Hiking in Weerribben-Wieden National Park – My Tour Tips

Hiking in Weerribben-Wieden National Park
Photo credit: Tatiana Chekryzhova, Shutterstock

At more than 10,000 hectares, the Weerribben-Wieden National Park in the Dutch province of Overijssel is the largest continuous bog in northwestern Europe. Although the maze of ponds, lakes, ditches, swampy forests and mystical meadows were not created naturally, but by peat cutting in the 16th century, the area is now one of the 74 most important natural areas in Europe. This beautiful and unique landscape can be explored not only by canoe, boat or bicycle, but also on foot on one of the many hiking trails, which – unusual for the Netherlands – in many places lead to trails. Its own natural setting where no bike is ever lost. .

The big advantage of hiking in the Netherlands: there are almost no meters of elevation to overcome, making all hikes ideal for beginners. But it will not be boring even for experienced hikers. Even if there are of course no stunning views in the flatlands, there is plenty to see along the way. For example, the kingfisher builds its nest in the roots of fallen trees. Or the type of aquatic plants known as crab claws that form veritable carpets on the surface of the water. Or a dragonfly that floats above the waterline like a fairy. If you are very lucky, you will meet otters who feel at home in Weerribben due to the high quality of the water.

During my camping trip in the national park, I went on four recommended hikes that couldn't be more different. As always, I will link all the rides for you including GPX data for the hikes via Komoot.

#1 – Wanderroot Werripin

The 12-kilometre Weerribben Hiking Trail best shapes Weerribben's landscape. In contrast to meadows, they do not consist of lakes, but mainly small channels running through swampy meadows and forests like a spider's web. The hiking trail starts at Buitencentrum De Weerribben, which is located directly at the De Kluft campsite, where we had our pitch. So we were able to hike right out of the truck. I only now discovered that the hiking trail is marked with a yellow arrow the entire time while researching this article. As a precaution, I made the tour on my own smart watch loader.

The first part is dominated by nature trails through wide meadows and swamps. It extends in parts along what is called Natuurpaad, which I will also introduce to you at the end of the article. The forests you pass through do not have large trees. Once they reach a higher weight, they dive into the floating meadows and drown in the water. The rare kingfisher then uses the roots of fallen trees again to build its nests. This is just the circle of life.

Halfway you reach the beautiful town of Calenberg by the canal of the same name. If you want, you can eat here in the restaurant and cafe Pete Duever (Kalenberg South 1) Take your lunch break right next to the water. It also has canoe and SUP rentals and offers corresponding training courses. On the second part of the route, a walk along the Kahlenberggracht leads to the equally beautiful town of Ossenzjil. On the way, you pass beautiful thatched-roof houses, all with access to the water and of course the boat. Some of them can be reached exclusively by water. From Ossenzjil it is just a stone's throw from the starting point.

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Details about Wanderroute Weerribben

  • difficulty: a light
  • road: 13 how much
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Climbing: 0 meters high

#2 – Wanderroot Giethoorn

If you want to get to know Giethoorn, also known as the Venice of Holland, from a different side and don't want to join the line of excursion boats exploring the beautiful canals from the water, I can only recommend the Giethoorn Hiking Trail . This hike is not as close to nature as the Weerriibben hiking trail, but it takes you past many beautiful places you wouldn't get to otherwise and gives you a great look at the De Wieden landscape.

My advice: do not start the trip directly in Giethoorn as mentioned, but in Dwarsgracht. This saves you the hassle of searching for a parking space and saves the highlight of Giethoorn with its many cafés and restaurants for your lunch break. We start from Cornelisgracht, where you will soon bid farewell to move on to the huge Beulakerwijde lake. Where the reeds give you a view of the water, you can see hundreds of sailboats gliding across the water. Once you reach the canal of the same name, follow it towards the center of Giethoorn. There you will also find Cornelisgracht again. If you want, you can simply shorten this part of the path.

The canal takes you straight into the vibrant heart of Giethoorn. The words really spoke volumes about how beautiful the place is. Thus, hundreds of vacationers flock to the small town in the summer months. I can do that for you on your lunch break Restaurant de Grachthof (Internal track 54) recommend. Both the veggie burger and falafel wrap were delicious!

After eating, follow Binnenpad north. This begins one of the most beautiful parts of the trip for me. Only pedestrians are allowed on the narrow path, and the further you get from the center, the quieter and more peaceful it becomes along the canal, which takes you past the equally picturesque thatched-roof houses that lie in the centre. On the way back to the starting point, you should follow the Thijssengracht. It passes through meadows and agricultural fields. If the tour is too long for you, at 15 km, in my opinion this would be the best time to shorten it and start your way back to De Deukten & Oude Kerksweg. There both routes meet again and one of the most beautiful sections of the tour begins. It passes first through wet meadows by a nature trail, and then through the Dwarsgracht through the town of the same name, which is at least as beautiful as Giethoorn, but much quieter and quieter. Then you will reach Cornelisgracht and return to your starting point.

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Details about the Giethoorn Hiking Route

  • difficulty: a light
  • road: 15,5 how much
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Ascent: 30 metres

#3 – Woldlakibus

The small circular walk called Woldlakebos – like the Giethoorn Hiking Route – was recommended by a national park ranger. The actual circular route is only 3.5 kilometers long. With the return trip to and from the car park it turns into a lovely little 5km walk, which was the perfect pre-departure walk for us.

The entire route passes through forests and meadows on a wide meadow path. If it has rained very heavily in the previous days, as it has here, I recommend wearing sturdy shoes, as it can get very muddy on wet meadows. This hike takes you close to small canals and ponds so you can see the inhabitants of swamps and swamps up close. Dragonflies and waterfowl buzz around you and you feel civilization far, far away.

Woldlakebos is not a trip of great feelings. You'll find something special in the little things along the way. This is what makes it so attractive. At the end of the road, the path extends over a dam where sheep graze. I can't get enough of the Dutch poet!

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Details about the Woldlakebos Circular Trek

  • difficulty: a light
  • road: 5,6 how much
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Climbing: 0 meters high

#4 – Nature Path / Zombie Path

The Natuurpad or Zompiepad provides the perfect look at the Weerribben for anyone with little time (or bad weather like us). We extended the 2.2 or 3.5 kilometer ring road with a small detour along the Steenwijk-Ossenzijel Canal into a beautiful dog walk, which was about four kilometers in total length. As the name suggests, the entire route leads via natural paths. You walk along small canals and through wet meadows, where you can sometimes see small windmills as well as so-called “Vervenershuisjes”, small houses where peat cutters used to live with their families.

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Details about Naturpad Weerribben

  • difficulty: a light
  • road: 4 how much
  • Duration: 30-60 minutes
  • Ascent: 10 meters high

I will tell you all the tips for other activities and camping in Weerribben-Wieden in a separate article soon. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other tips and recommendations for hiking in Werribben-Wieden Ward National Park!

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