I have seen enough of the Oude Maas and the Great River trail for now. This time I’m hiking in the Green Heart: the Tempel trail, near Reeuwijk. This trail is taken from the booklet Groene Hart (Green Heart) of the ANWB. I bought this booklet about 8 years ago and there are 43 hikes in it, all in the Green Heart in The Netherlands. I have completed almost all trails, only 7 trails to go! By the way, the booklet is no longer in print, it may still be for sale 2nd hand.

Between the major cities in the west of the Netherlands – Rotterdam, The Hague, Zoetermeer, Leiden, Haarlem, Amsterdam and Utrecht (the Randstad) – lies the peat fields area the Green Heart. The Green Heart extends across the provinces of Utrecht, Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland.

There are many polders in the Green Heart, but there is also a lot of water, such as the various lakes (for example the Vinkeveense Plassen) and rivers (the Lek, the Oude Rijn and Hollandsche IJssel).

Source: Wikipedia (in Dutch).
Hiking map tempel trail
Hiking map tempel trail

Reeuwijk-Brug and Oud Reeuwijk

The starting point of the trail is actually in Reeuwijk-Dorp, but is difficult to reach by public transport. One possibility is with a local bus that runs sporadically, and in these Corona times this bus does not run at all. It is a round trip, so in principle I can start at any point. In order to get to the nearest point on the trail, I first have to take the public transport to Reeuwijk-Brug, then I walk about 2 km to the actual trail.

I get out of the bus at the stop Oud Reeuwijkseweg. This is a well-known bus stop for me. About 20 years ago I did an internship at a company located on the business park on the other side of the road. I often got on and off the bus at this stop.

By the way, it is nice to see how Reeuwijk has changed over the years. That is no surprise in 20 years’ time. Entire parts of the residential area and a whole new bungalow park have been added. The bungalow park I understand completely: the Reeuwijkse Plassen is a very beautiful area for hiking and cycling.

Anyway, back to the hike. I go past the business park and I take a quick photo.

Business park Reeuwijk
Business park Reeuwijk

I then go via an underpass across the A12 highway and I cross a busy road. I turn right on the Oud Reeuwijkseweg. There are many lovely farms and houses here. I also see a sign with ‘Time for ice cream!’ at a dairy farm. That’s a good idea for the way back! After a few km I arrive at the starting point. I turn left on the Kerkweg and walk along a cycle path with rows of pollard willows. It is wonderfully quiet here, with a wide view over the polder landscape. Once in a while a cyclist passes by. In the distance I see the first church of Reeuwijk-Dorp.


Reeuwijk-Dorp

At a certain point I am closer to Reeuwijk-Dorp and I see a church both to my left and to my right. I take pictures of them both. In Reeuwijk-Dorp I turn right and come closer to the 2nd church. Reeuwijk-Dorp isn’t very big, I will be through in no time. The long distance hike the Pilgrim’s trail also runs through here, you can see it at the white-red markings.

At the end of the road there is a T-junction and I turn right again onto the Middelburgseweg. This is a somewhat busier road, without a bicycle lane or cycle path, so I sometimes stop at the roadside to let cars pass by.


Tempel Polder

On my left are the greenhouses at Boskoop and on my right is the Tempel Polder. This is where the trails owes its name to.

Tempel is a small village and is part of the municipality of Reeuwijk-Bodegraven. There is no temple to be found in the village, but the name probably comes from a small peat river called Tempel that once flowed into the Gouwe river. Or it comes from the word timpe, which means a rectangular piece of land. This hike runs around Tempel and you will mainly see the Tempel Polder on the right side the whole time.

Source: Wikipedia (in Dutch).

At some point, the main road turns to the left, I still have to go straight on and it is a lot less busy right away. At hiking junction 52 I turn right onto the Wonnepad. At the end of the path I reach the Zijdeweg. On the pavement at a small electricity station I take a coffee break. Behind me in the field a group of horses passes by in a row. I am just in time to take a photo before the horses pass behind the electricity station.

Horses in a row
Horses in a row

After my break I continue along the Zijdeweg. Subsequently I go along the Ringdijk. This road changes into a grassy dike after a while. The first and only part with an unpaved path. I enjoy the quiet surroundings.

At the end of the grassy dike I have reached the starting point of the trail again. I take one last coffee/lunch break and go back to the bus stop.


Ice cream from a vending machine

I pass the dairy farm again where they sell ice cream. First I check if I shouldn’t catch the bus quickly. Fortunately, I still have 45 minutes left. So indeed: time for ice cream!

I walk into the farmyard and see a cottage with vending machines. The owner just comes out of the cottage and tells me that there is a milk tapping machine. All kinds of products such as yoghurt and cheese are for sale in the vending machines. I look around for ice cream. She says: “You are looking for ice cream, right?” Yes, that’s right 🙂, “That’s in the cottage next door. You can enjoy it on the bench if you like.” I walk to the cottage and there is also a vending machine with different flavours of ice cream in cups. There are even half litre tubs for sale. I go for a small cup with the flavour of spekkoek (Indonesian sponge cake). The ice cream tastes delicious. Such vending machines are very handy, this way there is no need to have someone around all day. I had never seen this before!

I still have plenty of time left to catch the bus, so I go off to the bus stop.


Final thoughts

It is an enjoyable trail, although there are a lot of busy (country) roads. It wasn’t very special, but it was a nice walk. The ice cream was a welcome surprise. I give it a 3 star rating.

Trail: Tempel trail
Where: Reeuwijk, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 13 km
Hiking date: 28 July 2020
Materials used in illustrations: Inktense pencils, coloured pencils and watercolour paints
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Trail booklet:
booklet Green Heart hikes
Extra info
With the walk from the bus stop added it is a hike of about 13 km (+/- 3 hours). You can walk the trail by following the 6-sided ANWB signs. But without a trail description it is difficult, the trail is not well signposted (anymore). It is best to note down the junctions of the hiking network website (in Dutch) in advance. The junction numbers from the bus stop are: 27 – 13 – 68 – 31 – 21 – 52 – 35 – 19 – 13 – 27

The hiking trail can also be found on the toproutenetwerk.nl (Toeristisch Overstappunt): TOP Boskoop.

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