The grass is always greener somewhere. Not so for the Sallandse Heuvelrug: it is perfect already. Perfect for cycling, for example. For clearing your head or to look for inspiration. Do not make the mountaintops your ultimate goal, there is no need. The views are breath-taking from halfway up too.
These mountains, so out of character in the Dutch landscape, were formed by glaciers from Scandinavia around 200,000 years ago. Up to as much as 76 meters above NAP (Ordnance Datum Amsterdam). The route takes you through dark woods where wolves were presumed to be extinct until recently. It leads you past endless heathland and rolling sand drifts. The park is a hotspot for birds and the last remaining habitat of the black grouse. The rare juniper shrubs with their irregular silhouettes lend a surreal air to the landscape.
Did you know that the opposite of albinism is melanism? The name is derived from the Greek word melanos, meaning black. And did you know that black deer have been spotted more and more on the Sallandse Heuvelrug over the last few years? They are not rare, but very special nonetheless. You best chance of seeing one is just before dawn, at the edge of the forest where it turns into an open landscape.
Hiring a bicycle is easy. Cycle routes and maps are available from the hire companies, at the three visitor’s centres and online. Look on www. .nl, where you can create your own route with connecting points. Make sure you don’t forget to include your favourite terrace along the route! There is also a Eat and Ride route.
Get off your bike use your eyes and ears. There is always something happening in the natural world. It’s also a good idea to get off your bike at one of the welcoming restaurants. Restaurant De Uitkijk, for example, on the edge of the National Park, by the Twente border. This is where nature is served straight to your plate. Pure, without frills!
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