Netherlands,  Walking Wednesday,  We12hike

Walking Wednesday: Deelerwoud

Would it really be happening, would it be sunny for the first weekend in 4 weeks? Although I planned to go hiking in Reichswald in Germany this weekend, I had to change my plans. That morning, tickets for Pinkpop Festival were going on sale and since I really wanted to get tickets for their Sunday line up (Foo Fighters!) I had to stay home and try to get my hands on those, while Martijn was away for his first aid course. As I had no clue how long the virtual queue for tickets would be and I also planned on visiting my dad for a cup of tea I decided to stay closer to home. The sunshines on my weather app were smiling at me and soon enough I decided to get out to Deelerwoud, just north of Arnhem.

Deelerwoud litterally means “woods of Deelen”. Deelen is a small village with just about 50 inhabitants and it’s mostly known because of its military airfield that nowadays is only in use for helicopter trainings by the Royal Dutch Air Force. However, when visiting Deelerwoud you don’t see anything of this, other than an old military museum and a large ground being fenced off for training.

Deelerwoud is a part of the Dutch nature area Veluwe and is located right between the two national parks: to the left you can find Hoge Veluwe National Park and to the right you can find Veluwezoom National Park. There were, unexpectedly, quite some other people on the parking lot, but luckily I managed to leave them behind quickly. I really don’t like it when someone is following my footsteps…

Although you would expect this area to be covered in woods, nothing less is true. The walk I planned on taking actually goes all across a big heathland with incredible 360 degree views on a clear day. The only disadvantage of walking here, is that the trails are pretty straightforward, you just can’t go wrong. Many trails are closed for wildlife so other than following the signposted routes, there aren’t many other options for hiking.

Speaking of wildlife … you may bump into some big boys, which we call Scottish Highlanders (official name: Scottish cattle). Even though I’ve been told they do no harm, I always feel quite uncomfortable running into them. Sometimes they are right on the trail (and ofcourse, they don’t move) which can lead to hilarious situations… this time, oh well, I might as well tell you…

I always have to pee while hiking. Not a problem because I don’t care about zipping down my pants and squatting in the bush at Deelerwoud. However as you can see in the pictures, there’s not a lot of bush, or at least not at the area where I was.  So instead, I decided to kind of hide behind a tree. So when squatting and peeing, I suddenly heard a sound behind me. While looking behind me (try that without losing balance while you have squatted) I got the scare of a lifetime: a giant Scottish Highlander had appeared right behind me and I can tell you, his look wasn’t friendly. However, it’s not as if I could stop peeing on demand, so there I was, squatting behind a tree with my jeans on my knees and a big fat piece of beef behind me. All I could do is whisper “please don’t come any closer … please don’t come any closer … please don’t come any closer”  … and he didn’t. I think he just got curious about what the hell I was doing there… no need to say it made me pretty uncomfortable…

Big, ugly, scary and beefy!

So anyway, after surviving that (oh boy, I am unsure how to handle this when hiking by myself in Alaska this summer … grizzly bears are definitely another piece of cake than Scottish Highlanders) I just walked.. and walked. Had a small break, hung up my iPhone in a tree to get a picture of me (I just ordered a new tripod!) and chatted to some photographers. And other than that, I just walked. Walking is like my yoga… but more on that some other time. For now, just enjoy the pictures.


deelerwoud-map deelerwoud-pano-1 deelerwoud-pano-2 deelerwoud-pano-3 deelerwoud-reflection deelerwoud-tree deelerwoud-tree-3 deelerwoud-trees deelerwoud-waymarkerdeelerwoud-and-antorunkeeper-track
Next week I’ll be hiking in … Belgium! Until then.

More reading? Check all Walking Wednesdays or click we12walk for all of our hiking stories. Or any of these:
Winter hiking in Zell am See, Austria
Negro Bill Canyon Trail: must-do hike in Moab
Hiking Vancouver Island’s Wild Pacific Trail

Thanks for sharing!


  • Beth

    Looks like a very nature-filled walk! Does the grass actually turn green come summertime? I bet it would be even more beautiful then.

    • anto

      Nope it stays like this all year long, at least, that’s what I remember. Good question actually, I’ll remember to check this hike out in the summer, too!

  • Hannah

    LOL to the story with the Scottish cow! I’m glad nothing bad happened. Personally, I love those thing. Apparently it’s a ‘Canadian thing’ and we all go crazy for them when we see them in Scotland. But I definitely wouldn’t want one chasing me with my pants down 😉
    Also, feel free to send some of that sun my way please! It’s time for spring and the snow to melt!

  • Jenna

    Haha! Too funny! I can just imagine what a surprise that would have been 🙂 Did you get the tickets for the festival? Sounds like fun–love the Foo Fighters!

    • anto

      Yup, did get the tickets. Within 5 minutes actually so being in the virtual queue 90 minutes before it opened was totally worth it. I’ll happily give up a weekend of traveling in spring for Foo Fighters 🙂

  • Tam Gamble

    I love finding new trails to wander along. There is something very appealing about exploring somewhere without a mass of crowds around. Some great pictures of your trail.

  • kami

    lol, I love the story with the cow! 😀 I would be so terrified!!!
    and well, I don’t blame you for skipping Germany – Foo Fighters must be incredible live!

    • anto

      Haha I was just surprised … and the week before a colleague of mine told me she was attached by one so when down in squat position I couldn’t help thinking of that. I’m sure they would do no harm though… they’re just large!

  • Meg Jerrard

    Sounds like a great walk! Scottish cattle are my favorite – we ran into a bunch of highland cows would you believe on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the US last year – was quite random to say the least! But they made for great photos – such beautiful animals!

  • Sammi Wanderlustin'

    Ooooh it looks lovely. Scottish highlander’s and all. We have a lot of cows where I live, my issue is more with stepping in their pats, or having the dog roll in them, rather than the cows themselves.

    • anto

      Oh yeah we have regular cows here, too. When I go running, I sometimes have to run straight through a herd and pat them on their ass to get out of my way … 🙂

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