Just to clear things up: No, this long-distance walk is not named after the Dutch historian, writer, and TV presenter known for his gruff appearance. In fact, the Maarten van Rossumpad (Maarten van Rossum Trail) is named after a 16th-century army captain who served the duchy of Guelders, a historical region in the north-east of the Netherlands. The path, also known as LAW 4, follows in his footsteps from the city of 's-Hertogenbosch to Steenwijk.
The Maarten van Rossumpad is made up of 384 kilometres (238 miles) divided into 23 stages. You may have noticed that there are actually 24 stages in this Collection. Stage 3A serves as an alternative to stage 3. Each day, you walk an average of around 15 to 20 kilometres (9.3 - 12.4 miles) although there are some shorter and longer stages.
The route starts in the province of North Brabant and brings you through the forelands of Maas and Waal. The footpath passes through the regions of Betuwe, Bommelerwaard, and Tielerwaard as it explores the hills, forests, and heaths of the Veluwe.
Further on, you walk through the historic region of Salland and along the Vecht River towards the moors of Overijssel and the natural landscape of Drenthe. You experience the diverse scenery in the Netherlands, both in towns and villages en route and in nature. On the way, you visit lots of landmarks dating back to the era of Maarten van Rossum, such as castles, fortresses, hunting grounds, and nature reserves that are hundreds of years old.
The Maarten van Rossum path starts in the beautiful city of 's Hertogenbosch and ends in Steenwijk in Overijssel. The route begins next to a train station, so you can conveniently travel by rail. Zaltbommel, Rhenen, Ede-Wageningen, Oosterbeek, Arnhem, Rheden, Zwolle, Dalfsen, Ommen and Steenwijk can also be reached by train. Many of the stage towns are also connected by bus.
If you walk several stages in a row, you can spend the night in the towns and villages en route. There are campsites, B&Bs and other accommodation options available. However, it’s worth booking in advance, especially in the smaller towns, to avoid disappointment.
This very first stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad starts at the station of beautiful 's Hertogenbosch. You walk into the old center in a few minutes, with the beautiful centuries-old houses, small alleys, cozy terraces and of course the famous water of the Dieze. You will soon see the 73-meter-high tower of St. John's Cathedral on the Parade.After this you turn north, where you walk through more modern neighborhoods. Along the banks of the water in the Prins Hendrikpark and then Fort Orthen you set course towards the highway, which you cross via the pedestrian bridge.After you have crossed the track, leave the buildings behind and walk along the Ertveldplas. Via the countryside and smaller villages you finally arrive after about 17.5 kilometers in Oud-Empel, today's end point.
Today's stage largely follows the course of the Maas. You start today in Oud-Empel. The name Empel will ring a bell with the seasoned motorist in the contraction Knooppunt Empel. Not surprising that you cross the A2 shortly after the start. Yet you quickly leave the crowds behind and follow the border of Gelderland and Noord-Brabant until you reach the Groote Wiel. Many water birds live in this nature reserve along the Maas.You keep following the river until you get to Alem. This old village used to be in North Brabant, but when the Maas was straightened in the 1930s, the area on which Alem is located came to lie in Gelderland. You end your walk today after 16.5 kilometers completely in style in the village of Rossum, where Maarten van Rossum was born.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
The third stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad starts in the village that bears his name. The army commander was not only born in this village, he was brought back here after his death.
Shortly after the start of your walk you will walk past the Slot van Rossum, which previously served as a town hall.As soon as you leave the buildings behind, you walk directly along the Waal. You walk a large part through the floodplains, which can sometimes be flooded at high tide and are always a popular place for countless water birds.Before you enter Zaltbommel, you walk past the old water tower that you have seen towering above the dike for a while. Until 1960, this water tower provided the city with clean drinking water. In the city you walk past the Maarten van Rossumhuis and the Grote of Sint-Maartenskerk. Maarten is doing well here! The last part of the route is parallel to the A2, until today's stage ends in Waardenburg.
