An oasis of peace, space and greenery in the heart of the Netherlands. To escape the hustle and bustle of the Randstad, you don't have to travel far. These three iconic trail runs around Utrecht take you past sand drifts, forest paths and glistening fens. Practise your hill runs at the Doornse gat sand hills, pause at the beautiful Henschotermeer lake and get insane views of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug from watchtower de Kaap. In good weather, you can even spot Utrecht's Cathedral tower, the Dom Tower! There’s also plenty of opportunity to enjoy architecture, thanks to a visit to the famous Pyramid of Austerlitz and the Den Treek country house.
These trail runs are suitable for intermediate to advanced runners. The routes through the Kaapse Bossen and Den Treek are 9 and 13 kilometres (5.6 and 8 mi) respectively. The run around Austerlitz is 24 kilometres (15 mi), which is better suited to experienced runners. Of course, you’re always allowed to take breaks, complete the route partly at walking pace or cut it in half! As long as you are outside, moving and enjoying the natural beauty of your surroundings, your route will certainly be a success.
Some Highlights that you definitely shouldn’t miss. Firstly, the Kaap watchtower. This tower is no less than 25 metres (82 ft) high and offers great views of the surrounding area. Are you interested in the history of the region? Then spend extra time at the Pyramid of Austerlitz, built by the French army in the early 19th century, following the example of the world-famous pyramids of Giza. The Den Treek country house, built in the 18th and 19th centuries, with its beautiful landscape-style park, is also well worth a visit. Looking for a challenge? Then conquer the sand hills at the Doornse gat for extra speed and fitness training!
It’s not about PBs or the clock. Here, you’ll encounter varied and challenging, unpaved terrain, so you’ll definitely have a slower and more unpredictable run than you do on the roads. Leave your ego at home and enjoy the unexpectedly beautiful views that come your way!
Make sure you run when it’s light and preferably go with a buddy. Going out alone? Then let friends or family know which route you’re going to take. Give space to other users on the path and let cyclists riding uphill lead the way when you’re busy descending. Remember to keep your eyes on the terrain to avoid a trip or a sprained ankle. Finally, make sure you always carry enough water with you, for example by carrying a hydration pack.
Have fun on the trails!
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