De Meinweg National Park, an international hike
Nationaal Park De Meinweg Travel Blog› entry 1082 of 1090 › view all entries
When the US introduced the phenomenon National Park in 1870 many countries followed. So did the Netherlands. In 1930 the first National Park was founded, right next where I grew up, National Park the Veluwezoom.
The list would grow to 20 national parks. One of them is National Park The Meinweg. It is located at the border with Germany. One could easily say in Germany since it is located in a peninsula-like piece of Netherlands in Germany.
The park is small, just 18 square kilometers (4448 acres). It is ironically located at a place that was planned to become industrial. In 1952 the government started the construction of the last coal mine, the Beatrix Mine, in the Netherlands, right at this site. During the construction it became apparent that the mine would never become profitable, so in 1962 construction was halted.
Another industrial aspect in the area was the Iron Rhine, a freight train line that connected Industrial Belgium with Industrial Germany. The track through the park was abandoned in 1991. Leaving a very nice nature area with un-Dutch landscapes. There is, however, still danger. German mining activities draw a lot of water and Belgium has indicated they intend to re-instate the Iron Rhine...
The park comprises three vaults, around these vaults the landscape shows un-Dutch height differences, some of them are up to 50 meters (165 ft). A great place for moors, swamps, brooks, and forest. Several hike trails have been blazed. One of them is part of a German/Dutch co-operation the Water Walk World, a set of 9 hikes in the Netherlands, Germany or both. I decided to hike the longest hike, the 18.9-km (11.7-mile) long Meinvennen trail. A very pleasant hike through all types of landscape. Very well blazed with the typical markers that even show you in which country you are. An unusual warm winter day made it even more pleasant.
More pictures below!