Huh, stage 3A? The Maarten van Rossumpad consists of 23 stages, doesn't it? That's right, but with this extra stage you can cut a bit. Or you can make an extra garland. Because in the official route, stage three runs from Rossum to Waardenburg and stage four then runs from Waardenburg to Waddenooijen. Halfway through this fourth stage you will pass Varik. The alternative stage 24 runs from Rossum to Varik.The special thing is that the distance from the Waal to the Maas is the smallest here. This part of the Netherlands gave Marsman inspiration for his characteristic phrase "Thinking of Holland, I see wide rivers slowly passing through endless lowlands".That also applies to you if you follow this route. When you start in Rossum - indeed related to Maarten - a visit to the Slot van Rossum is recommended. This means that you deviate only a fraction of the official route. You walk through the floodplains to the Heerewaarden nature reserve and see the Toren van Varik on the other side of the Waal. The village of Varik is also the end of this stage.You can walk stage 2 as a separate and typical Dutch route, or you choose to follow stage 4 from here in the direction of Waddenooijen.
The fourth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad is a tough one with 22.5 kilometers, but also a beautiful one. You have barely left Waardenburg when you come to Kasteel Waardenburg, close to the banks of the Waal. An oldie, because the foundation date of the castle is August 5, 1265.A little further on follows Neerijnen Castle with a beautiful park garden and about three quarters of the way you pass Castle Ophemert with a garden in geometric style.The castles are special during this stage, but the route that winds along the Waal is certainly no less beautiful. The Fat Tower of Varik is also a striking landmark. You end today in Waddenoijen.
If you followed the Maas and the Waal in previous stages of the Maarten van Rossumpad, during the fifth stage it is time for smaller rivers. Today it is the Linge. From Waddenoijen you quickly cross the Linge and after crossing the highway and the railway you soon follow the meandering course of the river.A special place that you will visit today is the town with a protected cityscape Buren, also known as the "pearl of the Betuwe" or "Oranjestad". The latter name does not come out of the blue. For example, William of Orange married Anna van Egmont there in 1551. But the ties with the Oranges are still strong today. Willem-Alexander and Máxima, for example, are count and countess van Buren. And do you still remember with what name -when- Prince Willem-Alexander registered for the Elfstedentocht of 1986? Right, W.A. from neighbours.After Buren you continue your way until you reach the end point at the next river: Ravenswaaij, aan de Lek.
The starting point of the sixth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad is Ravenswaaij, located on the Lek. To follow the course of the river, you cross the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, where the Lek becomes the Nederrijn. The route takes you along the floodplains of this river and on your left you see the open landscape with the river in the background.In the direction of Maurik you walk a little further from the river, but it will certainly not become less watery. With a view of the Island of Maurik you can spot many birds here. Moreover, you see that there is a lot of recreation here, for example at the marina you pass.Via small and often elongated villages in the open country you walk further to the east, with which you follow the course of the river at a distance. Along the way you will see the typical Betuwe farms with the overhanging roof above the doors. You also walk whole stretches through orchards here. After all, you are in the Betuwe, known for the fruit cultivation of apples, pears, cherries and plums. After more than twenty kilometers you arrive in Lienden, today's end point.
The seventh stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad is a relatively short one. With 14.5 kilometers planned for today, you have plenty of time to take a look around you.
The start of this stage will be in the Betuwe, in Lienden to be precise. From Lienden you walk towards Kesteren, from where you have a good view of the fifty meter high Grebbeberg on the other side of the Lower Rhine.From here you follow the course of the river and look across the open land to the river ships that come and go here. You sail with the ferry from Opheusden.Across the street you will pass the Blue Room, a riverside reserve. At high tide, the Rhine overflows in this area, making it a paradise for birds. You can see cormorants and kingfishers here.Then you make a sharp turn to the east and you can already see Wageningen in the distance. That is the end of today's stage.
