Hiking through heath land
Dwingelderveld Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
When we wake up and manage to get up from mattresses that are way too soft, we notice that the weather has done ‘a 180’. The sun is shining, birds are chirping and the temperature is warm. It is an excellent day to go out to the nearby Dwingelderveld National Park for a nice long walk.
I have a book with walking routes in The Netherlands and it has a 16 kilometer route through Dwingelderveld National Park, starting in the centre of Dwingeloo. Since we also have a long drive back home in the evening, we decide to shorten it with about five kilometers. Instead of starting in the centre of Dwingeloo we drive to a hidden parking place in the forest near the large radio telescope.
For many kilometers we cross the beautiful heath land, passing several old farms and sheep pens. The heath land was created by farmers long before the Middle Ages. They chopped down the trees of the forest to create room to let their sheep graze. Since the sheep ate all new grass and trees that started to sprout, heath was all that remained. For many centuries, more than 8000 sheep roamed this heath land they created by themselves.
When we are half way through the route, we reach the ‘Anserdennen’. This is a forest, which was also created by men. Centuries ago, farmers would sometimes let their sheep graze on a piece of land that was too small, or the flock would stay too long a period on the same piece of land.
In the middle of the Anserdennen we stop for a late lunch at Theehuys Anserdennen. This lovely place serves tea, coffee, cake and sandwiches, all from biological products. With our stomachs filled, we continue our walking route.
After a few more kilometers we reach the ‘Davidsplassen’ (David waters). This area has a large number of different birds that come here to breed. Halfway the waters there is a bird observation hut, from where you can watch the birds. We didn’t expect to see many breeding birds from this hut, but as it turns out the hut is a front row seat. There is a nest of swallows inside the hut! We watch the nest with the small swallows and the mother and father flying in to feed them.
We then continue with the last part of the walk, it ends when we reach the radio telescope again. We get into the car and drive back to our hometown Tilburg, which is about a two hour drive. Dwingeloo and the surrounding area is a great place for a weekend trip!