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.

Sketch of watchtower at Benedeneindse trail
Sketch of watchtower at Benedeneindse trail

The description

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.

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.


The photos


Final thoughts

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!

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
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Pin Super hike Wooden shoes trail: Benedeneindse trail
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