Stage number eight starts on the outskirts of Wageningen. You immediately leave the built-up area of the city and follow the Maarten van Rossumpad in the direction of the Wageningen Floodplains. You walk to the banks of the Nederrijn and follow the route that bends again, so that from the Arboretum Belmonte with rhododendrons and the Wageningse Berg at 43 meters you can look out over the Rhine valley.A little further you walk through the wooded area of Oranje Nassau’s Oord and walk around Heelsum in a curve. You walk through various farmlands and nature reserves and regularly cross Veluwe streams. These streams were created artificially and therefore dug. Because of their winding course and the vegetation you will now get to know beautiful nature. After a long swing you will finish today's stage after about 17.5 kilometers on the outskirts of Heelsum.
The ninth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad is one with many highlights. You start in the village of Heelsum with the recognizable church. This reformed church stands on a mound and was built there at the beginning of the sixteenth century. By the way, here a mound is called a hamlet.After cleaning the Rijksweg you take a trip to the floodplains of the Nederrijn. From the dike you have a beautiful view over the open and water-rich land and you can see the ships gliding past you in the river.After you have passed the A50, the environment changes. You leave the Rhine valley on the right and walk into the woods of the Boersberg. Do not miss the lookout tower Boersberg. You pass it and from the tower you have a beautiful view, both over the overgrown area and towards the Rhine.A little further you come across Castle Doorwerth. You can visit this beautiful medieval castle, so be sure to take some time for it. Check the opening times in advance. You can also take a break here with a snack and a drink.You continue your way via the winding paths over Landgoed Duno, through the village of Heveadorp and the Valckeniersbossen. You will see the river again on your right. You continue to roughly follow the course of the river until you arrive at your end point today: Oosterbeek.
Stage ten of the Maarten van Rossumpad takes you from Oosterbeek to Rozendaal via Arnhem. In addition to nature, you also see quite a lot of cities today. The first part of the route runs through the green Mariëndaal. The path you follow is therefore significantly called the Groene Bedstee and looks like a tunnel through the overhanging trees.You will soon reach the city limits of Arnhem. The first part you walk along the Nederrijn and after the Nelson Mandelabrug on your right you walk into the old center of Arnhem. Of course the route takes you through one of the oldest and most beautiful city parks in our country: Park Sonsbeek. At the beginning of the park is the famous White Watermill.Furthermore, buildings and greenery, such as Klarenbeek and Bredenberg, alternate. After just over 15.5 kilometers you will end in Rozendaal to the east of Arnhem.
The eleventh stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad runs entirely through the Veluwezoom National Park. You start your walk in Rozendaal, near Arnhem. Except at the start and end point, you will encounter little or no buildings. Moreover, you will only meet hikers and perhaps a lost cyclist.After only a kilometer you have left Rozendaal behind you and you walk along the Beekhuizense Beek. You pass a waterfall between the stream and the lake. You keep following the path next to the brook until it ends at the Kleigat. From there you walk towards the Zijpenberg. There the forest changes into heathland and sandy plains with sand drifts.Along the way you have a good chance of encountering wild boars and red deer. The route also runs along the Posbank, from where you have a great view of the surrounding heath.Then you dive back into the forest. After about 9.5 kilometers you will come to a pancake house, a good place for a break. You continue your route through the forest and end today's stage in Laag-Soeren.
From Laag-Soeren you will leave the wooded area of the Veluwezoom National Park on this twelfth stage. During your route along Eerbeek towards Beekbergen you will see more open landscape, although you will also walk a few pieces through forest.Soon you will cross a single lane track. This is the tourist railway from Dieren to Apeldoorn. This used to be an important process. Fuel, paper, cardboard, sand-lime brick and wood were transported on the 32 kilometers of track.Another highlight of this stage is the part that runs along the Apeldoorns Kanaal. About seven kilometers you walk along the towpath of the canal, bordered by beautiful oak trees. The old bridges and authentic buildings are also reminiscent of earlier times.You roughly follow the route of the railway, although you turn left after you have crossed the A50. Today's end point is slowly but surely approaching. After about sixteen kilometers, today's stage ends in Beekbergen.
