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Hiking, Biking & Travel

National Park De Alde Feanen

The National Park De Alde Faeanen is located in the heart of Friesland. A wetland area where peat was originally cut. More than 100 species of birds live here and you can enjoy walking and cycling. There is also plenty to do on the water.

We have set ourselves the goal of visiting the 21 National Parks of the Netherlands within a year. Here you can read all about the parks we allready visited. Alde Feanen is one of them!

When we visit De Alde Faenen it is very fresh for the time of year. We camp at the Reidplum nature camping site, in the middle of the park. It is cold at night, about four or five degrees above zero. Fortunately we have a nice thick sleeping bag.

Typical… ..National Park De Alde Feanen

The National Park is a varied area, with swamp forests, a lot of water in the form of pet holes and reed beds. It is clearly visible that peat used to be cut here, but you can also see that nature can now take its course. It is a very wide and quiet area. We don’t meet many other people on our walks and bike rides. It is wonderfully quiet. The silence is interrupted by birdsong. Because there are a lot of birds living here!

The National Park Visitor Center is located in Earnewald. One of the beautiful villages around the park. If you are looking for more entertainment, you will find restaurants and larger campsites here.

You can make various walking and cycling trips from the visitor center and from the campsite. There are also canoes for rent with nice routes, we are curious about that.

During our adventures in this park we encountered many animals, deer, hares and countless birds. We have not seen the White-tailed Eagle that also breeds here. We did thoroughly enjoy the storks.

My humble opinion

On the way to our campsite we already encounter a lot of animals, that is very promising! We are pleasantly surprised with the small cozy terrain. After we have set up the tent, we enjoy the storks for a while. They are the neighbors of De Reidplum nature camping site, in the middle of the park. There are about 26 breeding pairs this year. They are busy with their nest. When Mom or Dad returns with nesting material, he or she is greeted with exuberant clattering. A wonderful sound!

We make a nice bike ride and several walks in the few days that we are in De Alde Feanen. We found this park surprisingly beautiful and wonderfully quiet. Really recommended to spend a few days here! We came here during a number of chilly days at the beginning of May, we are curious how it will be here when the tourist season starts…. Is it also so wonderfully quiet here?

Bicycle tour

We start our cycling tour at the campsite at Earnewald. Almost immediately there is a heavy downpour, luckily it blows over quickly. We drive towards Warten and there we meet the first ferry. With a call you get in touch with the skipper, who tells us to arrive in a minute.

A little later we sail into the harbor of Warten with the ferry. Everything is very pleasant. The Frisians we meet are friendly and have a good chat. We cycle from Warten to Grou. This part of the tour goes along open meadows, we see the National Park in the distance. We have a headwind….

Grou

Once in Grou, two ferries follow. Grou is a nice village with a large harbor. After Grou the path follows towards Veenhoop. On the way we go again with a ferry. It gives us a wonderful holiday feeling!

In the meantime, we enjoy the rich bird life around us. At Veenhoop we dive back into the National Park. We cycle past a watchtower and have a beautiful view over the reed lands. The last ferry follows at Earnawald. The village suddenly feels busy after all that cycling in the open area. We make another loop around the northernmost part of the park, after which we return to the campsite.

The storks are busy there and the sun is shining. Yummy! Enjoy with a glass of wine.

Hikes

We hike two times from the campsite. The first path is the Kuierpaad, a walk through the area behind the campsite: Wikelslan. A walk of about 4 kilometers through swamp forest, reed beds and along many lakes and ditches. Nice narrow paths through the forest and wider grassy paths along the reed beds.

We come across a viewing tower and several birdwatching huts. It is a varied walk.

We see many birds, a deer and a hare. It is wonderfully quiet. Here and there we meet a walker with a dog, but they can be counted on one hand.

The other trail is on the other side of the campsite and runs along the swamp forest and reed beds. Back through the meadows. It is not a marked walk. We make a tour from node 41, to 67, 58 and back via 64. The first part up to 67 is particularly beautiful.

A lot of tranquility here too. We don’t meet anyone. And plenty of bird watching.

De Reidplum nature camping site

The natural camping area where we sleep is a small area with ten places. The owner Jurjen Veldboom is a friendly guy who immediately makes you feel welcome. The terrain is small but nice. There are bushes and trees around the site. The plumbing is fine and there are a number of picnic tables. Fire can be lit, there are fire bowls and you can buy wood at Jurjen. The big plus in this area are the neighbors: the storks that have nests around and fly back and forth. Spectacular to behold! In addition, it is wonderfully quiet!

We made a day trip to Lauwersmeer National Park from De Reidplum. Of course you can also easily go to other interesting nature reserves from here. We think it would be nice to have a look at De Alde Feanen from the water. You can rent canoes from Jurjen.