What a surprise the Drents Friese Wold National Park! A wonderful oasis of tranquility, with beautiful forests, immense empty plains, countless fens and beautiful drifting dunes. Come here for a walk, bike … but don’t tell anyone!

Typically…. The Drents Friese Wold National Park

This is one of the largest nature reserves in the Netherlands. 6000 hectares of forest, heather, drifting sand and brook valley grasslands has been a National Park since the year 2000. It is a Natura 2000 area. Some parts of the National Park are no longer or hardly managed, the quiet centers. Here it is decided to let nature take its course. In this way the Drents Friese Wold is becoming more and more natural and attractive. The idea is that you can stroll around here freely in the future. In addition, you can also fully enjoy the area via landscaped routes.

There is a great variety in landscape types. Coniferous trees grow in the forests and crow heather grows in nutrient-poor places (north of the Kale Duinen, for example). Due to the great variety, there are also many different animals. At a short distance you can see forest birds, meadow birds and marsh birds. Deer and the rare pine marten live there. Large grazers are used such as the Sayasguesarunderen.

There is an outdoor center Terwisscha, in Appelscha. In addition, a Tourist Information Point in Diever and a Nature Gate in Hoogersmilde. Here you can get information about the park and the routes. Usually routes also start at those points.

You can walk different routes. In the north, the Forestry Commission has released a large number of shorter ones. You can also combine these with each other. The Drents Landschap has plotted routes in the Doldersummerveld and Natuurmonumenten on the Diever side. So there are many possibilities!

My humble opinion

An incredibly surprising nature reserve. When I think about Drenthe, I think, and I think many people with me, first think of dolmen, the Dwingelderveld or the Hondsrug. I find it surprising that there is such a beautiful, extensive nature reserve on the border of Friesland. And it is so quiet! Delicious. You can walk beautifully through a very varied landscape.

Our route

We have chosen route “Rust” over the Wasperveld. This Natuurmonumenten route is not signposted, you can walk it via the Natuurmonumenten app. It is a fun, varied route.

Starting point

We start at the Schaapskooi in Doldersum. Here is a small parking lot. We walk to the Vledder Aa, a winding stream. The stream is only narrow but the surroundings are quite wet and soggy. The first part of our walk goes through the stream valley and the fields. In the distance we see a group of Sayaguesa cattle.


You immediately notice how quiet it is here. Few ambient noise and few other walkers. We hardly meet anyone all afternoon. It is wonderful to walk here.
After the fields we dive into the forest. Woodpeckers make holes in the trees here. These burrows are then hijacked by pine martens. We do not see both animals, but we do see the burrows.

Sayaguesa cattle

We encounter the Sayaguesa in several places. They are impressively large and black. They are of Spanish descent and graze on the heather, just like the flock of sheep.

Hiding place De Wigwam and Pottiesbargien

There is a hiding place in the forest. We take a look. The area here is somewhat hilly and we can well imagine that it is an ideal place for people in hiding. It was discovered by the Germans at the end of 1944.

A little further is a burial mound. A large hunnebed has stood here, about 5000 years old. Here mountains of potsherds have been found, that’s where the name Pottiesbargien comes from. The stones of the hunnebed have since disappeared. They were used as building material.

Crow heather

In this area you see a lot of crow heather. Must be a beautiful sight in the fall. Crow heather can only be seen above the rivers and it likes the cold. Badgers, foxes and of course crows love the berries.

Old Willem

We then walk in a more open area. This area used to be an agricultural area. This part has been included in the National Park and is now getting a more natural look. Here we see another group of cattle.

Kale Duinen

We are so enthusiastic about this National Park that we take a look again the next day. Now in the northern part at the Kale Duinen. Here you can walk the red route of Staatsbosbeheer.

The walk starts at the Aekingermeer and Aekingerzand car parks near Elsloo. You walk along a beautiful pond and then through the drifting sand area. There is a lot of heather (probably very beautiful in September). We also experience enormous peace here. It is a beautiful area. After the drifting sand area, you walk in a large circle through the forest, past a larger fen and always in the vicinity of the “Bald Dunes”.


  • Start and end point: Walk Rest: parking Schaapskooi at the Huenderweg in Doldersum, Walk Kale Duinen: parking Aekingermeer / Aekingerzand, Canadaweg in Elsloo.
  • Distance: Walk Rust is 15 kilometers, Kale Duinen 5 kilometers
  • Marking: Walk Rust is not indicated with poles, you can follow the route via the Natuurmonumentenapp, walk Kale Duinen is indicated with red poles.
  • Information: Walk Rust – via website or app Natuurmonumenten, walk Kale Duinen via website of Staatsbosbeheer.