Johans Kayak Site


Round trip around the polder Bergermeer 12 km.

Kayak rentals:

Bootjesverhuur Bergen "Go with the flo", Bergerweg 82, 1862PR Bergen NH. Tel: 06-39697275.

Around the Bergermeer the first dikes to control the water from the streams were made around the year 1100. But it took 450 more years till 1565 when the lake was made into a polder. Together with the Egmondermeer this was one of the first polders ever made in the province Noord-Holland. The vertile soil made farming in the polder very profitable.
In the years 1937 to 1939 a military airfield was made in the polder. The idea was to have an airfield as far away as possible from the German threat. Also it was suggested civilian flights could be made to bring tourists to the beach near Bergen. But the wet soil was a problem. Tons of sand from the dunes were brought in to make the soil stronger. Engineers suggested an underground drainage system should be made, but it was found too costly. The soil was too soft for the planes to reach the hangars. When finally German fighters came, they were sitting ducks. Only one plane managed to take off. The others were destroyed. The Germans improved the airfield for their own use with a drainage system. They built fake farmhouses to hide their planes. Even a fake windmill was made to complete the picture. To-day only the bunkers remain in the landscape. Also typical is the absence of many canals, and bulbfields on the sandy parts. There are plans to make a water storage area (swamp with canals) at the location of the former airfield.
In the 1960s a gas-field was discovered underneath the polder. In the 1970s the extraction of gas took place. When finally the winning of gas was no longer profitable (and a few minor earth shocks) all activities were stopped. But then it was discovered that the pentrable rock beneath a thick salt layer is a perfect place to store natural gas. As gas-winning in other places goes on all year, but the use of gas is mainly in the winter-months a place to store gas seasonably would be ideal. Since 2014 the TAQA company stores 4.1 million cubic meters of natural gas in the Bergermeer. It now is the largest storage place of natural gas in Western Europe.

Starting place "Viaanse Molen".

Take the belt-way of Alkmaar (Ring) and exit where it crosses the Noordhollands Kanaal. If you come from the west on the N9 turn in the direction Schagen and take the first exit (just after the Texaco). When you come at the canal turn left. After the Connexxion-garage turn left again. This is the onramp of the beltway in the direction Haarlem, but before you reach the high-way turn right into the Havinghastraat. If you come from the east exit after you passed the bridge and turn left into the Havinghastraat. This street makes a bend to the left and at the end there is a parking-lot. At the back of the parking-lot is a lace where you can launch the kayak into the canal around the Bergermeer.

This route goes along the canal around the polder Bergermeer. There are a few kayak piers where you can stop for a break. You start going to the right. You pass the field of athletics-club Hylas. When you passed the bridge under the highway the canal bends to the right. You cross a small lake with no name (Bergermeertje?) This trip is very easy: keep turning left until you enter the town Alkmaar. All side canals are dead ends. You keep turning left until you're back in Alkmaar. In Alkmaar you must turn left again, this is just after a bridge named "Pelmolenbrug". If you want to make a detour to the city-center, you go straight on here, pass the railroad-bridge and you come to the Singel. For this trip you turn left. Now take the second side-canal to the left. There is a little island in the middle here. Go straight on and pass the bridge under the highway. Right after the bridge is the starting-point of the trip.

After the bridge under the N9 you come at a small lake.

Dead end at a side-canal to Bergen. No stepping out here.

Ringvaart near Bergen.

View from the bridge at the Groeneweg.

Kayak pier at De Voert in Bergen.

Another dead end at De Voert in the Philisteinsche Polder.

View from a bunker near the former military airfield Bergen.

Bunkers at the former military airfield of Bergen.

At the kayak pier Defensiegemaal.

Alkmaar along the Ruysdaelkade.

Offices of Reaal and UWV along the Hoevervaart.

In 2015 new kayak piers and picnic tables were made along the canal around the Bergermeer. You can find more info in the PDF-file.