Medemblik historical centre, along the Ijsselmeer shore and through the polder (Grote Vliet nature area) – March 2018
This Groene Wissel trail is a nice combination of the old historical centre and picturesque harbour of Medemblik, the shore with views over the Ijsselmeer followed by the Grote Vliet area which is a bird’s paradise. The last part of the trail (several kilometers) were less interesting since it followed a broader asphalt road and a not so appealing neighborhood of Medemblik. I think you can combine this hike very well with lots of fun additional activities, e.g. going with the Steam tram, enjoying a drink on a terrace in picturesque Medemblik, play minigolf in Medemblik or pay a visit to the Steam Engine Museum and Castle Radboud. Overall we enjoyed the hike.
The trail starts at the Steamtram station and first goes through the historical part of Medemblik. This little town dates back from before the middle ages and there are a lot of houses with old facades. The route continues through the harbour with its small private yachts.
Just before the trail turns to the Ijselmeer shore, it goes through the Koningin Emmapark which is the home of a couple of lamas.
At the time of our hike there, it was freezing cold with a very strong wind. Although the weather didnot feel very comfortable, it created stunning icicles along the shore.
Some parts of the dike were very icy, however, alternatively you can go through the park or the grass next to it if it is too slippery. There were a lot of seabirds that could be watched from the shore. During summertime, in some spots along the shore, swimming is possible and you can even sunbath on the little beach. However, at the time we were there, only people wearing extremely warm clothes dared to hike along the shore.
Almost halfway you enter the village Onderdijk where you can have a break for a simple lunch or a drink in Cafe Restaurant De Welkomst. We enjoyed our lunch there and we were very pleased with the friendliness of the lady who worked there.
After Onderdijk, the trail enters the nature area of the Grote Vliet. In case you like birding you definitely should bring a camera with telelens or binoculars since this will be generously rewarded. I only brought my small camera which had battery difficulties because of the cold so it was hard to take pictures anyway.
After the nature area, the hike becomes less interesting but still has some nice spots like the old windmill on the Brakeweg. The hike ends in Medemblik with its nice harbour and picturesque houses of the old city centre. There, in summertime, it can be very lively with lots of terraces, a perfect end to this hike.
Start and Finish: Medemblik, steamtrain railway station
Type: circular route
Length: 14 km
Terrain: sand path and asphalt, flat
How to get there? By car: you can park your car next to the steamtram station. Alternatively, if this spot is full, there is free parking on the road outside the historical center and then you might need to walk at maximum a couple of hundred of meters to the start. Public transport: Near the Steamtram station, the busstation is located. Different busses (numbers 139, 239, 415) come from Hoorn which has a trainstation. You can also get there by steamtram coming from Hoorn or take the ferry from Enkhuizen (see links further below)
Restaurants underway? Yes, close to the starting/finish point in Medemblik and halfway in Onderdijk.
Additional activities underway:
– Steamtram: an old steam tram runs from Hoorn to Medemblik and vice versa. This tram runs from april until november. www.stoomtram.nl/en
– Ferry Enkhuizen-Medemblik: an authentic ferry runs between Enkhuizen and Medemblik and can be well combined with a ride in the old steamtram. The ferry usually runs from april until november. www.mstplanner.nl
– Minigolf in Medemblik: next to restaurant Koekenbier in Koningin Emmapark in Medemblik. www.grill-restaurant-koekenbier.nl/midgetgolf/
– Castle Radboud: for a drink / lunch or an exhibition about the middle ages. At the time of our hike it was closed for renovation activities but it should reopen again in Spring 2018. www.kasteelradboud.nlwww.kasteelradboud.nl
– Steam engine museum: here you can learn all about steam engines and watch it working. www.stoommachinemuseum.nl/english/