little path called Kruiskade. This path is nothing like the colourful street in Rotterdam, but I like it just as much. Via this path and a bit on the paved road, I reach a nature reserve with the eerily named Spookverlaat (Spooky water passage).
Other trail guide about the Green Heart region
At Spookverlaat nature reserve is a bird-watching hut overlooking a pool. As always, there are few birds to be seen, but the view is beautiful! I then walk a long stretch straight ahead to the TTP info panel and Great Green Grass blade. After a short break, I can go back along the long road again to find out that part of the trail is closed due to the nesting season. This was not in the trail description. Once again, I have to walk halfway along the long road before turning left at the Oostvaart canal.
Via a detour, I walk back towards the right trail, encountering the beautiful windmill Blauwe Wip or Geremolen along the way. I also walk past many greenhouses and tree plantations. Further on, the Rietveld windmill comes into view. With the blue sky and water lilies in the canal, this gives a beautiful Dutch picture. I take a 360-degree video of this beautiful postcard.
Then I walk past more tree plantations. A yellow wagtail flies 360 degrees around me. After a long stretch on paved roads, it is finally time for an unpaved path: the Spijkerboorsekade. Along the way I see many mute swans, usually in a pairs with or without young. Not much later, I reach the Zaanse Rietveld nature reserve, the namesake of this trail. This is a shell path where cyclists are also allowed, so I occasionally move to the roadside to let a cyclist pass.
From hiking I got hungry and I saw on Google maps that there is a McDonalds nearby on the outskirts of Alphen aan den Rijn. Unfortunately, the McDonalds turns out to be undergoing extensive renovation and is therefore closed. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as I had already put together quite a menu by now 😂. Via another park in Alphen, I reach my starting point at the railway station, where I buy some ice cream at the kiosk instead.
What a super hike through the polder! The trail is very varied with ponds and canals, nice unpaved paths and lots of tree plantations. Pity about the closed section because of the nesting season.
Tip: from TTP Hazerswoude there are more trails to hike, such as the West and Oostvaart trails and just a little further from the TTP the Hondsdijk trail.
More info:Trails: Zaanse Rietveld trails from TTP Hazerswoude
Where: Hazerswoude-Rijndijk or Hazerswoude-Dorp, Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 15,5 (in the nesting season 17 km because of a detour)
Hiking date: 3 June 2022
Materials used in illustration: sketch with graphite pencil
Because the link to the online trail is not working now, I have posted a photo below with the map at TTP Hazerswoude. The Zaanse Rietveld trail can be followed using the hiking network via the numbers from TTP Hazerswoude: 68 – 62 – 66 – 67 – 43 – 42 – 77 – 63 – 61 – 18 – 51 – 53 – 85 – 86 – 66 – 62 – 68. Please note that during the nesting season, the path between nos. 66, 62 and 68 is closed.
I myself hiked the trail in the opposite direction and my starting point was at Alphen aan den Rijn station, trail number 42.
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More hikes with Dutch views
What could be more Dutch than a windmill, or perhaps a lot of them? In the hikes below, windmills take the lead role (with or without a beautiful sunrise):
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