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From the Wadden Sea to Castle Vorden – Pieterpad long-distance hike part 1

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From the Wadden Sea to Castle Vorden – Pieterpad long-distance hike part 1

Hiking Collection by Pauline van der Waal

14

Tours

64:01 h

156 mi

2,500 ft

The Pieterpad is perhaps the most well-known long-distance walk in the Netherlands. Over 26 stages, you hike 500 km (310 miles) from Pieterburen in Groningen to Mount Saint Peter, after which the route is named, in southern Limburg. Of course, you can walk the entire Pieterpad in one go or choose just a few stages and walk part of the route.

The individual stages range in length from 15 to 22 km (9.3 to 13.6 miles), with the occasional shorter or longer distance thrown in. All of the start and finish points can be reached by public transport so you don't have to pick up your car at the end of your hike.

This Collection covers the first part of the Pieterpad. It starts on the Wadden coast in Northern Groningen, leads through Groningen city centre, and ends in Vorden. On the way, you walk through Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, and Gelderland. The landscape changes from wide and flat farmland to hilly heathland and forests. In addition to beautiful nature, you also visit various villages and towns along the way. You’ll find something to eat and drink on each stage, but it’s still wise to bring your own snacks.

Each year, around 40,000 hikers take to the Pieterpad, hiking one or more stages. The lion's share of the route runs in the classic direction, i.e. from north to south. But, of course, you can walk it in the opposite direction. The Pieterpad is accessible year-round.

The route is clearly marked with red and white signs the entire way. However, you cross a number of other long-distance trails en route, so make sure to follow the correct signs.

As every stage ends in a town or village, you can choose to travel home from there or to return to where you parked your car. There are a number of hotels, B&B's, and campsites along the route. However, it is wise to book them in advance, especially during high season in the summer. In the smaller villages, you won’t find a huge choice.

This Collection covers part one of the Pieterpad – stages 1 to 13. The remaining stages can be found in part 2, here: komoot.nl/collection/1034566/pieterpad-etappes-deel-2

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    02:35
    6.39 mi
    2.5 mph
    25 ft
    25 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Before you start with the official Pieterpad, you can take a walk from Pieterburen as a warm-up. If you arrive in North Groningen the day before you actually start, it is certainly nice to take this walk to the Wadden coast.This route is therefore not part of the official Pieterpad and is also a shorter walk than the rest of the stages. It is therefore not a marked route.

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  • Intermediate
    03:00
    7.37 mi
    2.5 mph
    75 ft
    50 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The landscape from Pieterburen is wide and open, with a very fertile sea clay bottom. The sea deposited this clay here. It was a Wadden region that was flooded at very high tide; with every flood it added a layer. The region is also called "The High Country". Transport was over water, over channels created by the action of ebb and flow.

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  • Difficult
    05:30
    13.5 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The landscape from Pieterburen is wide and open, with a very fertile sea clay bottom. The sea deposited this clay here. It was a Wadden region that was flooded at very high tide; with every flood it added a layer. The region is also called "The High Country". Transport was over water, over channels created by the action of ebb and flow.

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  • Difficult
    05:21
    13.1 mi
    2.5 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Pieterpad runs out of the city along the Noord-Willemskanaal. The winding road is the dike along the Drentse A. Here it runs together with the canal. At Haren you walk along the edge of an urban area on the border of 'higher and lower' and drier and wetter land. Beyond Haren you walk on the first dirt roads. This …

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  • Intermediate
    04:27
    10.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fourth stage of the Pieterpad starts next to the church of Zuidlaren, where the third stage has ended. Today there are 17.5 kilometers on the program, so you have more time to take a break or take a look around you. Before we visit the countryside again, you first walk past 'Dennenoord', the well-known psychiatric hospital in Zuidlaren.The …

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  • Intermediate
    04:34
    11.1 mi
    2.4 mph
    200 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    It is time for the fifth stage of the Pieterpad. You start in the village of Rolde, practically next to the church. From here you first follow a part of the former railway line. Despite the fact that the rails were largely removed in 1977, you can still recognize the route of the track in the landscape.A little further …

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  • Difficult
    06:06
    14.9 mi
    2.4 mph
    250 ft
    250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The sixth stage of the Pieterpad starts in Schoonloo. With a length of 24 kilometers, this stage is the longest on part one of the Pieterpad. Also, make sure you don't encounter any villages or towns along the way, making it smart to bring plenty of food and drink for a break along the way.Schoonloo is almost entirely surrounded …

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  • Difficult
    05:27
    13.4 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Sleen is a beautiful village; old farms have been converted into impressive houses. From Sleen you walk south into Drenthe. There used to be an inaccessible peat bog here. The path follows old peat canals such as the Verlengde Hoogeveensevaart. Peat ships brought the dried peat to the cities as fuel.From Dalerveen you walk through a 'cleared' land on …

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  • Intermediate
    04:51
    11.9 mi
    2.5 mph
    125 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The walker experiences special transitions in the landscape between Coevorden and Gramsbergen. First there are still typical farms of the sandy soils with large trees. Then you walk through an environment where water predominates. Canals and the Overijsselse Vecht form a complicated junction of waterways with locks at the Haandrik. Gramsbergen is the first old center of Overijssel on your trip. The Vecht flows in wide bends towards Hardenberg and is never far away from the path.

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  • Difficult
    05:18
    13.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    175 ft
    200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage shows a lot of nice variety. From Hardenberg the route continues through the Vechtdal. The river was straightened around 1900. To Rheeze you walk along dammed bends, pools of the "old" Vecht. Rheeze is a picturesque village. After this the route runs over a high bank of the tamed Vecht. This formerly desolate land, "onland", is now mostly …

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  • Difficult
    05:26
    13.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Stage 10 of the Pieterpad is one with many highlights. Even literally, in this case. From Ommen you leave in a southerly direction until you reach the hamlet of Besthmen. You can see the landscape change from Dutch flat to hilly. Especially when you climb the Lookout Tower Besthmenerberg. This 18 meter high steel watchtower gives you a beautiful 360 degree view of the area.

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  • Intermediate
    04:10
    9.66 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage of the Pieterpad starts in Hellendoorn. Perhaps best known for the amusement park, but the village itself is also nice. There are beautiful farms and an ancient church. It is not big, so if you have started your walk for today, you will walk out of Hellendoorn.With about 15.5 kilometers on the schedule today, you'll have …

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  • Intermediate
    03:49
    9.38 mi
    2.5 mph
    100 ft
    125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After Holten there is one last fold of the Sallandse Heuvelrug, the Beuseberg. What follows is flat farmland and unexpected beauty of the beech avenues along the impressive Schipbeek. After this you walk almost unnoticed into the Achterhoek on long quiet roads through farmland. You can call the old Landgoed Verwolde a pearl. It is full of surprising variety of farms, meadows and forests with huge old trees, a hiking paradise. At Laren you come back to the normal world.

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  • Intermediate
    03:27
    8.43 mi
    2.4 mph
    100 ft
    100 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This thirteenth stage is the last of the first and northern part of the Pieterpad. You leave the beautiful town of Laren and as soon as you walk outside the built-up area, you walk into the farmland.On the way you walk from one beautiful estate to another beautiful country estate. You also walk for a while through undeveloped natural …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    156 mi
  • Duration
    64:01 h
  • Elevation
    2,500 ft

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From the Wadden Sea to Castle Vorden – Pieterpad long-distance hike part 1