Wonderful place to hike and enjoy the nature. It’s located between Haarlem and Zandvoort, 45 minutes from Amsterdam. It has more than 15 km2 with several paths and bike trails, and you can ride a horse or swim in some lakes. The best way to explore the park is walking along the paths because then you will have the possibility to see animals like ponies, hairy cows, birds, frogs, deers and European bisons and to find curious mushrooms. If you go by bike you will miss all of this. In addition, there are dunes, old bunkers from World War II, lush forests and the beach, that can be reached easily.
The park is so big you’ll need more than 1 day if you want to see all its places! If you like camping there are campsites there as well.
🗺 Information: National Park Zuid-Kennemerland.
If you read the website there are some rules in the park like:
– Dogs are not permitted everywhere. Check this link.
– Smoking and barbecues are prohibited.
– The park is freely accessible with the exception of the ‘Caprera’ area. A day ticket for Caprera costs €1.
About the accessibility is important to mention that the park has 25 entrances and the cycle paths are prepared for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. And, you can also rent a sand wheelchair for €5.
The bisons are in a closed area, southwest of the park. More information on the website and on Wisenten – where are they?
🚍 As you’ve read there are 25 entrances but if you go by public transport you’re more limited. You can check on my map the local transport options ➜ Hiking / Awesome full of life forest – N Station, where ‘N’ is the name of the train station closer to the park. In the next section you’ll know where are exactly the entrances, it’ll depend of the walking route you choose.
Which entrance should you choose? It depends on where you come from and the the area of the park that you want to visit. Google maps can provide you with timetables or you can check also the local public transport site to choose the best option for you. I started the route in Santpoort Noord Station so I took a train from Amsterdam Central to that station, about 30 minutes. But if you prefer to go by car the official park map shows you the parking areas.
➤ How to do the route?
There are many routes in the park. But, after reading the official website and other page which they recommend, I didn’t find any gpx file or any description with a map to follow. There are only simple descriptions of the routes. Maybe you can get a map in the visitors’ center. In any case I will propose you several routes depending on the starting point.
I normally use Wikiloc to search routes. This webpage has many trails to choose (you should register on the website Wikiloc if you want download one of these). And also I have used GPSies to search, in this case you don’t need registration. I’ve selected some routes from those websites:
➽ Starting at Overveen Station:
1. Middenduin – bisons viewpoint (circular route, 5.73 km) – GPSies
2. Middenduin – bisons viewpoint (circular route, 8.78 km) – Wikiloc
3. De Kennemerduinen – beach, restaurant Parnassia aan Zee (circular route, 24.64 km) – Wikiloc
4. De Kennemerduinen – beach, restaurant Parnassia aan Zee (circular route, 16.45 km) – Wikiloc
5. De Kennemerduinen – restaurant Bartje van Bloemendaal (circular route, 17.73 km) – Wikiloc
6. De Kennemerduinen (circular route, 18.5 km) – Wikiloc
➽ Starting at Santpoort Noord Station:
7. Duin en Kuidberg – beach (circular route, 18.02 km) – Wikiloc
8. East zone Duin Kuidberg (circular route, 8.33 km) – Wikiloc
9. De Kennemerduinen – beach, restaurant Parnassia aan Zee (circular route, 14.97 km) – Wikiloc
10. Duin en Kuidberg, Midden-Herenduin (circular route, 12.52 km) – Wikiloc
11. East zone, near station (circular route, 7.47 km) – Wikiloc
➽ Starting at Zandvoort or Santpoort Noord Station:
12. Along the bisons trail and the coastline, De Kennemerduinen, Duin en Kuidberg – some restaurants in the way (linear route, 22.30 km) – GPSies
➽ Starting at Overveen or Santpoort Noord Station:
13. De Kennemerduinen, beach, restaurant Parnassia aan Zee, Duin en Kuidberg (linear route, 18.49 km) – Wikiloc
14. Duin en Kuidberg, De Kennemerduinen (linear route, 19.02 km) – Wikiloc
➽ Starting at Overveen or Zandvoort Station:
15. De Kennemerduinen, along the bisons trail and the coastline – some restaurants in the way (linear route, 20.48 km) – GPSies
Some routes miss the path from the station to the park entrance, it might be between 1 or 2 km. Also, you can mix several routes and create your own trail!
And finally, my gpx and kml files: Circular route starting at Santpoort Noord – 13 km (download and uncompress the zip file). It’s almost equal than one of the previous routes, you can see it on the map below. If you follow my gpx file, you’ll find easily the bunkers (because there are no marks nor signals), they’re on the side of the trail, on a small hill.
So, the steps are:
First, you download the trail you like. Then, you need a mobile application or a Garmin device to use the file. If you have a device you know what to do, otherwise continue reading. The mobile application that I’ve mentioned is an offline maps like OsmAnd or Wikiloc App. It is used to open and follow the trail, so you don’t get lost. In addition you will keep your phone’s battery level 😉. You choose and install one app in your phone and open the gpx file.
Now, you are ready to go!
➤ My experience
I’ve only visited this park once but I want to go again, there are many places that I haven’t discovered yet! For example the path through the bisons area (it’s only accessible during some specific months), the dunes, the beach and maybe more hidden bunkers. I visited the park in autumn, in November, the colours of the trees were beautiful and the weather was perfect.
We saw deers during the hike but If you want to see them you should pay attention to the forest and walk silently because if they are scared they can run away. I knew that in the park there had many different mushrooms, so during the route, I was trying to find them. As you can see in the pictures I found some. To see the ponies and the hairy cows you only need to have eyes in your face! 😛 They’ll stay eating or simply watching you, they don’t mind the watchers. Besides all that, I was lucky and also I saw something else! I was walking when I saw something jumping, a frog! I approached to look at it and then, another frog! 😄
My conclusion: it was a wonderful day hiking!!
➽ More activities in the Netherlands on Extra Netherlands.
Any contribution or question is welcome, please write a comment!