This thirteenth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad starts in Beekbergen and more or less curves around Apeldoorn. Immediately after the start you walk through green and open meadow landscape.Nevertheless, after Kasteel Spelderholt you quickly dive into the woods and follow a dead straight path to begin with. In the direction of the village of Ugchelen you will pass the Hamermolen. The Hamermolen is a paper mill that was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century to make paper.The next part of this stage is one with less rest. You walk along the A1 and the provincial road for a while and then cross the railway. You walk past the Willem III Kazerne and via Sportpark Orderbos you walk the last part through wonderfully quiet forest. Although… quiet? If you listen carefully you can hear the monkeys of the Apenheul in the distance! Just a little bit before today's route ends on the outskirts of Apeldoorn.
Stage number 14 of the Maarten van Rossumpad is one with a royal edge. For example, the route runs along the Crown Estate Het Loo and Paleispark het Loo. The first kilometers lead through beautiful wooded area and you can look your eyes at the beautiful houses that are here.After a few kilometers, Paleis het Loo looms, built by order of Willem III. If you have never visited the palace, then you should really take the time to do so. In that case, do not forget to bring your Museum Jaarkaart.After the palace, we take a closer look at a part of the built-up area of Apeldoorn, before you see a more open meadow landscape in front of you. Lots of greenery, leafy avenues and some sheep and cows. Here you can relax. You can also see many of the characteristic streams that occur in this area.Before we arrive at the end point in Vaassen, you will see Castle Cannenburch on your left. Our namesake Maarten van Rossum had this castle built in the sixteenth century.
Get ready for the longest stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad. If you run the fifteenth stage from start to finish, you have no less than 25 kilometers on the clock. Also keep in mind in your planning that public transport is not optimal at the starting point, but certainly at the end point. Leave early or stay overnight is the motto.We start this stage in Vaassen. If you have opted for an overnight stay, you can choose to spend some more time at Castle Cannenburch. If not, you literally ignore the castle and walk around the accompanying park towards the meadows north of Vaassen.In the direction of Epe you walk alternately through open and wooded area and you will unnoticeably make some altitude meters in this slightly hilly area. This is certainly the case with the Renderklippen, a nature reserve consisting of heather-covered moraines just above Epe. In between, you walk across heather, which turns a beautiful purple in late summer when it is in bloom. Today's end point is just past Heerderstrand, near Hoornerveen.
The sixteenth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad is a nice mix between walking through the woods and human construction. You start your route at the Zwolse Bos and you set course towards the Tonnenberg. You walk via Landgoed Petrea along the Witte Berg and leave the forest at Wapenveld.Soon you will walk along the Apeldoorns Kanaal and you will see the IJsseldal. In the valley you can see the floodplains of the river, flanked by the Hoge Veluwe in the background.The landscape becomes more open here and you follow the canal to the Wiessenberger Kolk. The IJssel has more such broad stretches, which are called swirls.You are now entering the more than 700 year old Hanseatic city of Hattem. For an extra outing, you can go to the Bakery Museum or walk into the old town. The route of just over thirteen kilometers also ends in Hattem.
The seventeenth stage starts in the Hanseatic city of Hattem. From the starting point you walk directly out of Hattem on the north side, but if you have time to spare, I recommend that you visit the town. For example, take a walk to the marina or view the old center.When you start the actual walk today, you will soon cross the IJssel. You then walk on the north side and have an overview of the floodplains up to the river. You can walk here in peace, surrounded by greenery and in the distance the boats in the IJssel.You continue your way and walk more or less parallel to the river, until you arrive at Buitenplaats Windesheim. The mansion that stood on this site was unfortunately destroyed during a bombing raid in World War II. Still, it is worth taking a look around. Both the estate and the other preserved buildings are fun to visit. Moreover, you are almost at the end of today's stage here.
