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Hiking, Biking & Travel

National Park De Meinweg

De Meinweg national park is located in Limburg on the border with Germany. A terraced landscape with “un-Dutch” height differences, long forest paths, heather and fens. We discover De Meinweg, an unknown park in Limburg.

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 Meinweg National Park


The Meinweg has been a national park since 1990, when the area became the joint property of the 14 villages. “Mein” means common. The Meinweg is a national park of 1800 hectares, enclosed on three sides by Germany and part of the Maas-Swalm-Nette border park.
It is a unique landscape because of the terraces already mentioned. These were created by scrapping the water of the Maas and the Rhine in combination with fractures in the earth that run through the park. There are two streams in the park, the Rode Beek and the Boschbeek.

Many different animals live in the park. It is the only place outside the Veluwe where wild boars live. You can also encounter deer, polecat, martens and stoat. The number of dragonflies and butterflies is unique. In addition, many amphibians and reptiles, including the adder, live there and this adder is also in the logo of the park.


There are various routes through the park, including from the De Boshut visitor center in Herkenbosch. At the Boshut you will also find a play forest and water playground. Staatsbosbeheer, the park’s manager, has set out a number of short routes in different parts of the park.


My humble opinion….


De Meinweg National Park is a very varied park. It offers considerable height differences and thus feels foreign. It immediately gives you a holiday feeling when you have to climb and see the hills around you. We soon have a view of beautiful pools, the Icelandic horses and we see the signs with warnings for black game (wild boars). I read on the internet that this route is the most beautiful that Limburg has to offer.

I tend to disagree. We found the Meinweg and this route beautiful and varied, but sometimes a bit boring because they are long wide paths. I liked certain parts such as the Rolvennen very much, but some parts through the woods took a bit long. That does not make it the most beautiful park for me… I found the Maasduinen even more surprising and beautiful in that respect (with nice paths). We have hardly seen any wild animals, but many tracks, so they are there! Maybe we will come back!

De route

The route


The Meinvennen route that we walk is 19 kilometers long and passes all the highlights that this national park has to offer. The website Water.Wandel.Wereld. gives you all the information about the route. We park at the Melicker Bosweg.


We arrive on the route via the cattle grid (wild boars!). A bit confused, should we go left or straight ahead, but we should go straight ahead. The route can be walked in two ways. The post on the left makes you walk the route counterclockwise, we walk clockwise. After a nice and varied stretch, we arrive at a path along the meadows (Hofstelle) where Icelanders graze. There are many geese taking a break.


We dive into the forest (Luzenkamp), tall trees, considerable height differences, wide paths. The first border maker says we are in Germany. The signs are in German and Dutch and warn us sternly that we are not allowed to leave the trails: Naturschutzgebiet.
We enjoy the surroundings and the wonderful weather. It is great walking weather. We are even dressed a little too warmly. Don’t expect it to be this good. We arrive at the Melickerven and have a short break with a nice view over the water.


Waalsberg viewing tower


When we later arrive at the Waalsberg we see that a considerable forest fire has raged. The lookout tower therefore offers a somewhat sad view, many blackened trees and a black surface. Although I learned in Yosemite NP in America that a forest fire can bring a lot of good for an area. In fact, the impressive sequoias can only germinate their seeds through forest fires, which require high temperatures. Staatsbosbeheer reports here that they are going to replace the dead trees.


Rolvennen


We walk on to the Rolvennen. A beautiful, extensive area. Lots of heather, probably beautiful in September. Via the Lange Luier we arrive in a slightly busier area. As soon as we get close to a parking space, we notice it immediately. The other parts of the walk are very quiet.

IJzeren Rijn

We pass the Iron Rhine, the railway from Antwerp to the Ruhr area. Not in use since 1991. A more open piece follows, with a view of the Herkenbosscherven and again the Melickerven (from the other side). Nice view with a pair of birds of prey. Magnificent!


The Golf Course


Via the Melicker Bosweg we continue our way along the Herkenbosch golf course. This area is called Luzenkamp, ​​a dense forest with many traces of wild boars. Unfortunately we don’t see any! The last part is about narrower paths and meanders over the hills. Fun.

Information:

  • Start and end point: Melicker Bosweg, it is also possible to start at De Meinweg
  • Length: 19 kilometers
  • Signage: there are posts of the Meinvennenroute, which can be walked in two directions
  • Level difference: the highest point is 80 meters, so that is not too bad, but there is a height difference
  • Information: A clear map, all information about the area and the route can be found on the website of the park.