Hiking network from Holten to Hellendoorn
This is a truly fantastic stage in our walking network, which runs almost entirely over unpaved paths through natural terrain. From Holten station you walk directly into the fields that slightly ascend into the woods. This is National Park “De Sallandse Heuvelrug.” Salland is the name of the local district and part of the province of Overijssel and heuvelrug means hilly ridge.
Slowly, the forest changes from deciduous forest on the lower, more nutrient-rich and more humid parts, to mixed forest with more pines on the higher parts. After passing the visitor center (be sure to visit the Holterberg Nature Museum with its beautiful dioramas for an introduction to your hiking day!) the forest soon opens up to make way for heathland. This is one of the largest dry moors in Europe.
When looking at heathland you can distinguish two types: wet and dry heathland. On wet heathland the common heather is the crossed leafed heath (Erica Tetralix) and in dry heathland it is the common heather (Calluna Vulgaris) that needs dry poor sands. To survive it lives in synergy with funghi that provides it with nitrogen. Because of that Common heather has a head start compared to other plants which results in wide stretches of heather…and beautiful scenery! hiking network
It is still possible, even in The Netherlands, to go hiking directly on a dirt road from a village between the fields and then reaching that beautiful heathland, full of color and vistas to end in the next village Nijverdal and only to see a paved road when crossing it … In Nijverdal the day ends at the station for those who are not going further with tomorrows hike to Ommen (Hike B5: Peak to Peak in Holland). If you do tomorrows hike to Ommen tomorrow then you will walk on to Hellendoorn today because otherwise tomorrows stretch would be too long.
A whole day full of heather vistas and who knows, maybe the in the Netherlands rare Raven or the Black Grouse is also seen.
Hellendoorn is a small village with approximately 6,000 inhabitants and a vivid small village centre where you will find anything for your stay: basic shops, some restaurants and some terraces for a refreshing drink. Although small it has strong touristic appeal which explains why you can find anything you need in this very nice village.