A vast landscape with a wide view of large and small lakes. Plenty of birds and other animals. A beautiful upland moor area referred to as “wetland”. Walking in the Groote Peel offers tranquility.
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!
De Groote Peel National Park
De Groote Peel is located on the border of the province of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. A national park that is 14 square kilometers in size, with little human influence. This way you hardly hear any sounds and you don’t meet many people.
It is an area in which you walk through woods, along heather and thickets, but especially along the water. The one time it is a large water such as Aan ‘t Elfde, the other time it is peel canals, elongated ditches. The paths are often wide and long. Here and there there are narrower paths and of course there are the club bridges over the water-rich parts. There are many birds, including cranes, and other animals such as butterflies, dragonflies, but also deer, weasel, ermine, polecat and even wild boar. The latter surprises me because I did not expect it here.
On the Limburg side, on the Moostdijk, is the Buitencentrum of Staatsbosbeheer De Pelen. A number of short hiking routes start here. These routes, including a gnome path, are partially wheelchair accessible and go, for example, to the lookout tower or along bat bridges. It’s a bit busier here. We walked “Over de silent Heide” a route of Roots.
My humble opinion about De Groote Peel
A beautiful expansive park with lots of water. Also worth a visit in winter. We see many animals. Of course many birds but also deer. Part of the park is closed during the breeding season to give the birds a rest, so you cannot make the route we walked during that period. That is something to take into account. The park is very quiet and I liked that. The paths are a bit boring here and there, because they are very long and wide. The bat bridges are beautiful to walk on. We have not yet seen the east side of the park, I would like to take a look here when the cranes pass by….
It is a wonderful day for walking when we visit the Groote Peel. Beautiful sunny day in February. We are a bit wary of crowds, but as soon as we are fifteen minutes away from the parking lot it is already quieter. We walk a route where we see most of the park, the wooded outer edges, the larger lakes such as Aan ‘t Elfde and the extensive part of the lake in the middle De Pijp.
After the attractive gnome forest we arrive at the Mussenbaan. Here you have a view of the meadows and the water at the edges of the National Park. Here you see many water birds such as the Greylag Goose.
We also spot the Yellowhammer here, an attractive yellow bird that I have never seen before.
We arrive in a swamp area where to our surprise three deer feast on the tall grass. Mid-day! They keep eating undisturbed and I can take a picture of them. Beautiful!
Then we walk towards Aan ‘t Elfde. We keep crossing small ditches, canals. The large Aan ‘t Elfde is an enormous pond. We don’t see many birds here.
A more extensive part follows, in which the Filosche Peel is located. The paths here are long and wide. We like it but after a while also a bit boring.
When we get close to Aan ‘t Elfde again we dive into a narrower path. We immediately experience the environment in a different way. As if you can see, smell, feel everything better. A little later we can take a path on the border of Noord-Brabant and Limburg that runs through Aan ‘t Elfde. We think this is a wonderful path. The vast water on both sides!
Then we walk back to the Limburg side, towards the Buitencentrum. Here we pick up the red route that goes past the watchtower and past the knuppel bridges.
Nice to walk over such a bat bridge, where you actually walk through and over the water.
Outdoor center de Pelen
At the outdoor center we enjoy a nice drink on the terrace and with this we conclude our visit.
- Start and end point: Buitencentrum De Pelen, Moostdijk, Ospel
- Length: 15 kilometers, can be shortened at various places
- Signage: none, we have taken over the route from Roots / Wandelnet in Route.nl
- Information: information about the short routes can be found on the website of Staatsbosbeheer, the route we walked is on Wandelnet.nl