Everyone in the Netherlands understands the words ‘mountain biking’. If you dissect it, you get the words ‘mountain’ and ‘biking’. Of course, the Netherlands has plenty of bikes, but it’s not known for having many mountains. So is it possible to go mountain biking anywhere in the country?
The answer is definitely yes. You can’t expect to cycle in high mountains, but you can explore great hills such as the endless Utrechtse Heuvelrug (Utrecht Hill Ridge). Created during the last Ice Age more than 150,000 years ago, you’ll find plenty of altitude difference here. At that time, ice propelled mountains of sand and gravel upwards, creating the hilly landscape here today. Nowadays, you can enjoy miles of biking fun in the region. And yes, we’re talking about mountain biking.
The routes through the Utrechtse Heuvelrug make full use of the hilly landscape. You can try out 11 challenging routes along a network of almost 93 miles (150 km) single trails through the region. Varying in length from 1.8 to more than 12.4 miles (3 km to 20 km), the routes include fast curves and steep climbs, as well as rapid descents with sharp bends. You can find trails for beginners and experienced mountain bikers alike. You can ride one route or combine several of them together. The Heuvelug has endless possibilities for MTBing.
The Heuvelrug’s route builders deserve a big thank you. Many volunteers from associations, such as MTB Utrechtse Heuvelrug, work throughout the year to develop and maintain the trails. In autumn, for example, the trails are cleared of leaves (which is quite a task in one of the most wooded areas in the Netherlands). Drainage systems are dug and brake pits are flattened out again. The volunteers make sure the trails are the best they can be for biking.
It therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that you pay a small contribution towards the upkeep of the trails by purchasing a vignette. For €7.50, the vignette gives you access to the trails for a whole calendar year. The money goes towards maintenance, development, and the construction of routes in the area.
The vignettes are available from various places. Check out mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl to find a vendor near you. For the routes Leusden and Woudenberg, a different vignette is needed. This can be obtained online at dentreekhenschoten.nl/mtb.
All routes are best ridden on a mountain bike or gravel bike with tyres that are at least 35 mm. After heavy rainfall or prolonged drought, the trails may be closed. Keep an eye on the websites above. In addition, make sure you stay on the marked trails as it’s forbidden to cycle on the other forest paths.
Have fun and let us know how it was!
One of the most beautiful routes on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug (or perhaps in the Netherlands) is the eighteen-kilometer Amerongen trail. The route has no less than 374 vertical meters through the woods and hills of the Amerongse Berg.This Tour starts at the parking lot of Bergweg 10 in Amerongen. The route goes over the necessary hills and consists of fast single tracks, cockpit bends and tough descents. This makes the route quite technical. Along the way, grab the jumps or drops to boost your technique even further. If you prefer to play it safe, take the side road offered. To get back on top of the Amerongse mountain at the end, a tough unpaved climb awaits. Because what goes up has to go down and vice versa.Are you not finished yet? Then extend this playground with Rhenen, Leersum and Kwintelooijen. You will find these Tours in this Collection (komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug) and on the way on the well-marked signage.A vignette is required for the development and further maintenance of this route. The costs are € 7.50 and gives you access to all mountain bike routes of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug for a year. The vignette is readily available, look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the sales points.
The Leersum mountain bike track is one for nature lovers. You wind through the Lombok forest and the sand dunes of Hoge Ginkel over eighteen kilometers. These areas are also part of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park.This route starts at the Utrechtsebaan car park in Leersum. The first kilometers you can warm up on the hills of the Lombok forest. The height differences increase when you reach the Hoge Ginkel. This area consists of valleys (and therefore also peaks ...) formed by snow melt water and feels like a rollercoaster to cycle over. The route builders have not called this section the snakerun for nothing.After about twelve kilometers a junction follows and you can choose to connect the Amerongen route (eighteen km) with your route. If you prefer to finish Leersum, the last part is relatively flat, but certainly no less beautiful. You will pass the Leersumse Veld here. This is a drifting sand and heath area that blooms beautifully in August and turns purple.A vignette is required for the Leersum mountain bike route. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale. To extend this route, cycle Amerongen or Hoge Ginkel, indicated in the Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug.
