Are there any undiscovered places left in this world? Absolutely! Somewhere in busy Europe? Yes! Earlier this year I travelled to the Dutch-German Naturpark Moor Veenland, a stunning nature park on the border of Drenthe in the Netherlands and Emsland in Germany. The landscape is formed mostly by various moorlands, connected to each other with roads and a small village every now and then.
Peace and quiet rules in this area. I cycled here on a Saturday and hiked on a Sunday and barely met anyone else. There’s no need to queue for a parking spot as you sometimes need to do in very popular nature parks. Once you have left the parking lot, you won’t really run into other people anymore. In this blog I’m giving you my tips for hiking and biking in Naturpark Moor Veenland.
Biking in Naturpark Moor Veenland
At this moment, biking is very popular in this area of Europe so you can find cycle trails anywhere, including in Naturpark Moor Veenland. You can buy a kit with eight different cycle routes at the various information points in the park. It’s called ‘Rad-Touren im Naturpark’ only costs € 3,50. The length of the cycle routes varies between 35-67 kilometer and will mostly take you through the German part of the Naturpark. I planned on doing the 67 km long Moor tour but since I had a pretty busy schedule that day, I decided to make my own route based on this particular one. As I lost the way a few times and also made a detour to a really nice lunch spot, I eventually ended up cycling some 55 kilometers. The best part of the tour definitely was the part where I cycled right on the border of The Netherlands and Germany. In my case, I was heading south so Germany was to my left and The Netherlands was to my right.
When it’s time to take a break, I suggest you go to Theetuin d’Aole Pastorie in Zwartemeer for lunch or a snack. They have the most amazing homemade cakes and pies, as well as a tasty lunch and a large selection of special teas. They also have a large garden where you can sit down and relax. Especially on sunny days it’s a real pleasure to spend some time here.
Other highlights of the day were my visit to the Wietmarscher Moor and the Rühler Moor, which I ran into on this route. I also crossed various old railroad tracks so it was a day filled with adventures and awesome landscapes. You can start this bike tour in Zwartemeer (NL), Meppen or Twist (both DE).
Hiking in Naturpark Moor Veenland
A weekend without walking (or hiking) is not a real weekend for me. And so I put on my hiking shoes and decided to explore Naturpark Moor Veenland by foot on Sunday. In the morning I hiked the 17 kilometer long Natuurparkpad. I started this hike from the parking lot in Twist at the Bargerveen, hiked a short section of the cycle trail I did yesterday along the border and eventually the trail leaves the border and heads into Germany. If you don’t like long and straight roads, this hike may not be for you and I’d choose another hike. However I enjoyed it a lot, also because I ran into a handful of other people only, something that is unfamiliar for me on a Sunday. Another great option is to hike around the Provinzial Moor, which I visited the evening before. The cottongrass was in full bloom and I was accompanied by a guide, who told me everything about the moor and showed me lots of plants and wildlife.
You can also do several short hikes in Bargerveen, the Dutch part of the nature park. Most of the walks start from the parking lot at Bargerveen Noord. I came here on my first evening to see the sunset and kind of found my own way, however there are quite a few signposted routes as well. Check this link for a map and suggestions. Another option is to go to Twist where they have a really nice watch tower, making it a great spot to go with kids, too. I also ran into a lady who told me that you, if you look well, can find snakes in the area. So unless you are, like me, extremely frightened of snakes, this would be another great option.
My final suggestion for hiking would be to go to Wietmarscher Moor. Here you can find a very nice lookout point where you can easily walk to from the parking lot. In this area work is still being done and it makes a very attractive place for photographers as well. You can read all about my visit to Wietmarscher Moor in my previous blog about Naturpark Moor Veenland.
This is how I spent my weekend in Naturpark Moor Veenland. Even though it was raining quite a few times as well, I still managed to make a short video of my impressions. Enjoy!
From the Netherlands you can reach the park through Emmen, from Germany look for Meppen. For now if you want to read more, please visit the official website of German-Dutch Naturpark Moor Veenland. If you enjoy visiting natural areas in Germany, also check out the webpage about nature on the German Tourism Board for some great inspiration for future travels!
Did you ever hear of this area before?
[I was invited on this trip by the German Tourism Board as a part of the #EnjoyGermanNature campaign. As always, given opinions are solely my own.]
Want to read more about how to enjoy German Nature? You may also like the following posts:
– Hiking Calmont Klettersteig – testing your alpine skills in Germany
– Winter hiking in Sauerland
– The best places in Germany for hiking this fall
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Thanks for sharing!