Wooden shoes trails are fun! I liked the first wooden shoes trail I hiked so much that I quickly picked another one. In this blog, just a brief description of the trail, a few photos and a simple sketch to illustrate. Nothing more. No need for a hiking map, the info on the website is clear enough.
This time I hiked the Eendenkooienpad (Duck decoy trail).
The name of the trail indicates that there are several duck decoys along the trail. You can start this trail at several points, very handy for a roundtrip hike. The official starting point is at marina Marnemoende near IJsselstein, where there is plenty of parking space. However, this marina is harder to reach by public transport, so it’s best to start in IJsselstein or Montfoort. I also travel by public transport and chose Montfoort. It is a substantial roundtrip hike of about 17 km. You can shorten the trail by going straight ahead at the Stuivenbergweg (at the marina), you then have the choice of a northern section via Montfoort, or a southern section via IJsselstein. Both shorter trails are about 12 km. If you want to do a longer hike, it is possible too: at the interchange at the Noordzijdsekade, you can switch to another wooden shoes trail the Benedeneindse trail.
In Montfoort, I walk towards the Tiendweg where I can start the trail. I pass a petting zoo on the way. At the Tiendweg I turn right through a residential area, I will go over the Tiendweg at the end of the trail. Soon I leave Montfoort and walk through the linear town of Blokland. Along the road is a stall with displayed produce. I take a jar of jam with me.
In Blokland, there is an alternative trail to follow because of the goose resting season (between 1 November and 1 March). It is still September, but the path through the fields is already closed. Fortunately, the alternative trail is well marked. Hiking through the polder near Blokland, I still encounter many geese. This is also where the duck decoys should be. However, these are difficult to see because there is vegetation around them. The group of trees in the distance is a duck decoy according to the information in the Wooden shoes trails app.
At the Noordzijdse kade, I turn right. I have seen this path before on the Benedeneindse trail (see earlier blog), which is a bit further south near Benschop. I am now heading towards IJsselstein. From this path, I am constantly waving my arms because of the many overhanging spider webs.
Once in IJsselstein, I take a break on a park bench. A cat comes running up enthusiastically, rubs against my legs and jumps onto my lap. I have never seen that before!
At IJsselstein, the trail turns left on the towpath along the Hollandse IJssel. At first, there are still nice views over the river as far as marina Marnemoende. After the marina, the trail continues on the towpath, but now high reeds block my view. At Achthoven, I leave the towpath and walk along the beautiful Tiendweg with its many willows back towards Montfoort.
The Duck decoy trail was a bit disappointing because of the long, straight paths and the overhanging spider webs. But I read on the Wooden shoes trails website that the towpath is sometimes overgrown and difficult to pass, I did get lucky with that. Still, this Wooden shoes trail is a fine hike.
Tip: at marina Marnemoende there is also a Touristic Transfer Point (TOP in Dutch) where you can find this trail, as well as other cycling and hiking trails.
Where: Montfoort/IJsselstein, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
No. of km: 17 km
Hiking date: 17 September 2021
Materials used in illustration: little sketch with graphite pencil
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