Sweet-smelling forests, blooming heathlands and sand drifts. You can find all this and more in Dwingelderveld National Park. This large natur reserve includes the Dwingelose Heide and Kraloëerheid, the biggest single humid heathland in Northwest Europe.
Nowhere else in Western Europe will you find such a large wet heathland as in the province of Drenthe. Within the 3,700 acres of Dwingelderveld National Park the moors and lakes are interspersed with forests and shifting sands. Besides the Calluna and Erica heather, this area is the habitat for many rare plants, birds, butterflies and almost all Dutch reptiles.
Nature of Drenthe
In the Dwingelderveld there are more than fifty shallow lakes and moors exhibiting a rich and unique flora and fauna. For example, you can encounter woodpeckers, buzzards, falcons, vipers, grass snakes and deer. For the connoisseur, the highlight of a visit to Dwingelderveld is seeing the rare peat butterfly.
Despite the many fens and wet heathlands, Dwingelderveld is easy to explore on foot or bicycle. Some fens have paths constructed over them, so you'll be walking two feet above the water. You can also visit the sheepfold, which is used for the two flocks of sheep that maintain the natural landscape.
Witte wieven or juniper berries
In some places in Dwingelderveld you will find hundreds of entangled juniper bushes. In the past, these were sometimes thought to be ‘Witte wieven’ (White Ladies) and they scared people away. The majestic juniper bushes have every thinkable shape, from flat tto spherical to columnar.
Snakes, woodpeckers and raptors
Many special creatures live in this nature reserve, Including adders, grass snakes, deer, foxes and woodpeckers. The most common woodpeckers in Dwingelderveld are the green, black, and great spotted woodpeckers. You will also see imposing raptors in the sky, such as big buzzards. And with a little luck, you will spot a peregrine falcon or rough-legged buzzard.
Covered wagon and sheepherding
Many activities are organized during the summer months. Let a guide lead you to the most beautiful spots of Dwingelderveld, take a ride over the heath in one of the covered wagons, and attend a sheep herding demonstration. The covered wagon makes it possible for disabled tourists to enter the wet heathlands.