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The Hoge Ginkel mountain bike track is over seven kilometers long and is located on the Amerongse Berg in one of the quietest forests in the province. This route links the routes of Leersum and Amerongen together. But to call this route purely a connecting route, you are doing it too short. Actually, this round is ideal as an extension if you have not finished playing in the area.This route starts at the parking lot at Bergweg 10 in Amerongen. From the start you dive straight down. Make sure you keep right at the first fork if you want to stay on the Hoge Ginkel route. You cross the Bergweg (note: cars can drive fast here) and continue your route through the forests of Hoge Ginkel. This is where the Leersum route meets and a spectacular descent awaits you with the snakerun. Focus and concentration required! A little later the route splits again and you turn right to stay on Hoge Ginkel.After a few vertical meters, a new fast descent follows parallel to the Bergweg. After you cross it, the unpaved climb of the Amerongse Berg awaits. A tough, long climb of 600 meters. Out of breath you come back to the top of the parking lot of the Bergweg.After you have disembarked, the choice is yours: extend with the routes Amerongen and or Leersum or has it been nice?A vignette has been issued for this route, look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the sales points.
This mountain bike route through the forests of Rhenen is six kilometers long and quite technical with many differences in height. These height differences are due to the last ice age that formed these slopes on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Route builder and multiple Dutch champion Patrick Jansen has made optimal use of these height differences in this trail.
You start this route at the Leemkuil in the city woods of Rhenen (at the intersection of the Autoweg and the Reumersweg). Make sure you are well rested, because right at the start you will be waiting for the steepest descent followed by a sharp cockpit bend. The beginning is characteristic of the sequel. On the narrow single track, your steering will be put to the test by the many descents and sharp turns. Making a really high speed is therefore hardly possible, unless you want to take the risk of flying out of the corner ...After 6.4 kilometers, 126 vertical meters and two lame hands from the tough steering wheel, you can choose to do the track again or to extend it with other nearby routes such as Kwintelrooijen and Amerongen. Both routes are included in this Collection (komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug).A vignette is required for support and maintenance of these and other routes on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale.
Beware! The Kwintelooijen mountain bike route is known as a tough, if not the toughest trail in the Netherlands. The route is less than three kilometers long, but on the way you conquer more than 117 vertical meters. The site is located on a former sand quarry whose large height differences form an ideal basis for a very difficult and technical route.This track is located between Rhenen and Veenendaal. You start from recreation area Kwintelooijen (Oude Veensegrindweg 55). As mentioned, the trail is quite technical. This is due to the steep climbs and descents. The trails are sandy, have sharp curves and some of the climbs are full of roots. In dry periods the soft sand is a challenge, while on rainy days you are eagerly looking for a grip on the slippery roots.Of course, the short distance of this route makes it possible to drive it as often as you can. You can also combine the route with the trails of Rhenen and Amerongen. These can be found in the Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug. A vignette is required. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale.
The Austerlitz mountain bike route is nearly sixteen kilometers long and consists of single tracks and long paths through the woods at Zeist and Austerlitz. Do not count on too many height differences. This makes the route ideal for beginners, but just as much fun for advanced users to achieve high speeds.You can board on the other side of the Beauforthuis on the Woudenbergseweg in Austerlitz. The first part consists of long straight forest paths. In wet periods you can get quite dirty here, but that of course increases the fun. After the northern loop you cross the Woudenbergseweg and the second part of the route consists of more single tracks. The wooded area is beautiful and you have almost all to yourself during the week.Please note, on the way you cross the mountain bike route of Zeist. Keep a close eye on your GPS device or follow the markings along the road. After completing route Austerlitz you can go to the Beaufort House for a cup of coffee and cake.You extend your cycling day with the routes Zeist and Den Treek (vignette required). These routes can be found in the Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale.
The Zeist route is almost sixteen kilometers long and technical in nature. The existing height differences ensure short and steep climbs, descents and fast turns. You can ideally combine this track with the somewhat quieter mountain bike route of Austerlitz.You can start at the Beauforthuis (Woudenbergseweg 70 in Austerlitz). Here you can park the car and possibly start with a cup of coffee. From the parking lot you dive into the forest and you won't get out of here yet. The route winds back and forth and up and down. If that's not enough, you'll find a few more engineered jump bumps along the way on the singletrack for the ultimate kick. Feet off the floor, or tires in the air ...The most challenging part of the route awaits you at the end. After you have crossed the Woudenbergseweg you dive into the forest again, a fast descent awaits you, immediately followed by a short and steep climb. After this, the finish is in sight and you roll towards the parking lot at the Beaufort house.A vignette of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug is required for this route. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale. This route can be combined with the routes of Austerlitz, Leersum and Den Treek. These are included in this Collection (komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug).
