Wooden shoes trails are great! I didn’t want to write a blog post about them at first, I have plenty other trails to do, but I am so enthusiastic about these paths. That’s why I created a shorter version for Wooden shoes trails, or in other words: a trail shortener 😉. Just a short description, a few photos and a simple sketch to illustrate. That’s it. A hiking map is not necessary; the information on the website is clear enough.
This time I hiked the Benedeneindse trail.
The first wooden shoes trail I have chosen is the Benedeneindse trail near Benschop. I started in Oudewater, with an approach trail of about 3 km to the starting point at the car park on the Damweg. For me the trail is easier to reach by public transport from Oudewater. The approach trail is quite a stretch. Also because I have to return the same way. The trail itself is +/- 9 km.
The trail is very nice, it runs in a sort of a figure eight loop. I first walk along the path called the Noorzijdsekade. This path is parallel to the beautiful Willeskop nature reserve. I arrive at a pull platform (to cross the water), but first I go straight on; later I will get to the platform from the other side. Then I will have walked the whole trail.
Trail guide about wooden shoes trails
I pass a watchtower, which gives a nice view of the nature reserve and the surrounding fields. Not far after the watchtower, there is a crossroads where I can choose to do a trail shortening, a loop through the fields north of Benschop. The other choice is an extra loop through the Willeskop nature reserve. I choose the extra loop. The Willeskop nature reserve is known as a bird magnet. I see one of my favourite birds: the spoonbill. After the loop through the nature reserve, I return to the crossroads and go through the fields.
The loop through the fields is also a variant of the trail for children (of about 5 km). Along the trail, I come across several points where there is an assignment for children to do.
Halfway across the field is a seat in the shape of a wheelbarrow. On the other side of the field, I reach the town of Benschop. I walk through the town for a while, past monumental farmhouses, until I reach a camping ground. At the camping is the official starting point of the trail and there it goes back into the fields. Further on, I have a number of obstacles to overcome: a narrow plank across the water and the pull platform as a fun finish. These obstacles are, of course, also great fun for children.
My first Wooden shoes trail was super fun! The trail is almost entirely unpaved, with the exception of a small stretch of asphalt in Benschop, and that makes it a really nice path. The Willeskop nature reserve is highly recommended, especially for birdwatchers. Pity about the cloudy day.
Tip: both the Hollandse IJssel trail and the regional path (SP12) Green Heart trail pass through the Willeskop nature reserve. A lot of hiking opportunities!
Meer info:Trail: Wooden shoes trail Benedeneindse trail
Where: close to Benschop, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
No. of km: 9 km (KIDS version 5 km)
Hiking date: 14 August 2021
Materials used in illustration: little sketch with graphite pencil
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