This wonderful paddle location is really a very short drive for us, but we hadn’t paddled the Nieuwkoopse plassen since 2017 when we first were learning how to canoe paddle as a team. You can read about those adventures here.
We started early, although with all the gear packing and loading and the short drive we didn’t get onto the water at the Noorden launch site until close to 9 am.
Anytime prior to the magic hour of 10 am is a great time to do anything in this country and enjoy quiet of nature.
We noticed a few new things (or maybe we had forgotten) like route signs.
Instead of having a planned out route this time we explored the route towards the Meije River on the far East side of the Nieuwkoops plassen.
At the start of the river is a nature center. We stopped only briefly to look at the map.
When we started to paddle on the Meije we noticed three guys working on a water barrier that went across the river. It looked as if we were going to have to turn around and paddle back in the direction we came. One of the guys noticed us and waved us forward to the barrier. We were told to press a button and the barrier gate would operate. Then we could paddle through this water control gate onto the river. This was a new experience for us.
We paddled down the river for a short distance and noticed a second gate leading back into the nature area and was listed for paddle boats only. At this gate I took a short video as we waited for the gate to open.
As we entered this nature area we started to make our way through the canals. The route is pretty understandable, any possible water path that looks like it could be a route has been blocked intentionally with large logs making it very clear the direction of travel. This area was full of bird and insect noises. In fact, it was so quiet I heard a cricket chirping!
Unfortunately, the nature sounds are disrupted by the noises of aircraft engines from the Schiphol airport.
We came into a small lake and started to look for a nice spot to have coffee. Not able to find a good spot to stop, we start to paddle back to the launch site. We noticed now there was more traffic on the water too.
This location also had a very nice (my standard, as a kid I grew up with an outhouse for a toilet) camp outhouse.
At this stop we noticed it was really getting busy on the water with a good combination of large and small boats along with all sorts of paddling crafts.
That was our signal that it was time for us to be getting off the water, as we really don’t enjoy all the traffic.
When we pulled up to the launch site it was also busy with swimmers and other paddlers getting ready to get on the water. Always a challenge to carefully get our beautiful Cedar boat out of the water even more so when we have to tip toe around other people and boats. In this case, on this day, people who really didn’t have a clue about water courtesy.
We loaded up and headed for home.
It was a great time exploring this old paddle location.
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