Story poles – Theme Water
There are four story poles along this cycling route through Haarlemmermeer that each tell a different story about the fight against the water. Scan the QR code on the pole and be surprised. This route takes you from the historic Cruquius steam pumping station, now a museum of the same name, via Fort Vijfhuizen and the MH17 monument, the former Floriade site with Big Spotters Hill, Fort of Hoofddorp and the Polderbaan to all kinds of famous places in the municipality. Do you want to know where you can rent a bicycle? Have a look here.
The start of this tour is at Museum Cruquius, one of the three pumping stations that drained the Haarlemmermeer. This was necessary because the lake kept flooding pieces of land, like a true water wolf. The impressive steam engine was a showpiece at the time. A museum visit shows how it is still used today. In the adjacent tea house, you can treat yourself to a delicious bite before the start of your bike ride. Choose a sandwich or coffee with cake and then hit the road.
1 Fort Vijfhuizen
Cycle along the Ringvaart canal towards Vijfhuizen. Several houseboats and the modern Willem I pumping station lie on the water here. These pumping stations still ensure dry feet in the polder. You will arrive at Fort bij Vijfhuizen. This fortress has been repurposed as a restaurant and exhibition space for visual arts, making it a perfect stop on your cycling route. It is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam, just like the other forts in the municipality. Next, follow the Liniepad that changes into the Geniedijk in the direction of Hoofddorp.
2 Big Spotters Hill
You pass the former Floriade site that is now known as recreational area Haarlemmermeerse Bos. Big Spotters Hill is a lookout point that survived after the horticultural exhibition. In order to increase your heart rate, you can even cycle uphill! As you travel along the Geniedijk, you will reach Fort of Hoofddorp and Molen de Eersteling. This fort is now an open-air theatre, exhibition space and houses the Fort NOXX restaurant. Along the way you will come across two story poles. Story pole 1 LINE tells you more about the first train lines and story pole 2 DIVE about the Dr. Nanningabad. By the way, did you know that Molen de Eersteling used to be in a different place and was moved?
3 Hoofdvaart en Polderbaan
Follow the Hoofdvaart and turn left. As you pass through Hoofddorp, you can find plenty of restaurants for refreshments. You will follow the canal that connects the Ringvaart on the north and south sides for 6 kilometers. You can cycle on two sides of the water. As soon as you leave the city, Schiphol Airport will appear on the horizon. On the left is the Polderbaan with its own airport tower. Go under the taxiway and under highway A9. If you cycle on the east side, you can even spot planes at the Zwanenburgbaan.
4 Lijnden en Boesingheliede
Continue your route to Lijnden on the Hoofdweg, still parallel to the Hoofdvaart. In Lijnden, turn left onto Schipholweg, but cross first. The first Catholic church of the municipality, St. Francis of Sales Church, is located at this intersection. Be sure to get off your bike for a photo. Story pole 9 VILLAGE on Schipholweg at number 695 tells you all about the village of Nieuwerkerk. The village was submerged three times in the Haarlemmermeer. Next, continue your route. At Spottersplek Boesingheliede you will find story pole 12 SLAG. Here you can learn about the naval battle between the Spanish and the Beggars. From bicycle junction 51 you can follow the route to Vijfhuizen.
5 Duck decoy and MH17 monument
On the Kromme Spiering near house number 359 you will find story pole 8 DUCK. This is the story of the historic duck decoy, which is a unique natural monument in the municipality. As a peninsula in the Haarlemmermeer, this piece of polder is old land that was not reclaimed. Then be sure to dismount for a moment of peace and respect for the victims of the MH17 plane crash. The National Monument is located in Vijfhuizen. For a drink and a bite, you can turn left to the Graanpakhuis.
End of the route
Just 3 kilometers remain until you reach the starting point again. Via the Spieringweg you will pass the Herdenkingsbos, which was built in remembrance for the victims of the plane crash, and the golf course of the Haarlemmermeersche Golf Club. At the Kruisweg, turn right again and you are back at the place of departure.