The almost twenty kilometers long eighteenth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad passes several beautiful country estates. If you look around you during your walk, you will understand why. The area here is beautiful because of all the greenery and tranquility, and was therefore extremely well suited to have a country house built.Today's starting point is Windesheim and the first part of the route leads through meadowlands. Lots of greenery and panoramic views characterize this part of your walk.When you have crossed the railway, you are close to the De Colckhof country estate. This country house was once built by the then owner, who was a farmer and livestock farmer in the immediate vicinity. The lands were also used for chopping wood.The Den Alerdinck estate is a stone's throw away. The Maarten van Rossumpad runs across the estates, but above all make an extra round to take in the area well.You continue your way and walk along the canal for a while. Furthermore, the route leads through farmlands and sometimes along forest. You are now heading towards the end point Dalfsen, but not before you have seen two other estates: Aalshorst and Den Berg.
Stage 19 of the Maarten van Rossumpad runs from Dalfsen to Ommen. This makes it a suitable stage to walk as a separate walk, because you can easily return to the starting point by train.The first half of the route you therefore walk more or less parallel to the track and you regularly see a train. In the distance you can sometimes see the Overijsselse Vecht and during your entire walk you walk through the Vechtdal. Historically, there was a lot of arable farming here due to the higher lying dry stretches with the water within reach.The entire route you enjoy a wide view over the agricultural land and the river valley. At the village of Vilsteren you will pass Landgoed Vilsteren, with the beautiful country house with beautiful garden.After some more wanderings through woods and farmlands you arrive after nineteen kilometers at today's end point: Ommen.
The twentieth stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad starts in Ommen. Or well, the route actually starts at Landgoed Het Laer and ignores Ommen. If you feel like a walk through a beautiful historic town that already received city rights in 1248, then I recommend a detour through Ommen. You do this by walking left after the bridge over the Overijsselse Vecht into the old trading town on the Vecht.Afterwards you walk through the farmlands in the area and follow the course of the Vecht. In addition to farmland, this stage also takes you through forests and over heath.If you hike in the summer, you will also see many dragonflies and butterflies along the way. A special butterfly is the small Icarus blue, which lives in the grasslands and can be recognized by its bright blue color. The last part of today's stage runs through the forest, and you end near Balkbrug.
Today you have a long route of almost 22 kilometers ahead of you. You start this stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad south of Balkbrug. Soon you will walk past Ommerschans, once a colony for beggars, vagrants and "unwilling ones", who were employed here. They did that in beautiful green surroundings.Beyond Balkbrug you first walk through the open lands, until you reach the Staphorst forestry. For nature lovers, this part of the stage is the highlight, because you have the chance to bump into deer, foxes, badgers and birds of prey.You will be absorbed in the beautiful and authentic landscape and you walk on until you reach the river Reest. As soon as you cross the river, you pass the border between Drenthe and Overijssel. You can easily recognize this point by the toll booth with barrier.If you have time to spare, make a small swing to Huis Voorwijk at the end. Today's stage ends a few hundred meters further in De Wijk.
The 22nd stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad continues without encountering too many highlights. However, if you want to have walked the entire route of 384 kilometers, you cannot avoid taking this stage without too many highlights.In this stage you make a small trip to the province of Drenthe. You come during your walk through Ruinerwold, until a few years ago an insignificant village, until the family that had lived cut off from the outside world for years suddenly turned out to be world news.Today you end after 17 kilometers in the small village of Havelte.
Hurray, it's time for the last stage of the Maarten van Rossumpad! Stage 23 is the last in the series and runs from Havelte to the end point Steenwijk.From Havelte you first walk through an agricultural area, until you reach the Holtingerveld. You walk through a beautiful area of heathland with sand drifts, forests and fens. Moreover, you will get acquainted with a typical Drenthe phenomenon: the hunebeds. The dolmens D54 and D53 are on the route.If you feel like and have time, you can wander a little further on the Holtingerveld. You deviate from the official route. In addition, keep in mind that you still have a bit to go. You will only be at the end point in about ten kilometers. That is Steenwijk, to be precise at the station. Congratulations, you have conquered Maarten van Rossumpad.