Today, I am hiking a little further along the Southern Waterline trail, this time from Heusden/ Fort Hedikhuizen to the city of Den Bosch (or ‘s-Hertogenbosch) in the Netherlands. It will be a lovely spring hike.
At last, I’m continuing with the Southern waterline trail. It has been far too long. To be honest, I went back earlier, on April 13th (2023). I wanted to do my birthday walk (my birthday is on April 12th) and travelled to Heusden. I hoped for a beautiful morning in Heusden like the last time. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain and my birthday hike was ruined. Hiking in the rain is really not my cup of tea.
Fortunately, today it will stay dry. This time I won’t start in Heusden, but two bus stops back. This bus stop is near Fort Hedikhuizen. I first walk towards the fort and then around it.
Fort Hedikhuizen was built in 1862 to protect the inundation sluice. The inundation sluice made it possible to flood the surrounding land and thereby protect nearby Heusden from enemy forces.
An illustration of the inundation sluice is shown above.
Source (in Dutch): Zuiderwaterlinie
I then walk along a nice, winding dike through farmlands. Too bad the farmers have fertilised their fields today. In the distance, I can see yellow-coloured rapeseed fields.
I pass the Haarsteeg Lake (wiel in Dutch), with lovely vistas across the water. The dike winds further through the landscape.
At the edge of the small town of Haarsteeg, I first go down the dike and then up a dike overlooking a beautiful nature reserve. There are plenty of benches to enjoy the view. And of course I take advantage of that for a moment.
Engeler Lake and Engelen
After the dike, I am close to the town of Vlijmen. I do not enter this town, but take a left turn towards the Engeler Lake. Turning right brings you to the well-known and photogenic Moerputten bridge and boardwalk. I doubt whether to go there, but decide to stick to the trail after all. I’ll save it for another time.
Other trail guide about the same region
I walk along the waterfront of the Engeler Lake for a while. Then all at once I am in the city of Den Bosch (in Dutch we also call it ‘s-Hertogenbosch) and walk along a narrow gravel path through the outskirts of the city.
Soon I am out of Den Bosch again, as I turn left at the Dieze Canal and pass the town of Engelen. Across the canal, I see a beautiful yellow-coloured castle with a lovely wooden drawbridge.
I now have to hike a long stretch along the canal until I reach the Engelen sluice. Via the sluice I go across the canal and have to go back along the canal again.
I should actually turn left towards Fort Crèvecoeur, but I want to catch the bus in Den Bosch and go straight ahead instead. I’ll see the fort next time. I am now approaching the little drawbridge I saw on the other side. I get a real spring feeling with the bright rapeseed in the foreground.
The winding dike between Fort Hedikhuizen and Haarsteeg really surprised me. This was the most beautiful part of the hike. Going back and forth along the Dieze Canal I found a bit too long, but fortunately I got a wonderful finish at the little drawbridge. A 3 star rating I give this hike: a Fine hike if you ask me.
Tip: The Foresters’ Path Bridge trail Moerputten (in Dutch) looks like a great trail near this part of the Southern waterline trail.
More info:Trail: Section 9 and Etappe 10 Southern Waterline trail
Where: from Heusden/Hedikhuizen to Den Bosch, Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 15.5 km
Hiking date: 8 May 2023
Materials used in illustrations: Coloured pencils for the map and watercolour paints for the illustrations
- Starting point (Fort Hedikhuizen): bus stop Rietveldenweg, Haarsteeg – bus 135 between Den Bosch and Wijk en Aalburg
- Ending point: bus stop Treurenburg, Den Bosch – bus 165 between Well and Den Bosch or bus 166 between Druten and Den Bosch
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More hikes with cute drawbridges
The drawbridge in this hike is definately a highlight of the trail. Here are a few more trails where you will encounter cute drawbridges.
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