Beautiful forest hike with lots of open spaces, through estate Den Treek-Henschoten – february 2018
This is a nice route through nature area, mainly forest with open spaces filled with heather, grass, fens and peat. The forest consists of a diverse combination of type of trees, eg different conifers and decidious forest. The hike mainly crosses the estate Den Treek- Henschoten, a private nature area which is open to the public for free. Overall, a very enjoyable trail through the forest.
The route is derived from the book “Wandelen over de Utrechtse Heuvelrug” by Rob Wolfs and Ad Snelderwaard, hike nr6, with just a small change to it (we took a small path in parallel to the originally intended trail for a few hundred meters).
The start of the hike, the parking lot, is already half in the forest, close to Leusden-zuid. Most of the hike goes through a fine forest with here and there an open space.
Sometimes the open spaces are filled with grass, other times with heather, fens and peat with here and there a tree.
For a considerable part the path crosses the estate Den Treek – Henschoten, a wide area, which is private property but luckily open to the public. More towards the end of the hike you can see the buildings of the estate which are rather pretty.
There we came across a couple of beatiful and friendly horses that walked towards us.
Overall we truly enjoyed the hike since it was a nice variation of fine forest and a diversity of open spaces.
Start and Finish: Parking lot Leusden Zuid
Type: circular route
Length: 14,5 km
Terrain: almost completely forest path, flat
How to get there? By car: you can easily park your car for free at the parking lot. Public transport: You can also get there by bus (nr 280, exit Leusden Bavoort) but then you will need to hike 500-1000 meter to the start of the route.
Restaurants underway? No, you will need to bring your own drinks and snacks. However, there is a restaurant close to the start/finish, 500-1000 meters away (restaurant Bavoort).
This hike combines a tour through the historical town Amersfoort with parks and forest. It is more a tour through town (almost 70%) combined with a piece of forest (30%). Amersfoort has a beautiful historical centre, parks and neighbourhoods with well designed villas, however a part of the tour through town I found less interesting. The piece of forest that is included is nice but not extremely beautiful. The hike can be combined with a tour on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Tower, the Koppelpoort or Kamp Amersfoort (see details further below). Overall a hike with some nice features but also with less interesting parts.
This hike follows the route nr 5 from the book “Wandelen over de Utrechtse Heuvelrug” by Rob Wolfs and Ad Snelderwaard. The hike starts at the parking place just outside of Amersfoort (in case you use public transport, you can start the hike at the Amersfoort railway station).
The first part begins in the forest and, via a neighbourhood of Amersfoort, turns into a chain of a couple of city parks. Especially the park Randenbroek we found very beautiful.
A little bit later, you enter the old city center. Amersfoort is an old town that existed already in the middle ages. Its historical centre has been well preserved and is worth visiting. Some of the portals and walls of the old town still exist. There are lots of terraces and restaurants which make a perfect break after 1 hour of hiking. We had our lunch in “In den Kleinen Hap”, a nice old cosy place.
A possible additional activity is to climb the Onze Lieve Vrouwe tower of almost 100 meters high. It dates from the 15th century and provides good views over Amersfoort. It is sligthly off trail but close to it in the old centre, see further below for details.
The trail continues through the old city center, along the church and the market place and exits the historical center via the Koppelpoort, which dates from the 15th century. It can be visited upon request (for details see further below).
The route then continues via the Eemplein, a new shopping and entertainment centre, and a couple of neighborhoods. This part of the trail was actually less interesting.
We crossed the railway via the central railway station (for which you need to bring your ov chipcard, otherwise you cannot go through the fences). The neighbourhoods that follow are with nice big villas, some old and some recently built, mostly with beautiful architectural features.
Later on, the hike continues via parks and a golf resort. After a while you pass Kamp Amersfoort, a transit camp by the nazis during the second world war. The watchtower is one of the few remains of it. The kamp can be visited and each sunday there is a guided tour (see “general details” for a link).
The hike continues over the highway into the forest. After a while, the trail ends on the parking space at the beginning of our trail.
Start and Finish: Parking lot or central railway station Amersfoort
Type: circular route
Length: 18 km
Terrain: mostly asphalt and forest path, flat with ~40 meters difference in height on the overall route.
How to get there? By car: you can easily park for free at the parking lot. Don’t forget to bring your ov chipcard which you need in order to cross the railway via the central railway station in Amersfoort. Public transport: You can also get there by train (the route will then have another starting point)
Restaurants underway? Yes, lots of restaurants in the historical centre, further, a couple of restaurants spread over the route.
Forest combined with the Groeneveld estate ~16km, 11 february 2018
This trail mostly goes throug forest area with in addition the park of estate Groeneveld, the Stulp area (open space with grass, heather and charolais cows) and a small part through the little village of Baarn with its nice villas. Overall a nice hike through forest nature area.
This route starts at the railway station in Baarn and follows the route indicated in the book “Wandelen over de Utrechtse Heuvelrug” by Rob Wolfs and Ad Snelderwaard. We changed the start of it slightly since my friend wanted to find a geocache close to the old bridge over the railway. We didnot find it so if someone knows how to get it, please send me an email about it!
The route continues first through Baarn and then turns into a diverse forest.
Already at 4 kms you enter the Groeneveld Estate where you can drink or eat something in the very nice restaurant. At the time that we were there, on it’s terrace you could even roast marshmellows over a fire. The estate itself is a well contained park with a pond and hiking trails.
The hike continues into the forest. We made a little mistake on the route but were able to correct it shortly.
More close to the end of the hike, in the forest there is the open space “the Stulp” with heather, and this adds variation to the hike. On the Stulp, you can find charolais cows whose presence ensures that the open space remains an open space. Unfortunately they hid far away from our trail.
At the end you go through an area of Baarn with villas built during 1910-1930 and these have interesting features like little towers. The trail ends at railway station Baarn where there is the possibilty for a drink or dinner. We finished our hike in “the Generaal”, a cosy place next to the station.
Start and Finish: Baarn railway station
Type: circular route
Length: 16 km
Terrain: mostly sandpath, flat
How to get there? By car: you can easily park your car for free next to the railway station. Public transport: You can also get there by train.
Restaurants underway? Yes, at the starting/finish point and at 4km (Groeneveld estate). Recommended: in Baarn, next to the railway station, De Generaal, daily open from 10 a.m. www.degeneraal.nl. and on estate Groeneveld, www.grandcafegroeneveld.com, open tuesday-sunday from 11:00-17:00.