TIP: Check before you go out this website of the province of Utrecht to avoid busy places

Getting some fresh air is extra nice during these dark days. I love walking through my own neighbourhood, but sometimes a different, more forestry or rural environment is also very welcome. In this blog a number of nice walks in and around Utrecht, including practical information such as where to park.

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Beerschoten, Houdringe en Panbos

This is a true walk in the woods, with several routes of different lengths. You will find these estates between De Bilt and Zeist, where forest is combined with open grassland, drifting sand plains and old avenues. A nice nature reserve of 378 hectares to go for a walk.

Routes

  • Landgoed Beerschoten: 4k (Red route)
  • Landgoed Houdringe: 5k (White route)
  • Panbos: 3k (Blue Route)
  • Combination of all three: 11k (Yellow route)

Parking

Other practical tips

  • Check the website of Utrechts Landschap for a route map. Further information about this nature reserve is in Dutch
  • Dogs are allowed on a leash and there are 2 free-range areas (in Houdringe & Panbos, see the map on the above website)

Landgoed Oostbroek

Fancy a short walk? Landgoed Oostbroek is a large park with winding footpaths along tall trees, a monastery garden and grasslands. Located around the country house. A nice, quiet place steps away from UMC Utrecht.

Routes

Go for the red route Parkpad (1.5k) or the yellow route Melkspoor (1.0k) or walk through the park in several ways to make it a longer walk like we did..

Parking and other practical tips

Klompenpad Slagmaatpad

This walk of 7k - which can also be cut short to 2k or 5k - is a fun, varied and playful walk, different than usual. Almost adjacent to the Amelisweerd / Rhijnauwen nature reserve, you walk past Fort bij Vechten, the second largest fort of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie (after Fort Rijnauwen), covered under green hills and surrounded by beautiful canals. You also walk between the trees, plod through meadows, past fruit orchards and a small pull ferry helps you across a narrow river. Also nice for children (not for prams).

Parking

Praktische informatie

  • It is a circular walk with a number of "cutting options" making it a walk with many signs, often in several directions. So pay attention to make sure whether you are walking in the direction you want. Above the road map, which can help you determine the route.
  • Put on shoes that don’t mind walking through the mud
  • Dogs are not allowed on the meadows
  • For the latest (Dutch) information check the website of klompenpaden

Maarsseveense Plassen & Oud-Zuilen

Maarsseveense Plassen

At the Maarsseveense Plassen on the northwest side of Utrecht you have various walking options. Fancy a long walk? Combine the Maarsseveense Plassen with a walk through Oud-Zuilen and make the route as long as you want.

Routes

  • Go for the walking route (5k) along the large lake on an asphalt path that you share with cyclists, while you walk between the rows of trees, always along the water of the lake. You also have enough space to sit on the grass, hidden between the trees by the water.
  • The adjacent small lake offers a round of more than 2k, on a forest path that you mainly share with stray dogs and their owners. You will come across some benches to look out over the water. If the wind is coming from the wrong direction, you will hear the main road on a large part of the route - at least in winter. If you wish to visit Fort Maarsseveen, expand your tour along the small lake with a walk via the Maarsseveensevaart to Fort Maarsseveen. Via the Herenweg you will return to the point where you started at the small lake (in total about 4k). 

Parking and other practical tips

  • Main parking lot large lake at Herenweg 53 (bus 13 from Utrecht CS), from here the small lake is also easily accessible
  • Parking at the small lake
  • when visiting Fort Maarsseveen, you can park on site
  • Vanuit de kleine plas wandel je zo onder de weg door, waar je uitkomt bij de molens van Oud-Zuilen

Oud-Zuilen

In Oud-Zuilen you can enjoy a nice walk along Slot Zuylen and the mills. The two Dutch windmills - the largest and smallest in the province - together with the small, monumental locks offer a picturesque, Dutch picture. Via the meadows or the river Vecht you come to the beautiful, historic Slot Zuylen.

This round is about 3k. Fancy a longer walk? Take the walking path (2k) through the trees just passed the Slot, combine Oud-Zuilen with the Maarsseveense Plassen described above or walk further along river Vecht. I personally think the routes along the Vecht are fantastic and I love to cycle along river Vecht, as in this route.  

Parking and other practical tips

Noorderpark Ruigenhoek (& Gagelbos)

Parking and other practical tips

On the north side of Utrecht you will find Noorderpark Ruigenhoek, of which Gagelbos is part. You walk through the forest, past 2 forts, trout fishing ponds, meadows and a play forest. It’s a large nature reserve with many options.

Parking and other practical tips

  • Check out this website for lots of nice walking routes through this nature reserve (in Dutch)
  • There are 5 places where you can park for free. Check this website

Amelisweerd/ Rhijnauwen

River forest Amelisweerd on the banks of river Kromme Rijn and the Rhijnauwen estate with the monumental Fort bij Rijnauwen (part of the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie) are an excellent walking area. Well known by most Utrechters and definitely earns a place in this list. It is a wonderful nature reserve full of trees and green fields. Check this website for an overview map. In Dutch, the website also provides more information on the possible walking routes.

This area is also nice to visit by bike. With this biking route you combine Utrecht City, the botanical gardens and the Amelisweerd / Rhijnauwen nature reserve.

My next walk will be Rondje Haarzuilens. Where do you like to go for a walk?


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