With a length of 21 kilometers, Leusden is the longest route in this Collection. The track was completed in 2020 together with the Woudenberg route and the newest in the vicinity of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. During the construction of the route, the hills in the area were optimally used and of course offer the necessary fun for a mountain bike.The route starts at the Treekerpunt heathland (Doornseweg 23) and winds through the Den Treek-Henschoten estate. This area is privately owned and consists of extensive forests, dunes and heathlands. The single tracks of the trail are well maintained and signposted. Expect a lot of short, steep climbs and descents. The passages through the drifting sand and curves make the route quite intensive, especially during warm, dry periods. Tip to cool off: nearby is the Henschotermeer. This is a beautiful recreational lake and you can take a lovely dip after your ride (or during).Because the landscape is owned by landowners, you need to purchase a different vignette for this trail than you may be used to on the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. The Treeker MTB Vignette costs 25 euros per year or 5 euros for a day vignette. This also gives you access to the connected mountain bike route of Woudenberg.Visit dentreekhenschoten.nl/mtb to purchase the vignette. This route can be combined with the mountain bike route Woudenberg, which is also described in this Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug.
Just like the Leusden mountain bike route, this track was completed in 2020 and thus adds a new part to the mountain bike paradise of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. Spread over more than sixteen kilometers, this route winds through the wooded estate Den Treek, the Henschotermeer and the stately Pyramid of Austerlitz.You can board at the Treekerpunt (Doornseweg 23). The nature of the route is relatively technical, but slightly easier than the nearby more challenging trail from Leusden. The first part of the route is fairly flat with ups and down and winding single tracks. In the second part of the route, the height differences increase and with this of course also the climbs and descents. On the way you pass the Pyramid of Austerlitz. This monument dates from the French era and was built by General Marmont in the early 1800s as a tribute to his friend Napoleon Bonaparte. You can climb this seventeen meter high pyramid, but then you have to get off your bike.The Treeker MTB Vignette is mandatory for driving this route. This costs 25 euros on an annual basis or 5 euros for a day vignette. Visit dentreekhenschoten.nl/mtb to purchase the vignette. This route can be combined with Leusden (Den Treek) and Austerlitz. Both Tours are described in this Collection (komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug).
At ten kilometers, the Lage Vuursche track is the little brother of the Hoge Vuursche mountain bike route. Although it is shorter than the big brother of 18 kilometers, it has a lot of variation and requires a lot of technology.You can board at Buiten in de Kuil. The route consists of winding single tracks through the Paardenbos and contains many short and steep climbs. The track therefore requires a lot of concentration because of the height differences and fast turns you encounter. The Paardenbos owes its name to the fact that in the past the French used this forest to stable their horses when visiting Soestdijk Palace. Instead of horses, mountain bikers now skim along the pine trees, ferns, oaks and beeches of Lage Vuursche.If you haven't finished playing after ten kilometers, stick Hoge Vuursche (18 km) here. Both routes start and end at restaurant Buiten in de Kuil. Here you can use the bicycle locks after your ride and top off your cycling day with an excellent specialty beer. You can find the route of Hoge Vuursche in this Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug.Finally: a vignette is mandatory. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale.
The Hoge Vuursche mountain bike trail is a royal one. You cycle through the backyard of Princess Beatrix. But you will probably not encounter them yourself on this eighteen-kilometer track through the forests of Hoge Vuursche.The route starts at restaurant Buiten in de Kuil, located in the Kuil van Drakensteyn. The forests of Hoge Vuursche mainly consist of coniferous trees. The scent of the pines tickles your nose as you slalom down the singletrack along the pine cones. The route goes up and down over rebates, which are embankments between ditches to regulate water management in the forests. These hills now form a perfect base for this challenging track.After you have crossed the Hilversumsestraatweg for the second time, prepare yourself for the last part of the route. A short, tough climb follows and then ends at Buiten in de Kuil. If you like it, you can drive a little further to a bird watching hut. Here you can gaze over the Pluismeer with various bird species.A royal meal is part of a royal route. Reward yourself on a delicious snack board from Buiten in de Kuil or crown your performance with an extension of the Lage Vuursche mountain bike route (10 km). This is also described in the Collection: komoot.nl/collection/1010933/-mountainbike-walhalla-utrechtse-heuvelrug.A vignette obligation applies for this route. Look at mtb-utrechtseheuvelrug.nl for the points of sale.