Wooden shoes trails are fun! The next trail is already up. This time it’s a slightly longer story (a trail extender 😉), quite a few photos and a simple sketch to illustrate. No need for a hiking map, the info on the website is clear enough.
This time a report of the Leidschehoeven trail.
The Leidschehoeven trail officially starts at Leidsche Hoeven farm (you guessed it). The trail is actually 9 km long. You can shorten the trail to 3 km, but then you won’t get to the Mariënwaerdt estate. It is also possible to extend the trail to 12 km for an extra round on the famous Appeldijk. As many as three approach trails are possible: from Culemborg, from Beesd and from Tricht/Geldermalsen.
Beesd is the easiest for me to reach, so I choose that and hike the 12 km trail. I did adjust the trail slightly to avoid walking along a train track three times. That is immediately the disadvantage of this wooden shoes trail: the approach trail from Beesd station passes a train track and the trail itself two more times as well.
I have visited the Mariënwaerdt estate several times, really only because of the blossom season. Now autumn has arrived and it is harvest time. Also a nice time of year to visit the estate. My plan is to gather walnuts and pick some apples and pears from trees along the dike.
The walnuts are up first. I do a back-and-forth across the Notenlaan (Nut Lane) of Mariënwaerdt estate. I am perhaps a little too early in the year to collect nuts. I do find a handful, but I have to look carefully.
Near the entrance gate, I pick up the approach trail to the wooden shoes trail. I walk along a forest edge where it is teeming with all kinds of mushrooms. I did not expect that! I take photos of all of them. This is going to be another slow hike.
This is where the first section along the train track starts. By the way, I have been here before, see blog Great rivers trail: Beesd – Tricht – Buren.
Trail guide about wooden shoes trails
Then I pick up the official trail and walk past grasslands, wetlands and groves. I also walk straight through a poplar forest. Every poplar is covered with snails. Very special to see.
I then walk along nice unpaved paths and bridges towards Leidsche Hoeven farm. Along the way, I come across more mushrooms. I also see many roe deer and buzzards today. It is a beautiful trail again! This is why I like wooden shoes trails that much.
At the farm are many animals: I see geese, parakeets and rabbits. I also have to pass through a pasture with lots of goats before continuing the trail via unpaved paths. Chicken as I am, I decide to continue on the paved road.
Further on, I pick up the trail and actually have to take a grassy path along the train track and then walk back on the other side of the track. I make my own trail here, three times along a train track is too much. So I keep walking on the paved road until I cross the train tracks and go back along it there. Fortunately, there is still some water in between and I pass the time by looking for birds among the reeds.
Now on to the Appeldijk where I first walk towards Tricht, as I also want to see some pear trees and pick pears. By the way, picking pears is allowed here, but not crates full, of course. I pick five pears and feel a bit uneasy about it. Then over the Appeldijk where I pick five apples. I am just in time with picking, because a little further down the road the apples are (with proper force) shaken and knocked out of the trees. These apples are mainly made into juice. They are not really suitable for eating like this, I know from experience. By the way, I made a tasty pie from the apples, pears and nuts.
I have already completed quite a stretch, but still have to return to Beesd station. On the way, I come across even more mushrooms. Once at the station, I have 18 km on the counter.
The Leidschehoeven trail was a fun one, the unpaved paths were my favourite and the many mushrooms were a welcome surprise. One downside was that I deviated from the trail several times because of the parts along the train track (and the scary goats 🤣). Mariënwaerdt estate is always worth a visit!
Tip: both long distance trail 16 Great rivers trail and the recently opened regional trail 21 Betuwe trail pass through the same area. There are also several hiking and cycling trails to enjoy at Mariënwaerdt estate.
More info:Trail: Wooden shoes trail Leidschehoeven trail
Where: Tricht, Gelderland, the Netherlands.
No. of km: 12 km (18 km myself)
Hiking date: 23 September 2022
Materials used in illustration: little sketch with graphite pencil
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