The Dutch railway agency called Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) offers hikes from one train station to another. This hike, called the Ankeveense Plassen, is an extremely beautiful hike of 22 kilometers from the train station of Bussum-Zuid to Weesp. The hike will take you through heather landscapes, old country estates and farmland. You will be amazed by how fast the landscapes change. Let’s hike!
Hike: NS Ankeveense Plassen
Distance: 21.5 kilometers (multiple possibilities to shorten it)
Parking: Train station Bussum-Zuid
GPS: Not available
Navigation: Only in Dutch
Water refill supply: Yes, multiple restaurants along the way
Difficulty: Medium, only because of the distance. The terrain is completely flat
STARTING POINT OF THE HIKE: TRAIN STATION BUSSUM-ZUID
This hike starts at the train station of Bussum Zuid. It is a bit hard to find the trail markers during the first part of the trail, but when you know where to look and where to go you will get to the end. Once you’ve find the right path you will quickly leave the train station area and will find yourself in the calm of heather landscapes. The colours in the beginning of Spring are absolutely amazing. Somehow the trees are a ginger-like colour and the grass is bright green.
STEP INTO HISTORY
After just a short hike you’ll leave the heather by crossing a road and stepping into a forest. You will be amazed by how quickly the landscape can change. The forest flows into an old country estate named Boekesteyn. This estate is divided into two halves. The northern part consists of an old forest with ponds and a long avenue. There is lots of wildlife in this area: woodpecker, tawny owl, kingfisher and bat fly in this forest. You will cross numerous of old romantic bridges. The characteristics of the southern half are meadows and fields. The old country house from 1770 is still on the country estate. During this part of the hike you see many beautiful country estates build in the 17th century by rich merchants from Amsterdam.
SHEEPS AT THE ANKEVEENSE PLASSEN
When you leave the fancy country estates, wou will walk past the visitors centre of the Society for the Preservation of Nature (Natuurmonumenten). There is a restaurant build in the visitors centre, where you can have drinks and foods. During this break you can enjoy the view over farmland.
Soon after leaving the visitors centre you will enter the Ankeveense Plassen. This is a historical nature area, because in the 15th century the peat was dredged here and laid out to dry on the fields. Because of the wind and waves these drying fields disappeared and larger puddles appear. The Dutch Society for the Preservation of Nature is aimed at keeping these puddles open.
The hiking trails of the Ankeveense Plassen give you a great view over the lake area on both sides of the trail. After a few meters you pass a fence and you step on grasslands. This path is a bit swampy. So boots or (high) GoreTex shoes are recommended for this trail during autumn or rain periods. This path is only accessible for hikers, so you will have the space to roam. The only ones you have to share this trail with are sheep and little lambs.
CONCLUSION: HIKING AT THE ANKEVEENSE PLASSEN
This hike, Ankeveense Plassen, will take you through different types of landscapes. Every now and then you have to walk on asphalt or pavements. It is not ideal, but the biggest part of the hike is in nature. Even through farmland where there is completely no walking trail. You cross heather, forests, moorland, water, grasslands: You name it, it’s in this hike. If 22 kilometers is too long, you can always make it shorter to just park your car at the visitor centre in the area of the Ankeveense Plassen and make a circular hike in that area.