Hiking in the Netherlands is a very popular activity, every Sunday you will see a lot of folks in the woods and on the different trails in the Netherlands. It is an activity that is popular for young and old, you will encounter couples, people walking their dogs, people with kids and the hikers that are on the longer trails such as the PieterPad. The Health benefits of hiking are a common reason for Hiking in the Netherlands. And just enjoying nature in the Netherlands.
If you live in the Netherlands or are on vacation here then you can set off in pretty much any area. Chances are you will encounter a trail in little time. Also, a factor is that the Netherlands is not very big. So that helps.
Quick jump guide
- Good resources to start hiking in the Netherlands
- Klompenpaden or Clog Trails
- Long distance hiking trails in the Netherlands
- Maarten van Rossum Path
- Pieterpad / Peter Path
- Roman Limes path
- Marskramerpad or Merchant path
- Coastal path
- App Maps.me and hiking in the Netherlands
Good resources to start hiking in the Netherlands
When starting out hiking in the Netherlands you will need a pair of comfortable shoes, a bottle of water and a snack, and your smartphone. Head to klompenpaden.nl and select a hike that you like, these hikes or klompenpaden are shorter hikes that are a fun day activity and take you around some of the loveliest places in the Netherlands. See some windmills and small villages and have a coffee and a saucijzenbroodje in a cafe.
There are a bunch of smaller hikes that you can do that are usually marked on signs around parking lots at the edges of forests and on different websites.
Klompenpaden or Clog Trails
Klompenpaden or Clog trails are a great way to have a day hike in some of the prettiest areas of the Netherlands. Centered around the Veluwe Nature area, the Clog trails are numerous and great fun to explore one by one. You could even loop them together in most cases to have a fun challenge for yourself.
A few of the Trails include the Plaggenstekerspad in Hoenderloo that I walk a few times a year. And many others.
Long distance hiking trails in the Netherlands
Long-distance trails in the Netherlands are pretty popular and can be walked in sections. Most people you will encounter on these trails will be doing section hikes. Or you can thru-hike them in one go. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to wild camp in the Netherlands. So you will have to look up bed and breakfasts and hostels. Or go camping on campsites. I prefer the latter. This can be done pretty cheaply and once you get your gear squared away, quite comfortable.
A few noteworthy long distance hiking trails in the Netherlands are found below.
Maarten van Rossum Path
Named after an army general, this long distance hiking path in the Netherlands leads you through a wonderful area. With many forests and heath fields to hike through this is great route to take in spring and summer. With many campsites along the way you can also opt to thru hike it in one go. Or stay at hotels and bed and breakfasts along the way. It stretches along the center part of the Netherlands along 384 kilometers.
Pieterpad / Peter Path
The Peter Path is one of the oldest long distance hiking trails in the Netherlands and the most popular. Stretching for the length of the Netherlands it is also one of the longest you can do here. Although only a handful of people thruhike it every year you can meet lots of people on this trail since it is so popular. This trail stretches for 498 kilometers and is therefore one of the biggest that you can walk in the Netherlands.
Roman Limes path
The Roman Limes path is a favorite of mine since I am a Roman History lover. With the Hadrian’s Wall Path under my belt I connected the Dutch Roman Limes Path after it. And was pleasantly surpised at all the Roman history that is to be found in my home country. It follows the river Rhine and some of its older waterways that have now been lost due to modern canals and contruction.
A stop on the way to Alphen upon the Rhine is the Archeon open air museum. Which was a favorite of mine in childhood and is still a very nice location to stop and soak in some history. They have good food there too. Done in tourist style but also a bit of proper Roman meals.
Starting along the coast and on to Germany, this old Roman border path stretches for 275 kilometers.
Marskramerpad or Merchant path
Following the old merchants road to the important cities in Germany, this trail connected the mayor trading routes between the Netherlands and Germany. Now replaced by trucks, trains and boats. The old roads that used to be walked on foot are now connected to be a long distance hiking trail. Total length of the trail is 372 kilometers.
If you love the Dutch coastline with all its Dunes and beaches, the Coastal trail path is for you. This one is a collection of several different existing Coastal paths and is connected to form one big Coast path. From the very bottom in Sealand with Belgium to the German Frisian border. It is by far the longest hiking trail in the Netherlands at 721 kilometers. So not for the faint of heart! Of course, you can also take it one step at a time.
App Maps.me and hiking in the Netherlands
With the app Maps.me on your Smartphone, you can accomplish a lot in the Netherlands. Just download the app and head on over to for example the Dutch association for Pelgrims routes. There you can download the Pilgrim route to Santiago but also all the long distance trails in the Netherlands.
In coming posts, I will explore Hiking in the Netherlands some more so stay tuned!