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DeWandelRoute Zuid Oost is a 12-26km nature walking route between campsites passing nature areas, windmills, monuments and ruins south east of Amsterdam.
Part of a broader multi-day hiking network, the DeWandelRoute (DWR) Zuid Oost links Gaasper Camping with Camping ‘t Riviertje. This route introduces walkers to nature areas of Zuid-Oost Amsterdam including Gasperpark and Gaasperzoom. It crosses the border into the province of Utrecht and follows the Gein River to Abcoude passing Golden Age windmills and 1800s Stelling van Amsterdam fortifications. The wider options include the culturally significant neighbourhood of the Bijlmermeer and the Hoge Dijk recreation area.
DeWandelroute (DWR) Zuid Oost is part of the DWR Network that connects campsites around Amsterdam. It connects to DWR Amstelland and DWR Amsterdamse Bos to the west, and DWR Diemen to the north-east. These can be combined to create a multi-day through-hike of a length and duration that suits. These are suggested itineraries for hiking within DWR Zuid Oost.
Ganzenhoef to Holendrecht via 't Riviertje (24.km, 2 Days, 1-2 Nights)
Second night is a stay at Camping Gaasper if arriving late. DAY ONE: Start at Ganzenhoef. Choose Bijlmermeer or Bijlmerweide. Walk to Abcoude via Gein, including a visit to Fort bij Nigtevecht and Fort bij Abcoude. Stay at Camping ‘t Riviertje. DAY TWO: Walk through Abcoude to Abcouder Meer, then north to Holendrecht via HogeDijk golf course and AMC hospital.
Ganzenhoef to Holendrecht via Abcoude (20km, 1 Day)
Start at Ganzenhoef. Choose Bijlmermeer or Bijlmerweide. Walk to Abcoude via Gein, including a visit to Fort bij Nigtevecht and Fort bij Abcoude. Walk through Abcoude to Abcouder Meer, then north to Holendrecht via HogeDijk golf course and AMC hospital.
Ganzenhoef to Abcoube via Gein (14.5km, 1 Day)
Start at Ganzenhoef. Choose Bijlmermeer or Bijlmerweide. Walk to Abcoude via Gein river including visit to Fort bij Nigtevecht. On reaching Abcoude village head north to Abcoude station.
Ganzenhoef to Holendrecht via Hoge Dijk (14.5km, 1 Day)
Start at Ganzenhoef. Choose Bijlmermeer or Bijlmerweide. Walk toward Abcouder Meer via Hoge Dijk then north to Holendrecht via HogeDijk golf course and AMC hospital.
Ganzenhoef to Abcoube via Hoge Dijk (10.5km, 1 Day)
Start at Ganzenhoef. Choose Bijlmermeer or Bijlmerweide. Walk to Abcoude via Hoge Dijk. Follow train tracks south to Abcoude station.
The Bijlmerweide 'nature' route will take you along the length of the Bijlmerweide. While initially exposed, much of the later route is covered in forest. The route stays close to water and proceeds from island to island - crossing 17 bridges before exiting the park.
The Bijlmerweide and Bijlmermeer options meet half-way down the Bijlmerweide at the Natuurspeeltuin Bijlmerweide. This 'nature' playground was partly built with materials sourced from the park itself.
This was also the site of one of the largest artworks ever made in The Netherlands. Wildzang, by artist Sigurður Guðmundsson, consisted of 1879 wooden poles in an 80x25m area and was completed in 1975. It was inspired by the poem Wilthzang by Joost van den Vondel, and was intended to last a lifetime. Unfortunately the wood was not properly treated; weather conditions and dampness caused it to rot. The council stopped upkeep in 1987 and by 2013 almost everything was gone. The nature playground was built in its place in 2016.
It was the 'Bijlmer' that indirectly inspired me to start the DeWandelroutes network. A conversation in the Oud Zuid involving Allochtonen and Expats made me realise I'd formed an opinion of the 'Bijlmer' without ever having experienced it myself. As a result this became the first walk of the DeWandelroutes.
After passing Metro station Ganzenhoef, the route passes near the Marktplein Ganzenhoef (Market on Saturday) and then enters the hexagonally shaped high-rise housing estates the Bijlmer is (in)famous for.
to be continued...
DeWandelroutes are multi-day hikes inspired by the walks of my youth in New Zealand. We carried everything we needed and camped overnight. These walks were not easy, but they taught you to carry the bare essentials, how to plan down to calories, how to survive, and how much we take for-granted living in the city.
These through-hikes taught me to be less entitled, more appreciative of what I have, and how little I need to be content. In a world of fast-paced, ‘mindless’ consumerism, these walks are helpful to become more ‘mindful’; to slow down, observe and reflect on the impact our combined daily lives have on ourselves, our communities and the planet.
Watching young children grow in Amsterdam, I thought they might benefit from a similar experience. The routes are therefore made with children in mind, however are also suitable for adults. Some options are not suitable for young children, so please study the route before you depart.
Parents today are pressed for time, so the routes are designed for up to three days of walking and nights camping. All routes start and end at NS train or metro stations, of which several options are given. There are also options to shorten or extend the hike depending on the time you have.
Things I like…
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” – John Muir