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Sneek - Balk | Elfstedenpad Hiking Trail: Section 3

(23.4 km)

This section of the trail sets off from the famous Waterpoort water gate in the historical centre of Sneek. The city is popular for water sports. You walk through a residential area to the wide Geeuw river, then a picturesque little footpath leads you to the Frisian city of IJlst, where you can see the De Rat sawmill. IJlst has beautiful canals with gardens along the banks. This relatively quiet little city was once known for its woodworking industry, which produced skates among other things. 

From IJlst the route continues to the contiguous villages…

This section of the trail sets off from the famous Waterpoort water gate in the historical centre of Sneek. The city is popular for water sports. You walk through a residential area to the wide Geeuw river, then a picturesque little footpath leads you to the Frisian city of IJlst, where you can see the De Rat sawmill. IJlst has beautiful canals with gardens along the banks. This relatively quiet little city was once known for its woodworking industry, which produced skates among other things. 

From IJlst the route continues to the contiguous villages of Jutrijp and Hommerts. The next section of the route is hard going. It leads under the aqueduct and runs alongside the motorway as you make your way to Woudsend. Fortunately, Woudsend is a charming village with many waterways, quaint narrow streets, surprising vistas, delightful little terraces and a range of attractions.

A few kilometres outside of Woudsend the trail turns off and leads you around the edge of Lake Slotermeer, ending in the lovely little town of Balk. 

Sights on this route

1

Sneek (Snits)

Sneek, or Snits as we say in Friesland, is the water sports city of the Netherlands. But Sneek is more than water sports and the Sneekweek. The city is bustling with events, culture, unique hotspots, and nice shops.

Sneek (Snits) Waterpoort Sneek
70
71
2

IJlst (Drylts)

IJlst (or Drylts in Frisian) is not only one of the famous 11 cities, but also a 'wood city'. For many years, tree trunks were processed here by the legendary wood trading companies Oppedijk and S.O. de Vries.

Visit IJlst

IJlst (Drylts) Molen IJlst
3

Houtzaagmolen de Rat

Visit wind powered sawmill ‘De Rat’ and step back in time three hundred years!

Houtzaagmolen de Rat
4

Museum en Werkplaats Houtstad IJlst

Experience the history of IJlst during an active visit to: Museum and workshop Houtstad IJlst. IJlst has been connected with wood for many centuries.

Museum en Werkplaats Houtstad IJlst Viking Games 4 november 2023 Houtstad IJlst
5

11Fountains Ijlst

Culture, like nature, consists of layer upon layer. New generations continue to build on a foundation which does not disappear.

11Fountains Ijlst
91
91
6

Waterside Gardens

Unique and characteristic to IJlst are the waterside gardens on each side of the Ee.

Waterside Gardens
89
31
15
68
68
70
10
7

Woudsend (Wâldsein)

Woudsend is a village nestled between Lake Heegermeer and Lake Slotermeer.

Bezoek Woudsend

Woudsend (Wâldsein)
8

Houtzaagmolen De Jager

Houtzaagmolen De Jager is the over 300-year-old sawmill in Woudsend that is still in operation. The mill is open to visitors every Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Houtzaagmolen De Jager
9

St Michael’s Church in Woudsend

St Michael’s Church in Woudsend built in 1792 is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the North of the Netherlands. The beautiful statues, leaded glass windows, paintings and, above all, the intimate scale of the interior leave a lasting impression.

St Michael’s Church in Woudsend
10

Korenmolen 't Lam

Mole 't Lam is de oudste korenmolen van Friesland en staat in Woudsend, waar de molenaar en zijn vrouw koren en graan ambachtelijk malen tot meelproducten en diverse broodmixen.

Korenmolen 't Lam
34
11

Klokkenstoel Ypecolsga

Klokkenstoel Ypecolsga
56
88
23
22
12

Balk (Balk)

Balk is een groot dorp met veel voorzieningen in Zuidwest Friesland, het is de hoofdplaats van Gaasterland en is gelegen aan de Elfstedenroute.

Balk (Balk)

Directions

1

Sneek (Snits)

Sneek, or Snits as we say in Friesland, is the water sports city of the Netherlands. But Sneek is more than water sports and the Sneekweek. The city is bustling with events, culture, unique hotspots, and nice shops.

Sneek (Snits) Waterpoort Sneek
  • Met de Waterpoort achter je, wandel je Sneek uit via knooppunt 70 - 71.
  • Dan door naar IJlst (91), je wandelt over de grachten in dit stadje verder naar knooppunt 31 -15 om in Jutrijp uit te komen.
  • Dan volgt de wandeling langs de provinciale weg naar 68 - 70 - 34 (Woudsend).
  • In Woudsend is het slalommen door de steegjen om het dorp te verlaten richting 56 (Ypecolsgea), daar linksaf gaan en het pad langs het meer (88) volgen naar het centrum van Balk (23 - 22)
12

Balk (Balk)

Balk is een groot dorp met veel voorzieningen in Zuidwest Friesland, het is de hoofdplaats van Gaasterland en is gelegen aan de Elfstedenroute.

Balk (Balk)
  • 70
  • 71
  • 91
  • 91
  • 89
  • 31
  • 15
  • 68
  • 68
  • 70
  • 10
  • 34
  • 56
  • 88
  • 23
  • 22