This Collection guides you through the most forested areas of the Netherlands – the Veluwe and the Utrecht Ridge – in a three-day bikepacking adventure. You’ll follow gravel trails and unpaved paths through dense woodland and colourful heaths, covering 192 miles (309 km) in total. With an average of 62 miles (100 km) per day, it’s not for the faint-hearted although you can ride the route in more or fewer days. So, fasten your bags to your bike, and let’s go!
The Utrecht Ridge and the Veluwe National Park are well-known amongst cyclists. Created during the last Ice Age, the landscape here is characterised by hills, woodland, sand dunes, and heaths. The River Rhine and the Meuse would once have flowed through this area, bringing large amounts of gravel and sand with them. During the Ice Age, these layers were pushed up to create the hills that stand in the area today.
These famous “hills” may be small, but they are beautiful nonetheless. You will ride the Amerongse Mountain (226 ft/69 m) and the Posbank (200 ft/61 m) near the city of Arnhem. If you like gravel, you’ll be in your element here as the routes in this Collection connect a network of unpaved paths and gravel trails. You can enjoy the peace and quiet as you ride through vast plains, propping your bike against a tree and imagining you are alone in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for deer and wild boar. If you are lucky, you may even spot a wolf in the Veluwe.
The route starts from the train station in Hilversum, in North Holland, but you can also get off at Arnhem station. During your adventure, you can spend the night at one of the natural campsites indicated or in a hotel or B&B if you prefer more comfort. Pack as light as possible – you won’t need a lot of things for three days cycling. You will never be far from a cup of coffee or a hot meal. A gravel bike, mountain bike, or touring bike with at least 35 mm tyres is suitable for this route. After dry periods, the trails can become sandy and more difficult to ride.
Last but not least, I recommend getting up nice and early and packing your binoculars.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
In the middle of the most wooded area of the Netherlands, there is hardly a tree to be seen on the Kootwijkerzand. The sand drift of Kootwijk is the largest active drift of Western Europe. The void made this area the ideal place for Radio Kootwijk. This is a broadcasting station where the connection with the former Dutch East Indies was established. After five kilometers, the imposing radio building rises from the bare plains of the shifting sands.