Wooden shoes trails are fun! I’ve already picked out the next one. In this blog just a short description of the trail (a trail shortener 😉), a few photos and a simple sketch to illustrate. No need for a hiking map, the info on the website is clear enough.
Having walked along many rivers in Gelderland province in the Netherlands, it is now the turn of a river in Utrecht: the Kromme Rijn river. In part of the Stoetwegen trail, I hike over the towpath along the Kromme Rijn river. But first I have to get there.
The starting point is at Driebergen-Zeist station, next to restaurant Princenhof. This is very easy to reach by train. The Stoetwegen trail is 11 km long and you follow the red markings with wooden shoe. There is no trail shortener or extender. There are two other points to start with the trail: at the Wapen van Bunnik in Bunnik and at TOP Slot Zeist in Zeist. Parking spaces are available at each starting point. From Driebergen-Zeist Station, you can transfer to another trail: the Aderwinkel trail. A blog about this wooden shoes trail will follow.
From the station, I walk along the Odijkerweg towards Rijnwijck estate. On the way, I come across a Christmas tree farm where cute sheep scurry among the trees.
Rijnwijck Estate is a country estate with beautiful tree-lined avenues and groves. Oaks and willows predominate here. You can take a lovely stroll through the estate. The grey weather does make it look a bit gloomy today.
I go under the highway where a wildlife passageway has also been created so that animals can also use the tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, I am at the Kromme Rijn river. I walk along it quite a bit on the towpath.
On this Sunday, I am not the only one with the same idea, it is quite crowded with other hikers today. On this early spring day, I come across some trees in bloom already. This is especially true for blackthorn and magnolia. Near Bunnik, I leave the Kromme Rijn river behind me. Here is also another starting point for the trail. I see two cute waterbirds cruising the river: they are a female and male goosander (see sketch at the top of the blog). By the way, they had no younglings as shown in the sketch.
Trail guide about wooden shoes trails
Via a flooded little tunnel, I reach the Wulperhorst estate, where there are beautiful tree-lined avenues again. But also some muddy paths, so I have to be careful not to slip. The white Wulperhorst country house can be seen in the distance.
As I leave the estate, I meet two other hikers who inform me that it gets even muddier further on. It turns out that an entire field is indeed flooded. Overlooking the Blikkenburg country house, I try to avoid the deep puddles.
I am now near Zeist (where there is also another starting point of the trail) and walk through a swampy nature reserve along the Blikkenburgervaart canal. Just like the many hikers, the birds have spring in their step, I see and hear chirping chiffchaffs, clattering storks and courtship lapwings. What a beautiful sight!
I pass the little Pear Lane, where I was hoping for some blossom on the pear trees, but the trees are far from in bloom.
In the last part of the trail, there is another estate on the list: namely De Breul estate. This is a beautiful park, with a stately mansion, of course, and lovely water features and winding paths. Finally the sun breaks through! Quite a difference from the grey weather earlier in the day. Not much later, I am back at Driebergen-Zeist station.
The Stoetwegen trail is another fun and varied wooden shoes trail! The weather was a bit disappointing, but that didn’t spoil the fun.
On weekends, it is crowded with other hikers. Especially on the towpath along the Kromme Rijn river. This is because many trails pass by or because it is a nice stroll for people from Odijk or Bunnik.
More info:Trail: Wooden shoes trail Stoetwegen trail
Where: Odijk, Bunnik en Zeist, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
No. of km: 11 km
Hiking date: 2 April 2023
Materials used in illustration: little sketch with graphite pencil
- Starting and ending point: train station Driebergen-Zeist
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More hiking on estates
Many estates and are managed by private owners and often they open their estates to visitors. Also in the hikes below:
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