Today I will walk the last bit of the Erasmus trail and then hike on the long-distance trail in the opposite direction where I will pass through the Rhoonse Grienden.

Hiking map Rhoonse Grienden
Hiking map Rhoonse Grienden

Residential area and the Albrandswaard polder

I start my hike at the residential area of Smitshoek which quickly becomes the residential area of Rhoon. It is a beautiful, quiet neighbourhood. A so called Vinex neighbourhood that you come across everywhere in the Netherlands: child-friendly with lots of green areas and residential areas. Nice to walk through, not necessarily worth repeating. I go straight on for a while, cross the Rhoonsebaan and go straight on again until I reach a pond. This is the end of the residential area.

I continue my hike to the left through a green strip on the Koedoodpad. Many people are walking, cycling and running here. I turn right and in front of me the wide view with fields of the polder Albrandswaard appears. I walk past several fields: potato fields, fallow land, fields with wild flowers and corn fields. Oh wait… it turns out to be elephant grass. How could I be wrong about that? 🤦🏻‍♀️

Elephant grass is a very durable type of crop, after sowing once it can be harvested for many years, and is often grown on fallow land. Among other things, paper is made from it.

Source: Voor de wereld van morgen (in Dutch).

Birds are chattering between the bushes and I try to catch them, like the many butterflies, with my camera. But I don’t get them properly photographed. I am looking forward to autumn, at least toadstools stay put.

The Oude Maas

I walk further along the road and arrive at the Oude Maas. I’ve now covered the entire Erasmus trail and I rest for a while on a bench. I look at the big ships passing by. I turn right over the grass at the water side and through a small stretch of forest. I end up at ‘t Veerhuys and pass behind a golf course.

I pass by the Klein Profijt nature reserve. For now I will skip this part. It is not part of the official trail, but you can add it to it. My plan is to walk through the Rhoonse Grienden again later in the opposite direction and then include Klein Profijt. Because of the public transport connection it is more convenient to start from Rhoon or otherwise skip a section. And as you could read in a previous blog post: I prefer not to skip any parts. Although that turned out to be disappointing later… 😬 but that’s for another time.

Rhoonse Grienden

I turn right and then turn left on the cycle path. After another left turn I finally reach the Rhoonse Grienden. I have high expectations of it now. I walk on narrow paths through a dense swamp forest. There are many pollard willows in all shapes and sizes. Here and there you can see beautiful vistas in the direction of the Oude Maas.

The Rhoonse Grienden are under the influence of the tides of the Oude Maas. Parts of the area are flooded twice a day. This creates a special piece of nature in the Netherlands. Grienden are fields where willows are cultivated for chopped wood.

Sources: and Wikipedia (in Dutch).

Other hikers had the same idea as me, it is quite busy this Friday morning. Several hikers come from the other side and it is sometimes difficult to pass. Some, like me, also brought a photo camera. I am trying to get butterflies on the photo and finally it succeeds: one butterfly stays put long enough.

Illustration red admiral butterfly
Illustration red admiral butterfly

The path meanders through the nature reserve and I try to avoid high grasses, branches and other plants. Unfortunately the route doesn’t go over boardwalks that I had expected. Maybe this is only in Klein Profijt which I have skipped.

Other trail guide about the same region

A small marina appears at the end of the Grienden. And after that there is a swimming pool and athletics track, I’m back in the civilized world again 🙂 This is also the end of my hike for today. I walk another 20 minutes to the centre of Rhoon to take the metro back home.

Final thoughts

To be honest, I expected a little more from the Rhoonse Grienden. A beautiful nature reserve can sometimes be disappointing when expectations are set too high. Nevertheless, it was a very nice hike, but a bit busy for me. Also the differences in landscapes: residential area, farmlands, the river and the (swamp)forest, makes it a very successful hike.

In a later hike I will visit the Rhoonse Grienden again, together with Klein Profijt and the Carnisse Grienden. I am curious if I can increase the rating.

More info:

Trail: Section 20 and Section 4 Long distance trail 6 Great rivers trail, with small part of Variant B the Erasmus trail
Where: from Smitshoek to Rhoon, Zuid-Holland in The Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 11 km
Hiking date: 13 July 2020
Materials used in illustrations: Inktense pencils en watercolour paints
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Trail booklet:

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