De Meinweg National Park, an international hike

Nationaal Park De Meinweg Travel Blog

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One of the many pools along the trail

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.

Various landscapes
The 710-meter (2329 ft) deep shaft was never used and covered.
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!

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One of the many pools along the tr…
One of the many pools along the t…
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
The Trail Blazers in the Dutch sec…
The Trail Blazers in the Dutch se…
The tracks of the abandoned Iron R…
The tracks of the abandoned Iron …
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
One of the many pools along the tr…
One of the many pools along the t…
One of the many pools along the tr…
One of the many pools along the t…
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
I was even able to make one of my …
I was even able to make one of my…
One of the many pools along the tr…
One of the many pools along the t…
One of the many pools along the tr…
One of the many pools along the t…
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
The sheep in The Netherlands refus…
The sheep in The Netherlands refu…
Border marker at the Dutch/German …
Border marker at the Dutch/German…
The Trail Blazers in the German se…
The Trail Blazers in the German s…
It looks like this road has been c…
It looks like this road has been …
One would expect such an extensive…
One would expect such an extensiv…
One would expect such a simple lis…
One would expect such a simple li…
The horses in Germany refused to p…
The horses in Germany refused to …
At the border: The meadow and the …
At the border: The meadow and the…
Another border marker at the point…
Another border marker at the poin…
Various landscapes, just before su…
Various landscapes, just before s…
The geese arrived just in time bef…
The geese arrived just in time be…
Various landscapes
Various landscapes
Sun is setting just before I arriv…
Sun is setting just before I arri…
Sun is setting just before I arriv…
Sun is setting just before I arri…
Sun is setting just before I arriv…
Sun is setting just before I arri…
The Meinvennen trail (rendered by …
The Meinvennen trail (rendered by…
Nationaal Park De Meinweg
photo by: mdalamers