A tour through open fields around Zoetermeer and Alphen aan de Rijn (99km)

by Daniela
Open Fields tour with track
Today we are going for a tour of about 100km through an area with lots of open fields and less water than usual. We start in Hoogmade and cycle around Zoetermeer and Alphen aan de Rijn. You also see lots of cows, sheep, swans, and horses. The complete tour takes place in Zuid-Holland.
GPX file: 5_CH&b_99km
All practical information is at the end of this post.

Parking and starting point for the open fields tour

The starting point of today’s tour is in Hoogmade. It’s a little village in South Holland, and the parking is located outside the town.

Open Fields Tour parking in Hoogmade

Let's start the tour

You leave in the western direction from the parking to circle around Zoetermeer first.

Around Zoetermeer

It just takes a few hundred meters to enter the first paths through open fields. You see windmills and already the first animals. You pass by a large horse farm and continue the trail for 6 km.

Zoetermeer mills in open fields
Zoetermeer 98 km open fields
open fields with ducks
In the small village of Kouderkerk aan den Rijn you cross the river Oude Rijn. From the Rijndijk, you make a left turn after 9 km to enter another narrow path that could be easily overlooked.
You might wonder whether you are allowed to enter it, as there is a gate. But no worries, this is a common thing in The Netherlands. The gate helps prevent cows or sheep from escaping onto the streets. These gates are closed but not locked. Just make sure it closes after you pass through.
narrow path to pen fields in Zoetermeer

Zoetermeers' attraction

You continue through the open field on tranquil little paths. From afar, you can already see Zoetermeer.
And you see the major attraction of the city. The indoor skiing hall is called SnowWorld Zoetermeer. You pass by very closely at km 22 (while in the Buytenpark). Closer than my picture below.
From here, you cycle through another park, the Westerpark, before you underpass the highway A12.
When arriving in Pijnacker (km 30), you can make a detour of 1.2km to a water dispenser. If you don’t need it, just continue straight. However, consider that the next dispenser is still about 25km away.
Keep cycling on these small roads through the open field before you underpass the A12 once again.
At km 45, you arrive in the tiny village of Moerkapelle, which you only pass through to get to the next 10 km of open fields.

Continue the tour around Alphen aan de Rijn

At km 57, you pass through Boskoop. This is a bit of a larger town, and you can fill up your water bottles at a square in the center. The GPX leads you there with a 100m detour.

After passing the large bridge of Boskoop, it gets quiet again. You cycle along the river you just crossed.

Zoetermeer on way to open fields

You continue on small streets to get to Bodegraven, which you quickly pass through.

passing through villages

Leaving the open fields for a while

After km 70, you leave the open fields for a while to cycle along the river Meije. I like this road a lot, as it leads you along nice houses and the little river. It is a winding and tranquil street. Many benches to rest are situated along this street. However, it can get crowded during the weekends.
There is another water dispenser located at Meije after about 73 km.
Open fields and rivers around Aplhen

You do not ride the complete Meije but turn left at the water tower to enter a tiny path. The left turn is easily overlooked. But if you keep looking out for the tower, this is the point to turn.

Watertower to look out for

The last 15 km of the tour

You cross a lake while cycling on that narrow path.
After this, you enter open fields again. At km 85, you cycle through Ter Aar, which is a starting point of one of my other tours (Taking the backroads south to river Lek 110km).
At km 88, a dispenser is located on the right-hand side right before you make a left turn.
After this left turn, you again enter a quiet area with lovely views of a river and open fields.

At km 95, you pass through Woubrugge, and you can enjoy the remaining km of the tour. These km lead you through a nature area and the lake Wijde Aa. If the weather is good, you see some boats on the lake.

De Wijde Aa harbour
Overlook the lake close to finish of open field tour

After exiting the path over a small bridge, you turn right. 200m later, you arrive at the parking lot.

Practical Information for open fields tour

Parking: outside Hoogmade (address: N446, Hoogmade), below is a screenshot (source: Google Maps), as the parking does not have a specific address to put in your gps. It is the one labeled “Parkeerplaats” with the red marker.

Water dispenser: Pijnakker (km 30), Boskoop (km 55), Meije (km72),  outside of Ter Aar (km 88 at the bridge)

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