Today we went for a walk in the Hollandse Duinen National Park. Officially it is not a National Park yet, it is still under development, but the beautiful and varied nature reserve has of course been there for a while.
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… .. the National Park Hollandse Duinen
We are on the coast, in the dunes between The Hague and Katwijk. The park will stretch even further and is likely to be completed in 2021. It is a collaboration between, among others, Dunea, the water extraction company for most of the park and dozens of other managers.
You can follow different routes in Meijendel, the hawthorn valley in the middle of the park. The starting point is the Tapuit visitor center. You can park for free at the Tapuit or at Kievietsduin. You can link the different routes. That way you walk a nice and varied walk. Along dunes, to the beach, in forests and with many puddles.
In the visitor center there is a toilet and information about the area. At the neighbors, farm Meijendel, you can eat or drink something. There is a large playground and a monkey forest where children can climb. In the Duincampus you will find all kinds of fun games and assignments along the path. The Hollandse Duinen National Park is close to Museum Voorlinden and the city of The Hague, there is much to do in the area.
My humble opinion
Dunea’s website contains a lot of information, yet I did not have a good idea of the area before we arrived. The website about the National Parks also gave me too little information. Once in the area, it turned out that Dunea does everything it can to bring nature in a fun and attractive way, especially for children. It was therefore quite busy on this winter Sunday.
We had a nice hike, especially by following the green posts along the yellow and blue route and of course in Kijfhoek (more about that later). I am curious how this park will develop further. Besides Meijendel there are more areas to discover, we will definitely come back!
The hiking trails
We start at the Tapuit and first walk the yellow Beach Route towards Strand Meijendel. You will occasionally see a green pole along the path, here you can get off the wider path via a narrow path. This makes your route a bit more exciting. The environment changes from forest with many oaks to increasingly lower dune vegetation. We come across some puddles.
Dunea is a water extraction company, there is a lot of water in the area: seepage and infiltration pools. The fountains have a slightly sloping bank and the pools a steeper bank. We also regularly see extraction wells. The infiltration pools replenish the extracted amount of water with pre-purified river water (from the Afgedamde Maas). For lovers of water birds there is much to see here, many birds settle here, such as the little grebe, shoveler, black-necked grebe and crested duck.
Meijendel beach is wonderfully quiet. The sea is calm and on one of the dunes we drink a hot cup of tea and eat our lunch.
The blue route and Kijfhoek
The blue route is characterized by narrower paths with more height difference. The highest dunes here are about 30 meters high. Along the route you will find a number of observation walls, which overlook water. Definitely go there!
There are many oaks with winding branches along the paths. Without leaves, their shape stands out even more.
Along the blue route is the entrance to Kijfhoek and Bierlap. A rest area that you are only allowed in if you buy a ticket (online). The area has no fixed routes, but there are green posts. Some posts have a number so you know where you are. You can stroll along the narrow paths. It is a lot quieter than on the blue and yellow route. We think it is a beautiful area.
Konik horses and Galloway cattle graze in Meijendel. In addition, Drenthe Heath Sheep. The roe deer is a common species. Rabbits are less and less common. We only saw sheep during our visit.
- Start and end point: Tapuit Visitor Center, free parking (you have to pass a barrier) or Kievietsduin parking lot
- Length: different routes, yellow 4.5 km, blue 3.2 km and red 3.6 km. You can combine the routes. There is also an NS walking route through the area from The Hague to Wassenaar.
- Height difference: there is some height difference, but not much. The routes are suitable for buggies, the narrow (green posts) paths are not.
- Information: National Park website and Dunea’s website contains information about the routes and a map.