Today I start yet another section of the Zuiderwaterliniepad. Last time, I had saved the round trip over the Spinolaschans for this time. This entrenchment is well hidden along the N285 road between Breda-Noord and Terheijden. After the Spinolaschans, I walk along the north side of Breda and Teteringen. I then continue my way through the Oosterhout forest and across the Vrachelse Heide until I eventually reach the centre of Oosterhout.

Hiking map Southern Waterline trail: Spinolaschans - Oosterhout
Hiking map Southern Waterline trail: Spinolaschans – Oosterhout

Hidden gems in Breda-Noord

First, I walk along the provincial road towards the hidden Spinolaschans. I climb the fence to enter the nature reserve. First a go over a grassy path where beautiful flowers bloom along the side, then I enter the forest. A little further on, the entrenchment emerges.

I walk for a bit on the earthern wall of the entrenchment. Like the lines from the previous hike on this trail, the Spinolaschans has been transformed into a beautiful nature reserve. Halfway down the wall, I decide to take a break in the middle of the entrenchment. After my break, I complete the round trip along the wall. Using the same grassy path, I walk out of the nature reserve again.

Spinolaschans, also known as the Great Entrenchment (Grote Schans), was part of the 50 km long defence line called Stelling Breda-Geertruidenberg. Spinola constructed the entrenchment so that no food could enter the city of Breda. The entrenchment was later dismantled, yet restored by Frederick Henry, after which he recaptured the city of Breda from the Spaniards.

Source (in Dutch): Zuiderwaterlinie

Now on with the trail! I walk past beautiful farms on the outskirts of Breda.

I pass through the Lage Vuchtpolder and Strikberg nature reserves. I walk along nice, narrow paths and have a lovely view over the farmlands. The sun decides to show itself too.


For the next part I am a bit reluctant, because the map in the trail guide shows a completely straight road. And indeed the road is straight, but less boring than expected. The residential areas of Breda and Teteringen are hidden by a park, so that makes a difference. On the farmlands side, a number of defence structures are being reconstructed. By now, these are finished.

Defence structures at Breda
The three defence structures that have been reconstructed are called redoutes. These are small, square-shaped lookouts. The redoutes were probably about four metres high, now only the outlines of the lookouts are visible.

Source (in Dutch): Breda Vandaag

I also pass through Teteringen for a bit. I take another break across the church in Teteringen.

At the church, I turn right and do walk along a somewhat boring road towards Oosterhout. Autumn has set in, the oaks along the road are dropping their acorns. They crunch under my shoes. Just past Teteringen are beautiful farms and huge houses.

At a side road, I come across a road cross. I find this a special phenomenon in the south of the Netherlands. I am not religious, but I always stop to appreciate it. I can well imagine people taking comfort or hope from this.

Road cross near Teteringen
Road cross near Teteringen

Forest, at last!

And then I’m finally in the forest! Since Bergen op Zoom, I have only come across some small recreational forests. But at Oosterhout this changes. I turn right and walk onto the Oosterheide estate. I can enjoy these surroundings immensely.

Something else I look forward to in August is the heather blooming. I am now walking through the Vrachelse Heide nature reserve and I already come across some tufts of heather. It’s not a lot, but in several clearings in the woods it’s already turning purple.

Other trail guide about the same region

I thoroughly enjoy the Oosterhout forests. I take a break here and there to take in the scenery.

Along the way, I encounter trees of all shapes and sizes. The beautiful sandhills complete the trail through the forest.

Unfortunately, a little later I am out of the forest again. I am now walking into Oosterhout. In a shopping centre, I come across amazing 3d street art.

3d artwork in shopping mall Oosterhout
3d artwork in shopping mall Oosterhout

Final thoughts

Walking on the outskirts of a residential area or town is usually not much fun, and that seemed to happen in the first part of this walk, but it wasn’t too bad after all. I had expected a boring, straight stretch. Ok, it was a straight stretch, but still less boring. The Spinolaschans and Strikberg was a very nice start. That makes up for a lot.

The second part was unsurprisingly pleasant: forest and a bit of heather in bloom, what more could a person want? I was in my element.

More info:

Trail: Section 6 Southern Waterline trail
Where: from Spinolaschans in Breda to Oosterhout, Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 14 km
Hiking date: 15 August 2022
Materials used in illustrations: Coloured pencils for the map and watercolour paints for the illustrations
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Trail guide:
trail guide Southern Waterline trail

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Pin Super hike Southern Waterline trail: Spinolaschans - Oosterhout
Pin Super hike Southern Waterline trail: Spinolaschans – Oosterhout

More hiking over entrenchments and walls

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