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Battle over the Noarderleech

2 hour 9 minutes (36.2 km)

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What actually happened during WWII in the coastal area of Friesland? In particular: the air battle in the coastal and Wadden area. On this extensive cycling route along the Noarderleech, you'll discover the unique events that took place in this region. Travel through time and discover Friesland during wartime. 

This more than 33-kilometer long cycling route starts at SeedyksterToer in Marrum. It's here that your journey begins heading towards the Noarderleech bunker. You'll pass many interesting places along the way, each with their own special story. The construction of a training site for the German occupants, war graves of unknown soldiers and crashed American fighter planes. Curious about what you’ll encounter? You'll find a handy overview below or, even better, just hop on your bike and go explore this unique part of the Wadden area.

Note: …

What actually happened during WWII in the coastal area of Friesland? In particular: the air battle in the coastal and Wadden area. On this extensive cycling route along the Noarderleech, you'll discover the unique events that took place in this region. Travel through time and discover Friesland during wartime. 

This more than 33-kilometer long cycling route starts at SeedyksterToer in Marrum. It's here that your journey begins heading towards the Noarderleech bunker. You'll pass many interesting places along the way, each with their own special story. The construction of a training site for the German occupants, war graves of unknown soldiers and crashed American fighter planes. Curious about what you’ll encounter? You'll find a handy overview below or, even better, just hop on your bike and go explore this unique part of the Wadden area.

Note: you are not allowed to ride your bike outside the Zeedijk so you'll have to go a bit on foot, for example when walking from the Kweldercentrum to the bunker or during the last part of the route. 

Sights on this route

Starting point: Zeedijk 8
9073 TN Marrum
93

Kweldercentrum Noarderleech

Kweldercentrum Noarderleech
Noorderleeg 5 a
9074 TG Hallum
Kweldercentrum Noarderleech

It Noarderleech - Noard Fryslan Butendyks

Noorderleeg 5 A
9074TG Hallum
It Noarderleech - Noard Fryslan Butendyks

Noarderleech Bunker and Training Base

Zeedijk
9074 TN Hallum
Noarderleech Bunker and Training Base
68

VIJFHUIZEN AIRMAIL

Vijfhuisterdijk
9074 TE Hallum
VIJFHUIZEN AIRMAIL
53 05

Begraafplaats Hallum

Grote of Sint-Maartenkerk
Kerkpad 1
9074 BX Hallum
Begraafplaats Hallum
81 72

Neergestort Amerikaans vliegtuig

Herjuwsmawei 2
Marrum
Neergestort Amerikaans vliegtuig
09 34

Lytse Teetún

Lytse Teetún
Hoofdstraat 41
9172 MN Ferwert
Lytse Teetún

Visitor's Center 'Terp Hegebeintum'

Pypkedyk 4 .
9173 GC Hegebeintum
Visitor's Center 'Terp Hegebeintum'
13

Harsta Hoeve

Harstawei 23
9173GA Hegebeintum
Harsta Hoeve
16

Rustpunt Aylvastate

Flieterpsterdyk 5
9174 GE Ginnum
Rustpunt Aylvastate

Camping de Blijer Wadden

Mieddyk 5
9171 GD Blije
Camping de Blijer Wadden

Bij De Pastorie B&B

Flieterpsterdyk 21
9175 GG Reitsum
Bij De Pastorie B&B

Rustpunt Oan de Flappe

Farebuorren 23
9171 MB Blije
Rustpunt Oan de Flappe
15

Theetuin Kleine-Lijn - Koffie en Lekkers

Stationsweg 29
9171 LR Blije
Theetuin Kleine-Lijn - Koffie en Lekkers

Kerkhof Blije

Stationsweg
9171 LR Blije
Kerkhof Blije
75

Vegotel

Zeedijk 6
9171AM Blije
Vegotel
76

De Duitsers en de mist

Zeedijk
9172AN Blije
De Duitsers en de mist

Gezinnen De Roo & Andrae

Zeedijk 13
9172 Ferwert
Gezinnen De Roo & Andrae
02 01

DOBBEPAARDEN PHOTO ARTWORK

Oazingaloane 1
9073 Marrum
DOBBEPAARDEN PHOTO ARTWORK
End point: Zeedijk 8
9073 TN Marrum

Directions

Starting point: Zeedijk 8
9073 TN Marrum

Turn left from the SeedyksterToer terrain onto the Zeedijk.

