Last month I spent some time in Limburg, the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. Instead of visiting the historic cities like Roermond, Maastricht, or Valkenburg, I decided to visit the smaller towns and enjoy nature to the fullest. In Limburg you can find plenty of vineyards, asparagus fields, heartlands, fens, river dunes, forests and a stunning national park: Maasduinen National Park (in Dutch: National Park De Maasduinen). The countryside of Limburg is stunning and a visit to Maasduinen National Park is definitely worth it.
National Park De Maasduinen
Maasduinen National Park lies between the river Maas and the German border in the north of Limburg. It’s an elongated ridge of sand and about three kilometers wide and twenty kilometers long. Pretty big! You can find all kinds of different landscapes like forests, heathlands, fens, lakes and shifting sands.
Maasduinen National Park is home to many special animals and plants. When lucky, you might spot some beavers, foxes, bats, toads, lizards, or snakes. For sure you will see countless birds, sheeps, goats, and galloways. Only the fish are scarce in Maasduinen National Park because the fens do not contain enough nutrients.
You can combine your visit to Maasduinen National Park with one of the many attractions nearby. The castle gardens of Castle Arcen, the Arcen Thermal Baths, or Nijmegen are within a half hour drive from De Maasduinen.
When cycling in Limburg, you can easily plan your cycling route in Limburg using the numbered nodes of the cycling network. There are also maps with cycling routes leading you along the most beautiful locations in Limburg. My biking tour in the Maasduinen National Park started from Parkhotel Bad Arcen. I passed the following numbers on the map below: 55-63-73-75-64-28-65-29-37-79-31-80-30-80-68-89-40-57-46-61-71-15-27-62-74-55. The route was 54 kilometers. Despite the cold and regular rain showers I enjoyed the tour and landscapes a lot.
During the cycling route I had two breaks, one for lunch and one for dinner. The first stop was at the visitor centre of the national park De Maasduinen, build in an old lock chamber of a sluice. It is a unique building, literally hanging in the old lock basin that connects the Reindersmeer with the Leukermeer. It is an ideal base for many walking and cycling routes and here you get the route information.
The second stop was at Pancake House the Bumpy Belly (Pannekoekhuis De Bolle Buik) where you can eat Dutch pancakes (pannenkoeken). Dutch pancakes are usually larger (up to a foot in diameter) and much thinner than American pancakes, but not as thin as crêpes. Dutch pancake houses are famous throughout the world so enjoying them in the country of origin is a must for many!
Plan your own cycling route
You can plan your own cycling route via this website or use one of the ready to go cycling routes below:
If you have any questions or remarks on cycling in the Maasduinen National Park, The Netherlands, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
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