Always wanted to visit the famous Dutch book town of Bredevoort? Why not combine this cultural sight seeing with some fun, easy hiking through beautiful landscapes in the area of Aalten! Just within 15 kilometers you will be passing city centres, farmlands, creeks and quiet country roads. Are you ready for the hike?
Don’t feel like reading? Check out the YouTube vlog about this hike at the end of this blog!
Start of the hike Aalten city centre
The hike starts in the city of Aalten, near the border of Germany, which is a nice small town with lots of history. It is strongly recommended to plan some extra time to stroll through the city of Aalten. You’ll see monuments for WW2 and other pretty details around the city. You can find a quote on a church saying ‘two nations – one mission’. Each Sunday in this church the ceremony is in Dutch and German, because it is so close to the border of Germany. This is absolutely beautiful, considering the past.
When leaving the city of Aalten, you will notice the hike is not as flat as you’re used to in the Netherlands. At the end of the city of Aalten there is a small uphill climb to a view of acres of sloping landscapes. It is not a typical Dutch scenery, but lovely to explore and enjoy the peace of nature. With this peaceful nature comes lots of wildlife. So many birds and insects will cross your paths!
HIKING ON LOTS OF UNPAVED ROADS
During this hike you will cross just a few paved roads, but the meadows will make up for it all. Take your time will hiking through the farmlands, because there is a big chance you will spot wildlife like pheasants, hares or even badgers. This hiking trail passes farms, cows, acres and a small creeks before it ends up in Bredevoort.
ENTERING THE CITY OF BOOKS: BREDEVOORT
While hiking this trail starting and ending in Aalten, you will cross the city of Bredevoort. Bredevoort is a small town between Aalten and Winterswijk and it presents itself as ‘Bredevoort boekenstad’ (Bredevoort book town). There are lots of second-hand bookshops in Bredevoort. It is a beautiful old-feeling city, which could be a museum. The streets are small and full of art galleries and book stores of course. there are so called honesty bookshops, which are unattended bookstores where you can buy a book by putting money in a box. The people in Bredevoort believe in the honesty of people who visit their precious city.
When you’ll almost leave the city of Bredevoort, you will pass a mill. This mill is called the prince of Oranje (the Royal name in Holland) and is built in 1870. Right beside the mill there is an information board about the statue of Hendrickje Stoffels, which you will see in the city center. Hendrickje was the longtime partner of Rembrandt, the famous Dutch painter. There is so much history in this beautiful town, so take your time exploring this city!
HIKING BACK TO AALTEN
After leaving Bredevoort you will walk right into the serene meadows again. Following a small creek until you see a camping called ‘het Walfort’. This hike changes scenery every few kilometers, so you will never be bored. Strong recommendation to bring a backpack while hiking this trail, because you wil be definitely buy some books in the historical city called Bredevoort. It is a beautiful, changing trail with lots of stunning views. The trail itself is around 15 kilometers, but you can easily add up with some loops through the different cities you cross.