  • Walk with your bike on the Zeedijk heading west.
  • You'll pass the new pumping station De Heining with a fish passage and the transition area between fresh and salt water outside of the dike. Be sure to pop into the Kweldercentrum to learn more about it! German dummy bombs were found outside of the dike when the waterway to the Wadden Sea was being built.
  • After 270m turn right onto Noorderleeg.
  • After approximately one kilometre you'll see the It Fryske Gea Kweldercentrum where you’ll find information about the Atlantic Wall and the air battle in the Wadden area.
  • Note: the following item is not mentioned on the route map featured above but is accessible.
  • Park your bicycle in front of the It Fryske Gea Kweldercentrum. There are no sheep or any other traffic that might be hindered this way.
  • From the Kweldercentrum you can cross the sea dike towards the entrance gate to the Noarderleech. The map on the information panel shows the walking route to the bunker.
  • You can reach the bunker by following the marked posts along the walking route through the field. All visitors must abide by the opening rules of course.
  • Note: the following item is not mentioned on the route map featured above but is accessible.

Read the story ‘Bunker and training field Noorderleeg’.

  • After visiting the ‘bunker’ turn back via the dike crossing near the Kweldercentum.
  • From the sea dike go west towards Noorderleeg.
  • After 1 km turn right onto Noorderleegster entranceway.
  • After 90 m make a slight right onto the bike path on the inner dike.
  • Cycle along the bike path heading west.
  • After 750 m make a slight left onto Vijfhuisterdijk.
  • Cycle along the Vijfhuisterdijk heading south.

Read the story ‘Airmail Vijfhuizen’.

  • Turn left onto Roodschuursterlaan.
  • Cycle along the Roodschuursterlaan heading east.
  • You'll pass cycling hub number 4.
  • Continue straight onto Doniaweg.
  • Cycle along Doniaweg heading east.
  • Just before the N357 you'll pass the railway tracks of the former Dokkumer Lokaaltje. On your right the former railway station buildings (now a garage) depict a train. During WWII the railway and the train were shot at and bombed on multiple occasions.

  • Cross the N357.
  • After 200 m (cycling hub number 5) take Langebuorren.
  • Cycle along Langebuorren heading east.
  • After 90 m make a slight left onto Rondweg.
  • After 150 m turn left onto Miedpad.
  • After 60 m continue straight on along the path to the cemetery.
  • Read the story ‘Hallum cemetery’.

  • Return to the Miedpad.
  • After 60 m turn left onto Rondweg.
  • Cycle along Rondweg heading east.
  • After 95 m make a slight right onto De Trânse.
  • After 90 m continue straight on to Jouwsmabuorren.
  • Cycle along Jouwsmabuorren heading northeast.
  • Between Jouwsmabuorren 2 and 6 a house was located where two wounded American pilots were brought on 11 December 1943 and who were later deported by the Germans. Their plane crashed by the sea dike near Ferwert.
    Near Jouwsmabuorren 9 you can see part of the engine from a B17 that crashed near the Herjuwsmawei south of Marrum on the birthday of the former occupant of no. 9, 25 August 1944.

  • At (cycling hub number 81) turn right onto Herjuwsmawei.
  • After (cycling hub number 72) continue straight on the Herjuwsmawei.

Read the story about the American plane that crashed here.

  • Cross the Nieuweweg heading east.
  • You'll pass cycling hub number 9.
  • After 190 m turn left onto It Kleaster.
  • After 1 km turn left onto Kleasterwei.
  • After 700 m turn left onto Hegebeintumerdyk.
  • You'll pass cycling hub number 7.
  • After 180 m make a slight right onto Hoofdstraat.
  • After 55 m turn left onto Vrijhof.
  • 3 American crew members were once buried at Ferwert cemetery. They had crashed near the sea dike at Ferwert on 11 December 1943. They were later reburied at the American cemetery in Margraten. The war monument on the Vrijhof also mentions the name of Joeke Andrae. He was executed for taking things from the B17 of 11 December 1943. His story is featured further down the route at Zeedijk 8 Ferwert, the house where he once lived.

