In the wooded area between Harderwijk, Apeldoorn and Arnhem, not only the well-known Hoge Veluwe is worth a visit. The whole area has unique natural elements that you can also admire outside the national park. After a bike ride through the Hoge Veluwe we also went for a hike in Kootwijkerzand, a beautiful piece of nature north of De Hoge Veluwe (just above the military domain). Would you also like to take a walk through a (for the Netherlands) unique area with sand, heather and forest? Then learn more about how you can enjoy a nice walk in Kootwijkerzand here.

The Hike

The hike is 13.2 km long with only 100 vertical meters to overcome. You can view the route here and possibly download the GPX. The walk alternates between heather and forest. In the heather you mainly walk on sand. Not far from the Radio Kootwijk monument, you can stop in De Garage for a snack and a drink. You can also park there to start the walk from there. We parked in a small parking lot on the Duinweg as described on Routeyou, which was very convenient because you will encounter De Garage about halfway.

Close to the Garage you come across the monument Radio Kootwijk, the transmission station that was built in the 1920s for radio telegraphic contact with the then Dutch East Indies. You don’t really expect such a building to be surrounded by nature. Unfortunately we had not booked a tour, but I think it is worthwhile to admire the inside. There is also a large water tower close by, but there is not much to say about it.

At the end of the walk (if you do the route clockwise) you will come to the 12 meter high tower “De Zandloper” where you can climb up for a view of the area. On warmer days, the locals apparently also come here to enjoy the “beach”.

De Zandloper

My experience

Just as with cycling through the Hoge Veluwe, the alternation between heath and forest was very pleasant (also to cool off in the woods on hot days). The altimeters are limited, but don’t underestimate how difficult it can be to walk through the loose sand. We tried to walk a bit at the edge of the path because it was usually a bit harder there. Fortunately, things are a bit smoother in the woods. We regularly encountered beautiful sand drifts. By the way, we saw some people climbing those little hills.

In any case, our drinking break in De Garage came at the ideal time (about halfway through the walk). You can choose to sit inside or outside in the summer. You have to go in yourself to order. Cakes and other snacks can also be ordered for those who are already on an empty stomach.

Close to De Garage is also the majestic monument of Radio Kootwijk. We stopped to enjoy it anyway. In retrospect, I actually thought it was a shame that we couldn’t have a look inside. The view from the top floors must have been worthwhile.

Before we went into the woods for the last time, we arrived at “De Zandloper”. We climbed the tower (not so easy to do safely during Corona times) to get a nice view over the sand where at that time many people were enjoying the beautiful weather. You should definitely do this when you pass there. I fear that it is not suitable for people with a fear of heights.

A day of hiking in Kootwijkerzand is therefore certainly worthwhile if you are in the area around the Hoge Veluwe for a longer period of time. You can also take a shorter walk to De Zandloper and enjoy the nice weather for an afternoon, or just visit Radio Kootwijk. So there is something for everyone in this exotic place in the Netherlands! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or respond below.

View from De Zandloper

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