Who calls the ferryman cycling route

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Who calls the ferryman cycling route

Length
37,6 km
Time
2u 10m
Terrain
94% Verhard

Dorp, 9260 Schellebelle

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Fietsknooppuntenbord

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Extended route description

Water is always nearby in Scheldeland. Including along this route, on which you'll explore both the right and left banks of the Scheldt. Dismount for a walk around Donkmeer Lake, enjoy a beautiful chunk of Scheldt nature in the Kalkense Meersen, and take a ferry across on one of Flanders' oldest foot ferries.

Starting point

Rubbens distillery

Stokerij Rubbens.jpg

At Rubbens, you're in for an amusingly educational tour. In 2014, this gin distillery moved from Zele to a refurbished wire-drawing plant on the Scheldt. Not only are numerous spirits distilled there today, you can taste some delicious regional dishes in the brasserie.

Node 68

't Oud Brughuys

Oud Brughuys Berlare.jpg

Among cyclists, Schoonaarde Bridge, where heavy fighting took place against the advancing Germans in October 1914, is a popular stop. On the right bank, several eel restaurants serve up the local delicacy; across the street, the yellow cafe 't Oud Brughuys stands out. This bike-friendly inn dates back to 1914 and, besides a great view, also has a charging station for e-bikes and a menu full of local beers.

Node 69

Berlare Castle Park

Kasteelpark Berlare.jpg

You cannot visit the 18th-century castle of Berlare, but hiking and cycling through the beautifully landscaped park around it is allowed. The fairytale-like causeways and ponds surfaced in the Flemish WWI series 'In Flemish Fields', among others.

Node 66-44

Donkmeer

Donkmeer_DavidSamyn.jpg

Surrounded by taverns and terraces, Donkmeer has been a hotspot for day-trippers from the wider area for decades. No wonder, because there is plenty to do here (and nearby): from hiking and cycling to boating and swimming in the summer. And eating eel, of course – the speciality of the local restaurants. Swimming is not allowed in the lake, but it is allowed in the Nieuwdonk recreational area a little further away.

Node 45-46-42

Kalkense Meersen

Paardenbroek Kalkense Meersen Berlare.jpg

The controlled floodplains Wijmeers 1 and 2 are part of the Kalkense Meersen, a 950-hectare area of nature between the village centres of Kalken, Overmere, Uitbergen, Schellebelle and Wetteren. It consists of low-lying, moist grasslands, furrowed with pools and ditches, where thousands of meadow birds flock in the winter.

From the Scheldt dyke, you have a wonderful view of the area. Tip: Next time, come here for a walk too! Tourism East Flanders has mapped out a 165 km network of calm hiking trails connected by nodes.

Node 42

Café Den Aard

Café Den Aard – named after this hamlet of Schellebelle – is a popular stopover for cyclists and hikers. Grab a spot on the terrace for a home-baked pancake, a bowl of artisanal ice cream or a local beer. The terrace overlooks landscape artist Will Beckers' work Voyager and the Schellebelle ferry, which you will soon use to make the crossing.

Node 42-43

Schellebelle ferry

Veer Schellebelle.jpg

We'll keep the best moment for last: the Schellbelle ferry is a topper on this route! Especially on summer days, there are often long traffic jams on the Scheldt dyke with hikers and cyclists going to and from the Kalkense Meersen. As early as the 13th century, there was a crossing over the Scheldt here to connect the village to the marshes. To call the ferry, a tug on the blue bell will suffice: unique in Flanders!

Rubbens Distillery