  • Cycle along Vrijhof heading south.
  • Make (cycling hub number 7) a slight left onto Hegebeintumerdyk.
  • After 980 m continue straight on to the bike path.
  • After 40 m continue straight on to Hegebeintumerdyk.
  • After 500 m continue straight on to Harstawei.
  • After 210 m turn left onto Meester Boeleswei.
  • After 220 m turn right onto Underom.
  • After 230 m turn right onto Pypkedyk.
  • In the upstream you passed just before Hegebeintum Bouwe van der Woude's freighter was shot by Allied fighter planes in the Jislummer on 9 February 1945. That afternoon approximately 70 English Spitfires and Mustang fighters from Fighter Command, who’s task was to escort American bombers, attacked occasional targets along the way, including a 50-tonne ship in the vicinity of Leeuwarden. This may have been Van der Woude's ship, as he had moored his ship between Jislum and the Bolle Holle to prevent confiscation. His ship, the Nooitgedagt, was a 36-tonne steep bow freighter. The ship was painted green and had its sails raised to dry that day.
    Around 3 pm 4 fighter planes started circling the ship and then shot at it with their machine guns. The captain was fatally wounded while his 16-year-old mate Keimpe Struiksma survived the attack. Bouwe van der Woude is buried in Burdaard.

  • After 55 m (cycling hub number 13) make a slight left onto Vogelzangsterweg.
  • After 150 m make a slight right onto Harstawei.
  • Follow Harstawei and turn right after 250 m.
  • Cycle along Harstawei heading south.
  • Cycle along Harstawei heading south.
  • You'll pass cycling hub number 16.
  • Cycle along Harstawei heading east.
  • After 180 m turn left onto De Houwen.
  • Cycle along De Houwen heading east.
  • After 35 m turn left onto Heskamperweg.
  • After 1 km turn left onto Mieddyk.
  • After approximately 100 metres you'll find an information panel on the shoulder about the Short Stirling that crashed here on 7 June 1942. All of its crew members survived both the crash and the war.

  • Cycle back along the Mieddyk heading west.
  • After 1 km (cycling hub number 15) continue straight on to Farebuorren.
  • After 350 m continue straight on to Farrewei.
  • After 530 m turn right onto the tracks of the former Dokkumer Locaaltje Stationsweg.
  • After 400 m you'll reach the former Blija station where exhibitions are held on a regularly.
  • Continue on Stationsweg heading north; along the Stationsweg you'll find traditional textile printers Atelier Kleine-Lijn that also serves beverages.

Read the story of Blija cemetery.

  • Exit the cemetery through the main entrance on Voorstraat.
  • On Voorstraat turn right and after 85 m turn right again onto Hoofdstraat.
  • You'll pass cycling hub number 75.
  • Make a slight left here onto Unemastraat.
  • After 490 m continue straight along the N357 onto Unemaloane.
  • Here you'll cross the Van Historische Terp Naar Terp Van De Toekomst route (at landmark Unema State)

  • Cycle along Unemaloane heading west.
  • After 1 km turn left onto the Zeedijk.
  • After 480 m (cycling hub number 76) make a sharp right onto the dike.

Read the story of the Germans and the fog.

  • Cycle along the path across the dike and follow the path outside the dike heading west.
  • Cross the dike again at the first possible opportunity and follow the Zeedijk (inside the dike) heading west.

Read the story of the De Roo & Andrae families (a plaque for Joeke Andrae was recently unveiled at Zeedijk 8).

  • Walk with your bike onto the Zeedijk heading west.
  • You'll pass cycling hub numbers 2 and 1.
  • Return to the SeedyksterToer for a bite to eat and to read the stories one more time.
End point: Zeedijk 8
9073 TN Marrum
93
68
53
05
81
72
09
34
13
16
15
75
76
02
01

Attributes

  • Marked: Yes
  • Type of Route: Recreation
  • Route obstacles: Separate cycle path, Cattle grid, On the road
  • Route characteristics: Theme route, From A to A
  • Name of Administrator: The translation of this trail was funded by the Interreg 5a project Wadden Agenda 2.0.
    The Wadden Agenda project is implemented under the INTERREG Germany-Netherlands programme and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Lower Saxony Ministry of Federal and European Affairs and Regional Development and the provinces of Friesland and Groningen and supervised by the Eems Dollart Region (EDR) programme management.
  • ChildrenYes
  • FamiliesYes
  • Young peopleYes
  • AdultsYes
  • Senior citizensYes
  • E-bikeYes
  • Mountain bikeYes
  • Racing bikeYes
  • Tour bikeYes