Beautiful estates with beautifully landscaped gardens combined with heaths, fens, drifting dunes and lots of forest. That is the Utrechtse Heuvelrug! The second, after the Veluwe, the largest continuous forest in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has 21 national parks. We have set ourselves the goal of visiting all these beautiful parks within a year. I make a report with beautiful photos of every visit. Do you want to see which parks we have already visited? Then take a look here!
Typically… Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park
This National Park is a sand ridge of about 50 kilometers, which originated in the Ice Age. The “mountains” are not that high, the Amerongse mountain is the highest point with 68 meters, the Grebbeberg measures 52 meters. It does indicate that there is variation in the landscape.
There are heaths, drifting sands, a few pools and a lot of woods. In addition, this landscape has always been attractive to inhabit. Rich gentlemen and ladies have had beautiful country houses built in the past and these estates are part of the National Park.
My humble opinion
We have already hiked in this National Park before, last year we were in the beautiful Leersumse Veld, this time we go to De Kaapse Bossen and the Ruiterberg. It is a pleasant walk, but we do not find this area very impressive or special.
This also has to do with the experience of nature, it is busy on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. We solved this by deviating from the route, but the feeling remains a bit with us. When we go hiking again I am curious about the surroundings of the Grebbeberg and the Amerongse Berg.
The walking route
We start at the Het Doornse Gat car park, between Doorn and Leersum. At that time it is still fairly quiet, we see a number of other walkers and a number of children are playing at the playground and excavation in the Doornse Gat.
Various walking routes have been set out in this part of De Kaapse Bossen and De Ruiterberg. We walk along the Doornse Gat, a surprising area because there is a lot of height difference here. The Kaapse Bossen Highlights route is blue, the Ruiterberg route is brown. At first we follow a combination of those routes, but soon we notice that it is actually busy there. We decide to follow an alternative route ourselves. As soon as we move away from it, it is wonderfully quiet on the paths.
Autumn is in full swing in the woods. Many leaves have already fallen, which means that we can stroll through the leaves, but there are still beautiful colors to see. We also see a lot of different mushrooms. We can’t hold back and try to shoot some pretty pictures! By using the Obsentify app we also get to know a number of new types. There are fly agarics, gloomy honey fungi, large sponge fungi and various mycena species. They are so fragile!
Watchtower De Kaap
The walking route also goes along the watchtower and we also reach it via other paths. It is completely busy here! And it seems as if no one has ever heard of Corona, people are standing on the tower without masks or a meter and a half away and also near the tower and the stairs are busy. We decide to skip the view….
We walk further towards De Ruiterberg, here it is quieter than in the Kaapse Bossen while the surroundings are just as beautiful. Long forest avenues, interspersed with small, narrow paths. The country estate is one of the typical country estates that you see a lot on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. A sleek garden contrasts with the dense forest that surrounds it. The sunlight falls softly through the trees….
- Start and end point: Het Doornse Gat car park, Leersumsestraatweg between Doorn and Leersum, also possible to start at Groene Entree Kaapse Bossen, in Doorn or at Sint Helenaheuvel
- Length: The blue route “Hoogtepunten (Highlights) Kaapse Bossen” is 9 km, the brown route “De Ruiterberg” is just over 5 kilometers, we have walked a combination of 12.5 kilometers and deviated from the route. There is also a Trage Tocht of 19 kilometers, which starts in Leersum.
- Level difference: practically nil
- More information: on the website of Wandel.nl you can find information about the blue and brown route, on the website of Frankwandelt you can find information about the Trage Tocht.