Gravel – Antitankgracht (anti-tank canal)

This fabolous gravelride starts in Baarle-Hertog (B) / Baarle-Nassau (NL) this unique village is worldwide known because it’s part Belgium and part Dutch. Some of the shops and houses litteraly are located part in Belgium and part in The Netherlands.

Dutch – Belgium border straight through the front door

There are 22 Baarle-Hertog exclaves in Baarle-Nassau and 8 Baarle-Nassau exclaves in Baarle-Hertog. A number of these Dutch exclaves form enclaves within the Belgian enclaves in the Netherlands. This makes you see the border everywhere you look, and before you even realise you’ve crossed it several times.

From here it takes you all the way to the Antitankgracht (anti-tank canal). This canal was constructed between 1937 and 1939 with the intention of stopping enemy (German) tanks and other rolling stock before they could reach Antwerp.[1] The anti-tank ditch played no significant role in Fall Gelb (the Eighteen Days Campaign). In the meantime, the Antitankgracht has evolved into a large nature connection area, connecting various nature reserves and forests and enabling the migration of animals and plants between those areas.

You will cross several beautiful gravel sections, and experience Antwerps best!

You must be hungry when you return. Be sure to visit restaurant La Pergola, probably one of the best Italian (Sardinia) restaurants in the Benelux!

BKRS Unbound (NL)

In the province “North-Holland” in The Netherlands, you can’t find much gravel. But this route is really worth the ride and became one of my favorite gravel rides in The Netherlands. Beautiful coast sceneries and some endless perfect gravel roads is what to expect. You even ride along the “Waddenzee” which is on the Unesco World Heritage List!

The route starts at the local bikeshop, Beukers Bike Centre, of a wonderful little village, Petten. When you have some spare time this bikeshop is really worth a visit!

First your ride takes you through the dunes of Sint Maartenszee to Callantsoog, the oldest coastal town of the Netherlands. From there you go on through the famous Dark Dunes, where you find endless flowing turns through this breathtaking coastal landscape. Next lake Amstel is awaiting you, where you find some really nice hidden gravel lanes.

Need I say more?!

When you leave the coastal area, no worries! From there you’ll find yourself in typical “Noord-Hollandsch” landscapes, and you will string together the typical North Holland villages. Back in the west, you ride on through Schoorl, and the unique nature along the Hondsbossche Zeewering, which was caused by a dike breach and the brackish water that resulted from this.

Looking for a coffee- / lunchstop, I can recommend along the old railroad in Opperdoes, run by a German, also a cyclist, who bakes the best Dutch Pancakes! But you can also visit the old windmill in Medemblik which serves some nice sandwiches, apple pie and coffee. It’s run by all volunteers. With the profit they maintain the historic windmill!

Download the gpx below and check out the pics to see what to expect!

Looking for some more backroad fun☼ in North-Holland? Check out his cool collectie from local hero Henk:

Beukers Bike Centre is where the BKRS Unbound starts
Nice countrygravel near lake Amstel
Move over Shaun!
Tropical atmosphere in North Holland
Dutch skyline
Meet and greet with the Waddenzee
This must be gravel heaven!
Old historical windmill in Medemblik, completely run by volunteers