The largest peat bog area in northwestern Europe. A landscape full of lakes, reed beds, migration holes, swamp forests and quaking peat. Where you glide through and you end up eye and eye with a white heron, a swan or deer.
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…. Weerribben Wieden National Park
The Weerribben Wieden National Park is perhaps best discovered from the water. We visited the National Park last year in winter and again this year. We plan to return sometime in the spring or summer. Last year we were in the Weerribben, the northern part of the park. Now we visit the southern part and we walk in the Wieden.
The Weerribben Wieden was created by human hands. The digging of peat created pits and puddles and lakes. This landscape attracts special plants and animals that feel good in this wetland area. Many birds nest here, the deer is abundant here with 500 pieces and the otter feels at home here.
Did you know that the otter can only live in a high-quality environment? The Weerribben Wieden National Park has a special status, it is one of the 74 most important nature reserves in Europe. This status has been obtained because of the alternation of open water, reed and hay meadows and swamp forests.
There are two visitor centers. Visitor center De Wieden (Natuurmonumenten) in Sint Jansklooster and Buitencentrum De Weerribben (Forestry Commission) in Ossenzijl. You can discover the Weerribben Wieden on foot but also by bike and of course via the water. This is a beautiful area for boating, canoeing or paddle boarding.
My humble opinion
De Weerribben Wieden National Park is an attractive area. You can also enjoy a nice walk here in winter. Waterproof shoes are advisable, because the mud reaches your knees and you regularly sink further into the wet areas.
The northern part, where we walked last year, seems quieter than the southern part. We now heard a lot of ambient noise. There were fellow hikers, but I certainly did not experience it as busy. The routes that we walked today in Kiersche Wijde are varied, nice narrow paths. Last year we also walked partly along the road. Nice area!
We walk the Kiersche Wijdepad De Wieden near Wanneperveen. Here we first walk the yellow route from the parking lot and then the red route. It is not a long walk, but walking here is not that easy because the surface is quite swampy.
The yellow route starts at the bridge. We walk through the field to a bush. Here is the duck decoy. Duck decoys used to be used to catch ducks.
We enjoy the landscape while walking. It is wide. Water everywhere, in channels, canals and lakes. Many aquatic plants grow here, we see the thick roots. The water here is very clear, another sign of the quality.
When you walk here you can feel the earth moving under your feet. Besides the fact that the path occasionally turns into a mud pool or into a hop, skip and jump race, you can feel the vibrating bog everywhere. This quaking bog is one of the last stages of landscaping, the process from water to land.
In the Weerribben Wieden, the managers are always working to ensure that sufficient open water remains. The plants that grow there provide land for decades. When that process is over, they ensure that water is created again and the process starts again.
In the swamp forests such as the Elzenbroekbos, the Alder and willow trees are intertwined. It is also called the jungle.
Everywhere you see long straight channels, the pulling holes. These were created by dredging peat. I imagine how they used to live here in this area. That has been a hard life, I think.
The Red Route
We pick up the red route at the parking lot. We walk on a wide plain and immediately see three deer. They seem a bit panicked, because they keep running back and forth. It is three o’clock, not yet twilight and they are in the middle of the open area. They are also coming our way, we stop behind a bush for a while. But they still get scared and run back. Later, when we have passed a great distance, they still run to the bush, to safety.
After the more open part, a number of bushes and various open areas follow, including along a large lake. The red route is more attractive in our opinion. Runs through a nicer part of the Kiersche Wijde. The presence of different deer, the narrow paths and the variety play a role in this.
- Start and end point: Kiersche Wijde car park on Lozedijk in Wanneperveen.
- Length: The yellow path and the red path together about 10 km
- Marking: yellow and red post
- Information: you can find all the information on the Natuurmonumenten website