Horsterwold and Hulkestein Forest (The Netherlands)
Welcome to the Horsterwold and Hulkestein Forest
In the Zeewolde municipality, next to the the Zuyder Zee there are two unique woodlands: the Horsterwold and Hulkestein Forest, a huge wooded area (almost 12.000 acres). Zeewolde is a unique destination on the bottom of what used to be the sea, known for clean air, clean water and clean soil.
The woodlands offer a rich variety of terrain and vegetation. The large deciduous forest alternates with open fields and lakes. Right in the middle of the Horsterwold lays the Silent Valley: a large natural woodland with open fields and surfaces of water where Konik horses graze. The area is home to many birds, represented by the golden oriole in the woods and the great reed warbler in the reeds along the shores of the lake.
In the forest, there are simple huts where you can spend a night. As the area is so huge, it is also possible to roam around for hours, without meeting anyone else. Yet, it is open to anyone: there are miles of good cycling, hiking and bridle paths. The lakes offer ample opportunities for recreational and sports activities.
Visitors may design their own route and enjoy the incredible variety of activities, vegetation and scenery. Or… they may divert from the paths and discover the great secrets that this young, ever developing piece of nature has in store, far away from traffic and tourists.
The woodlands of the Horsterwold are accessible for everyone. In and around Zeewolde there are plenty places to stop for a cup of coffee while charging your electrically powered bike, which can be rented in the village and are very suitable for older people.
Plenty of safe bicycle roads are also accessible for walkers and wheelchairs due to the even surface of the pathways. The Horsterberg for example, a man-made hill that offers a great view of the Silent Core and Valley, has recently been made accessible for wheelchairs.
Children can experience a special route along a prehistorical rift. There, the youngest learn how to use their senses and to experience nature playfully.
- Roaming around in the Silent Core and the Silent Valley;
- Experience the past in a copy of a prehistoric farm;
- Experience route De Zevensprong: along this route children learn how to use their senses and experience the nature playfully.