The Werf trail is a theme walk using the alternative points of the North Holland Hiking Network. This round trip takes you around the former island Marken. You walk over the dike and through the small streets of typical Marker neighbourhoods that were originally built on werfs. It is 7 km long.
The trail can be walked using the alternative points of the North Holland Hiking Network. Dogs are not allowed.
A werf is a manmade hillock of about 2 or 3 metres high, which residents built using manure, turf or household waste because the island was often flooded several times a year. Since the building of the Barrier Dam in 1932 flood danger has diminished, but the hillocks remain.
Description of particulars along the way.?
These are listed in alphabetical order on the roadmap.
- For centuries, Marken was the home base for the fishing fleet. In the 17th and 18th centuries many sailors mustered the great whaling ships from Edam and Amsterdam. In that period the Markers practiced a type of towing service. With their flat boats they shipped the merchandise from merchants on the shoals of the IJ. With the construction of the North Holland canal in 1824, Markers lost these sources of revenue and gave their full attention to fishing again. The harbour was built in 1837 and expanded after 1853 with a second basin. Before the harbour construction the fishing boats lay on sandbanks. After the closure of the Zuiderzee, the water gradually became fresher. Herring and anchovies disappeared, which heralded almost the end of the Marker fishing.
B. The Oostervaart
- The Oostervaart is a remnant of the issue completed Goudriaan canal. Sailing to Amsterdam was hindered by sandbanks in the IJ. To get around this, they wanted to build a canal right through Marken and Waterland. The project failed. It turned out there were also sandbanks by Marken and Waterland. Furthermore, the costs were much higher than planned, so digging was stopped.
C. The Moeniswerf, Rozenwerf, Grote werf and Witte werf
- The Moeniswerf, Rozenwerf, Grote werf and Witte werf can be seen from a distance. The densely populated hillocks are surrounded by ‘pale fields’, small grasslands where in the past, inhabitants bleached their washing. The Rozenwerf lies right behind the dike. Icebreakers in the water protect the hillock during severe winters when, during heavy winds, ice floes bash metres high into the dikes. In the past, the hillock lay more inland. Large pieces of land have been lost to floods and many hillocks have disappeared into the sea. Other hillocks have been abandoned, like the Remmitswerf south of the Wittewerf and the hillock just north of the Moeniswerf. The remote hills are still easily recognizable in the land.
The Werf trail starts and finishes at Starting Point 9 in Marken and follows the following alternative points: 35, 36, 34, 33 and 37.
There is sufficient parking at the Starting Point.