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The ultimate off-road adventure – Trans Netherlands MTB Route

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The ultimate off-road adventure – Trans Netherlands MTB Route

Mountain Biking Collection by Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan

6-13

days

3-6 h

/ day

358 mi

8,925 ft

7,825 ft

Let’s not beat about the bush – this mountain bike route is not for beginners. The Trans Netherlands Mountain Biking Route runs 360 miles (580 km) from the North cape in Groningen to the corner where the Netherlands meets Belgium and Germany in South Limburg. In other words, the route runs from the northernmost point of the Dutch mainland to the Vaalserberg, the highest point in the Netherlands. With 9,840 feet (3,000 m) of elevation gain, you will also encounter plenty of climbs. The Trans Netherlands Mountain Biking Route – developed by local MTB pioneers – is the Dutch equivalent, OK maybe the little brother, of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in the USA, the mother of long-distance off-road routes.

The route takes you through a great diversity of natural beauty, from vast heathlands to dense coniferous forests as you ride through several national parks. To begin, you enjoy views of the Wadden region before riding south towards the Salland Hills and the Maasduinen National Park. Each area has its own unique characteristics and natural charm.

As well as beautiful nature, you will also pass cultural and historical sites. The Drenthe dolmens, historic towns and villages, ancient monuments and archeological sites all lie en route.

Along the way, you ride along gravel roads and technical single tracks, covering a large number of the Netherland’s official mountain bike trails (remember, for some of them you need to pre-purchase a so-called vignette!). Around 65% of the route is along unpaved terrain. This makes the Trans Netherlands Mountain Biking Route a real challenge with long days in the saddle.

The route is best ridden with a mountain bike, but a gravel bike is also a possible option. The segments along the official mountain bike routes will be more difficult to ride on a gravel bike.

The route is divided into seven stages, bringing the average daily distance to around 50 miles (80 km). At the end of each stage you can stay at a hotel or B&B, or at a campsite. This makes your Trans Netherlands route a true bikepacking adventure.

With bikepacking everything revolves around the adventure in the open air. This brings with it a number of responsibilities to keep the impact on the environment and nature as small as possible. Large parts of the route take you along narrow country roads and towpaths. Therefore, do not start with large groups. Be prepared for other (road) users and recreational users. Keep your rubbish with you, of course, until you find a bin.

Please note: since the creation of this route there have been some changes. Certain sections are now asphalted and some trails have been diverted. You may have to improvise here and there. But that shouldn't stand in the way of the real adventurers!

On The Map

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Trans Nederland Mountainbiking Route - Complete Tour

356 mi

8,925 ft

7,825 ft

Last updated: November 9, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    05:51
    59.1 mi
    10.1 mph
    525 ft
    475 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The first day immediately promises to be a tough one. In approximately 95 kilometers you cycle from the Wadden Sea into the Groningen interior. Enjoy the vastness and emptiness.

    The easiest way to reach De Noordkaap is by train from Roodeschool. The first kilometers of this monster tour run parallel to

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    by Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan

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  • Difficult
    06:13
    58.0 mi
    9.3 mph
    750 ft
    800 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The second stage promises to be another tough day. The 88-kilometer stage is a varied mix of single tracks and unpaved trails. The scenic void slowly gives way to dense afforestation.

    

    There is hardly any time for a warm-up today. The day starts immediately with a challenging single trail between Gieten

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    by Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan

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  • Difficult
    05:30
    47.5 mi
    8.6 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This shorter stage takes you deeper into sandy province deeper into the province of Overijssel. Almost three quarters of the 78-kilometer stage consists of unpaved surfaces. Mountain biking in optima forma.

    

    Although today's stage is shorter in distance than the previous two days, it will be another tough

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  • Difficult
    05:51
    53.5 mi
    9.1 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,225 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Today there is another longer stage on the program. With a trip of more than 85 kilometers, of which more than 60% off-road ahead, you continue heading south.

    

    The first part after departure in Goor mainly consists of paved road surfaces. After 20 kilometers you reach the slopes of the mountain bike trail

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  • Difficult
    05:34
    45.8 mi
    8.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The fifth day of the route partly passes through Germany. In the search for as many off-road segments as possible, a small detour is necessary. From Emmerich to the province of Limburg you cycle on no less than 60 kilometers of unpaved roads.

    

    After a firm "Früstück und Kaffe" it's time to jump on your

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  • Difficult
    06:22
    52.4 mi
    8.2 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Today will be another challenging adventure. With a tour of approximately 90 kilometers you descend deeper through the Limburg landscape. A long trip with 73 kilometers of dirt roads and trails along beautiful heaths and fens.

    

    The route winds through the heath directly from the starting point. A beautiful

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    by Sabina Knezevic - Farawayistan

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  • Difficult
    05:27
    41.5 mi
    7.6 mph
    2,550 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The last kilometers of the Trans Nederland Mountain Biking Route finally bring you to the peak of the adventure. Although the final stage has "only" 68 kilometers, the ride has the most altimeters; a whopping 810.

    

    The route runs in a southeasterly direction from the start. From the trails of the Parkstad

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    358 mi
  • Duration
    40:47 h
  • Elevation
    8,925 ft7,825 ft

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The ultimate off-road adventure – Trans Netherlands MTB Route

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