Today another report of a part of the Great rivers trail in the Netherlands. This time I hike through the Rhoonse Grienden again, go an extra trail around the peninsula of Klein Profijt and then continue through the Carnisse Grienden to the district of Carnisselanden in Barendrecht.
Return trip to the Rhoonse Grienden
On this sunny late summer’s day, I arrive at the ‘entrance’ of the Rhoonse Grienden around half past nine in the morning. It really looks like an entrance: next to the marina, the grienden (groves) immediately begin. It is as if you enter a completely different world through a gate. The sun is low in the sky. The sun’s rays shine through the pollard willows, giving a fairytale effect.
I hear the birds singing and look around to see if I can find them. Before the first small bridge, I follow the red and white markings to the right. Suddenly, I see a small bird sitting between the willow branches. It is a little bird with a black ‘cap’. It looks like a tit (or chickadee), but it has no yellow or blue colours like the great tit or blue tit. This bird is more grey in colour. I do a quick google search and find out that it must be a willow tit or a march tit. Of course, I’m not able to make a photo of the bird flying from branch to branch.
The willow tit and the march tit are almost identical, but there are a few minor differences. As the name in Dutch suggests, the willow tit (matkop in Dutch/ matt-headed tit in literal translation) has a matt, black head cap and the marsh tit (glanskop in Dutch/ glossy-headed tit in literal translation) has a glossy, black head cap. The singing is also different. In addition, the willow tit has a light field on the wings and the marsh tit has a light spot near the beak. So you can’t really tell them apart with the naked eye.
The habitat reveals that the bird I see must be a willow tit: it lives in the river area and low moorland. The marsh tit lives more in foresty areas. When I look at the English translation of the bird, willow tit, I know for sure. There are plenty of willows here!
I couldn’t get a good photo, so I used a copyright-free photo for the illustration.
Source (in Dutch): Vogelbescherming
Meanwhile, I walk between the pollard-willows, following the bend in the road to the right. A little later, between the trees, I can see boats in the distance. I think: “Are there several marinas in this area?” I have to turn right again and now walk parallel to the marina. You guessed it: a little further on I arrived at the ‘entrance’ again. Oh no, 🤦🏻♀️ I walked in a circle. So you can also get lost in the grienden.
I walk at a slightly faster pace along the same path. When I arrive at the little bridge, I see that I have followed the markings in the opposite direction. I now cross the small bridge. I suppose I am going the right way now, but I am still not sure. I check every few hundred metres whether I am still going in the right direction.
Earlier, I hiked in the opposite direction through the Rhoonse Grienden and came through a jungle of reeds and blackberry bushes. This time I do not pass through this part. When I turn right twice again I arrive at this jungle, but on the other side! Pfff, I can go back again. Turning right is not a good idea today. The markings are hard to follow. A little later, I reach the ‘exit’ of this labyrinth.
Klein Profijt (Small Profit)
I follow a cycle path for a while and arrive at the entrance to Klein Profijt (Small Profit). There is a panel there with information about which animals and plants live here. The beaver is also supposed to live here, so who knows… Then it will certainly be a five-star rating hike.
Klein Profijt is a small peninsula located between the Rhoonse and Carnisse Grienden. Klein Profijt, just like the grienden, has to deal with the tides of the Oude Maas river. Parts of the area are flooded twice a day. Due to the influence of ebb and flow, special plants such as the kingcup grow here.
For the bird enthusiast, there is also a duck decoy area where you can book excursions for. Unfortunately, in this Corona time, all excursions are cancelled.
The name ‘Klein Profijt’ (small profit) comes from the salmon fishing industry, which was not very profitable in this area.
Source (in Dutch): Zuid-Hollands landschap
I take my camera out of my bag. This area deserves good photos. The path through the wet grienden of Klein Profijt is only a few kilometres. First, I pass a small bridge and look around me to see if I happen to spot a beaver. There is only one path that goes round the peninsula. So I can’t get lost this time. I decide to walk the path counter-clockwise, so I first turn right.
The path is a little muddy but otherwise easy to walk on. I do encounter obstacles in the form of nettles and cobwebs. Around me are pollard-willows in many shapes and sizes. I also regularly cross streams of water. The path bends to the left and at some point the Oude Maas comes into view again. In this section, puddles of water make the path less accessible. The pollard-willows have been replaced by reeds and grass stalks. Still following the bend to the left, I leave the Oude Maas behind me. The mud path turns into a shell path and a little further on I have completed the entire round trip.
I walk back across the little bridge at the entrance. There is a photographer sitting on the bridge, probably also looking for beavers. I haven’t seen them myself, nor any beaver markings. I hope he has more luck than me.
Below is a gallery with all the photos I took of Klein Profijt. Click on the gallery to see larger versions of the photos.
My hike continues, now along the golf course that I have already passed from the other side before. I walk past ‘t Veerhuijs, through a piece of woodland and over a grassy path along the Oude Maas. I have arrived at the starting point of the Erasmus path. I am not following the Erasmus path again, but continue straight on along the Oude Maas towards the Carnisse Grienden.
The Carnisse Grienden
It has become a bit busier with cyclists and hikers. You can see that it is a popular recreation area. After a footpath through another stretch of woodland, I arrive at the Carnisse Grienden.
I was under the impression that I would come across a boardwalk path on this hike. In the brochure of Zuidhollandslandschap.nl about the ‘Groene lints langs de Oude Maas‘ trail (a similar hiking trail), I actually saw a photo of the boardwalk path. I have not yet come across one.
In the Carnisse Grienden, I hike along the Truus Visscher path, where there are also many pollard willows. It is getting a bit monotonous. But after a few kilometres, I see the boardwalk path looming up in front of me. The path stands on wooden poles high above the Oude Maas river. This way, the water can flow into the grienden. The path is only for a short distance and I quickly take a photo before hikers come into view behind me.
A little later, I follow the bend in the road to the left out of the Carnisse Grienden. My hike is almost over. At the T-junction I turn right and walk along the Koedood. At the path to the left in the direction of the district Carnisselanden in Barendrecht, I end my hike. I take the tram back home. Next time I can start here again for the next part of the Great rivers trail.
I would love to give this hike a five star rating, but there are a few things that disappointed me. The nettles on the path on Klein Profijt were not nice and at a certain point the pollard-willows become a bit monotonous. But I don’t want to be too negative, this part of the trail is a real recommendation. That’s why I give this hike a 4,5 star rating.
Where: from Rhoon to Carnisselanden in Barendrecht, Zuid-Holland, in the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 12 km
Hiking date: 7 September 2020
Materials used in illustrations: Coloured pencils for the map and watercolour paints for the other illustrations
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