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Bootjesven Path


This nature walk goes through a stately lane past the former vagrant farm and takes you to the border with the Netherlands. You walk on a winding path through a swampy area with fens and heather. Via the Torendreef you come to the Bootjesven. The Bootjesven is a natural fen that was deepened for peat extraction. The guards of the Colony used to come to swim with their families at the Bootjesven. On summer days, they deposited their wallet at a "colon" on the edge of the fen.

Distance: 5 km.

Time: 1h15.

Grade: Easy.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: Flat.

Trail: 95% unpaved.

Marking: Walking nodes.

Hiking shoes recommended.


Zwarte Marjan.

From the visitor center you walk past the former vagrant farm to the border of the domain, which is also the border with the Netherlands. The Grensdreef takes you to a swampy area, you go through the gate and follow an idyllic winding path. The route takes you via the Torendreef to the Bootjesven. There are picnic tables at the Bootjesven where you can relive the story of Zwarte Marjan. You reach the starting point again via fairytale lanes and around the farm.


Download PDF for nodes to follow.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Black Marjan.

From 1828 to 1848 this woman stayed at Wortel-Kolonie. She was placed by the "Public Welfare Sevice" of Zele near Dendermonde. She stayed in a cabin behind the Bootjesven with her husband, who died soon after their arrival. The hut was built with planks and sods of peat, with some bricks as a foundation at the bottom. Originally it had been the intention of the Society for Beneficence to build a house for a quartermaster superintendent (end of the inhabited part of the colony). Lack of money, however, decided otherwise. For a long time the hut was used as a sheep stable and later as a shelter during harsh weather conditions for forest workers (vagrants with accompanying keeper). The demolition took place in the period 1950-1955. Behind Bootjesven there are still some remnants of the foundation. In honor of Black Marjan, Brouwerij Vagebond from Merksplas brewed a delicious fruit beer, which is available at Tourism Hoogstraten. Delicious on a sunny terrace!

No extra information.