Nature and recreation
This area has a lot of water, dikes, polders, dunes, nature reserves, bulb fields, meadows and small picturesque villages. Various waterways and canals are inviting for canoe trips. A lot of water sports can be pursued on the inland lakes (such as the Amstelmeer, west of Wieringen) that can be found here. A planned canoe trip leads you along the most beautiful spots. The Project Blue Network was created by all the regional municipalities to connect cycling and canoe routes through contacts with various municipalities.
The region offers ideal spots for fish lovers, who are attracted by the various canals, ditches and inland waterways. A network of excellent cycling paths extending for kilometres ensures that there are many opportunities for cycling trips, ranging from a few kilometres to many times that for the seasoned cyclist. Various mapped out routes are available at the local VVV offices.
The area between Petten and Den Helder is converted into a large carpet of flowers in the spring. Most of the bulb fields are located in the Anna Paulowna/Breezand/Julianadorp/Zijpe area. There is no lack of scenic beauty. Various nature reserves can be visited. The best known is 'Het Zwanenwater'. This nature reserve lies somewhat to the south of the seaside resort of Callantsoog and is particularly known for its spoonbill colony and two large lakes in the dunes.
Het Robbenoordbos† and††Dijkgatbos† in the 'Wieringermeer' polder,†† De Grafelijkheidsduinen†† and††MariŽndal†† in Den Helder,††De Putten† Bird Sanctuary,††De Pettemerduinen†,† and††Het Wildrijk†in Sint Maartenszee are also well known.
There is a vast green area with polders and dikes between the coasts (IJsselmeer and North Sea coast). One of these dikes is the historic West Frisian Omringdijk (126 km long), which includes typical cheese-cover farmhouses, windmills and small historic villages. We call it the old fishing village of Kolhorn, which, after the land reclamation of the Wieringermeer, is now located in the middle of North Holland North.†Kolhorn was a busy fishing village prior to the land reclamation. A lot of this can still be found.
Overview of regional nature reserves:
- †Het Zwanenwater††
- †Natuurgebied Kooibos††
- †Bezoekerscentrum Eendenkooi††
- †Vogelreservaat De Putten††
- †Het Wildrijk††
- †De Pettemerduinen††
- †Donkere Duinen†
- †De Grafelijkheidsduinen††
- †Robbenoordbos en Dijkgatbos††
- †De Witte Paal††
- †De Nollen van R.W. van de Wint††
- †Het Schager Wad††
- †Nollen van Abbestede†