Taking the backroads south to river Lek (110km)

by Daniela
The backroads to river Lek

Today’s tour lead you along backroads through a green and water-rich environment south to river Lek. You even cross a ‘Quiet Area’.
After a ride on the dike of river Lek, you head back to the starting point, Ter Aar. You pass through the provinces of Utrecht and Zuid-Holland.

GPX File: 2_CH&B_110km

You find all practical information at the end of this post.

Lek, backroads with GPX

Let's start the tour

The starting point is the parking at the sports park in Ter Aar in South Holland. It is located in a residential area.

The parking of the tour start of river Lek

Heading South to River Lek

Starting at the Ter Aar Sports Park you cycle a couple of hundred meters to reach the main street. Here you make a right turn leading you south.

You pass the outer, tranquil area of Alphen aan de Rijn and ride along the river Oude Rijn for 2 km.

Further down that road, about 8km after your start, you find the ‘De Dikke Molen’ on the left hand. It is a (renovated) windmill from 1674. Up to 1929, it was in production. Today it is privately owned and cannot be visited but admired from the street.

De Dikke Molen on the backroads to river Lek

The tour continues following quiet backroads before you underpass the highway A12 and come to Reeuwijk at km20. The artistic roundabout welcomes you.

Entrance of Reeuwijk

However, you do not pass the town but take the outer road for 1km to enter a so-called ‘Stiltegebied’. This is a ‘Quiet Area’ where no loud noises are allowed. It’s a nature area with lots of water, bushes, and trees. And many birds call it their home. The roads are very narrow, and it feels very peaceful to ride through. You follow these roads for about 5km.

At the end of this area is the first water dispenser. You find it at a crossroad of the cycling path with some benches around.

Stiltegebied leading to river Lek
The backroads to river Lek

At km 30, you pass through the little village of Hekendorp. If you want a little break, there is a nice café under trees in the shadow, and usually, it is not very crowded.

After a ride on a dike, you arrive in Haastrecht. You pass a bridge which offers a nice view. Right after the bridge there is a water dispenser on the left side.

A short ride on another dike to the river Lek
A nice little bridge on the Lek Tour

You go straight down south from here, following a very quiet road along the small river Vlist. After 15km, you arrive in Schoonhoven (km 45 of the tour).

Once you pass through an ancient city gate, you reach the waterfront. You arrive at the ferry station of Schoonhoven. There are cafés to take a rest if you like.

The ferry port in Schoonhoven at the river Lek

The ferries cross the river Lek. Lek is one of the larger rivers in the Netherlands. You will most likely spot larger transporter ships going in the direction of Rotterdam (or vice versa).

You leave Schoonhoven and reach the dike of Lek.

Once on the dike, you stay there for 13km. The dike takes you in eastern direction. The river Lek marks the border between the provinces of Utrecht and South Holland.

Depending on the wind direction, this 13 km are a nice challenge.
Whether you take up the challenge and go for a little time trial session or decide to take it in a more leisure fashion – either way, enjoy the ride and the view.

Heading back from river Lek

At the end of the 13 km you turn left. By then, you have already finished more than half of the tour.

After 72 km, you arrive in the village of Oudewater. I always find this village to be a phenomenon. While all other towns you’ve already passed through are never really crowded, this one is different. The city center is old, and you can see some ancient, cute houses. Sometimes, it reminds you a bit about a medieval village, with its houses that have bent facades. 
But there are also many cafés and restaurants in the city center with a small river in the middle. And no matter which day of the week you cycle through, it is always bustling. The cafés are always full. It is definitely a good place for a rest, if you want one.

In Oudewater is the next water tap. This one is really artistic. There is a good chance that you just miss it.

Oudewater city center
Oudewater ancient houses
Oudewater city center

Leaving Oudewater, the tour retakes you along a canal and becomes very peaceful with narrow cycling paths through nature.

Peaceful environment outside of Oudewater

Once you pass underneath the highway A12 at km 80, you enter the only part of our tour that isn’t really green or tranquil. You need to pass through Woerden. It’s a busy area. Of course, you can avoid Woerden. However, this would be quite a detour and honestly not worth it, as the cycling paths are excellent. These 2 km are not really an issue to cycle.

Between Woerden and Woerdense Verlaat, you need to take the cycling path next to the road. But no worries, these paths are also in perfect condition.
In the middle, you arrive in Zegveld (km 88), the last option to fill up your water bottles. The gpx track leads you there, but if you don’t need it, you can save 600m.

In Woerdense Verlaat, you enter a little street with the sign ‘Dead End Road’, but no worries, just enter it. At the end of the road is a pedestrian bridge that you need to take.

Pedestrian bridge in Woerdense Verlaat

Right after Woerdense Verlaat, it gets very quiet gain, and you can enjoy the remaining 18 km of the tour.

Almost back from Lek
The quiet roads back from Lek

Practical Information

Parking: Ter Aar Sport Park (Adress: Argonnestraat 51, 2461XE Ter Aar)

Water Dispenser: In Stiltegebied (km25 right at a bridge), Haasdrecht (33km), Schoonhoven (km45), Oudewater (km75), Zegveld (km86)

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