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Around Bemelen

  • Author: TrailExplorer


A nice walk through a very varied landscape with fields, limestone grasslands, grooves, orchards and hedges in the area of the village of Bemelen, just east of Maastricht on the edge of the Maas valley and the Margraten plateau. You go along the flank of the Bemelerberg, one of the most striking parts of the Heuvelland, the Schaandertbosje and the Hamster nature reserve.

Distance: 9 km.

Time: 2h30.

Grade: Easy.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: 88 meters.

Trail: Paved and unpaved.

Marking: Pink walking poles.

Hiking shoes recommended.


Bemelerberg and Schaandertbosje.

You start the walk along the flank of the Bemelerberg. Steep chalk slopes, cave entrances, flowery grassland, Mergelland sheep and a small-scale landscape ensure that the Bemelerberg is one of the most striking parts of the Heuvelland. At the end of the unpaved road, on the edge of the Schaandertbosje, there is a very special and rare tree: the steel elm or flutter elm. The tree owes this name to the unusually long stalked flowers and fruits that 'flutter' at the slightest breath of wind. You now walk further to the edge of Maastricht and when you leave the buildings you arrive in the Hamster nature reserve. Hamsters are found again in this field reserve. The hamsters are the size of a young rabbit but you will rarely see them because they are mainly active at night. You walk further towards Keerderberg from where you have a very nice view of Maastricht and Sint-Pietersberg. Then you walk through the Sculpture Garden Maastricht to the golf course Het Rijk van Margraten and then back to Bemelen via beautiful hollow roads.


Download PDf for route description.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Bemelerberg.

Steep chalk slopes, cave entrances, flowery grassland, Mergelland sheep and small-scale landscape, together they ensure that the Bemelerberg is one of the most striking parts of Heuvelland. This valuable nature reserve, owned and managed by the Limburg Landscape Foundation, was created through centuries of intensive human use. After cutting down the once forested slopes, sheep herds kept the slopes grassy. Fertilizer was not used there. Many plant species benefited from this. In this way, limestone grasslands were created on limestone-rich soils, of which no more than 20 ha is now left in the Netherlands. Limestone grasslands are among the most species-rich nature reserves in the Netherlands. Think of a few dozen species of plants that grow on just a few square meters, many butterflies who love the warm southern slopes, and enjoy the sound of the crickets chirping in the spring, another rare inhabitant. Centuries ago, pieces of limestone grass were dug away completely in the Bemelerberg. This results in the characteristic holes: underground limestone quarries. The limestone has been mined from time immemorial and used as fertilizer and building material for houses, churches and fortifications. Sawing blocks year after year created extensive underground corridors. In addition, the then block breakers sometimes went a bit too far; they grooved too much so that the grooves are no longer stable. This creates a risk of collapse of the ceilings; an important reason not to open most of the quarries (including those on the Bemelerberg) to the public.

Visit Zuid-Limburg.

POI 2 - Schaandertbosje.

On the edge of the Schaandertbos, near the Peutgensweg and Schaandert intersection, there is a very special rare tree: the steal or flutter elm. The tree owes this name to the unusually long stalked flowers and fruits that will "flutter" at the slightest breath of wind. The scientific name is Ulmus laevis. It blooms in spring for leaf development with small reddish flowers that come together in bundles or wreaths. Once the tree has finished flowering, it can hardly be distinguished from other elm species. Remarkable is the very crooked leaf base; this means that the leaf continues further on one side of the leaf stalk than on the other side.

No additional information.

POI 3 - Hamster Nature Reserve.

In the vicinity of the hiking route there are approximately 50 hectares of fields on which grains, alfalfa and leafy radish are cultivated. This forms an important field reserve, where again hamsters (and other rare animal species) live. Hamsters are rodents the size of a young rabbit. They are mainly active at night, and are therefore rarely seen. They can hoard as the best. Before hibernating, they collect cereal grains in their cheek pouches and take them to their lair. This way they form a large stock (sometimes more than a kilo!) To be able to eat occasionally even during the cold months. Hamsters only occur in South Limburg in the Netherlands; they used to live in central Limburg, but only in the region with so-called loess bottoms. All hamsters who now live in the Netherlands are descendants of specimens originally bred in zoos. The species was extinct in the Netherlands at the end of the 20th century.

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POI 4 - Maastricht sculpture garden.

Against the forested marl slopes of the Keerderberg, surrounded by orchards and meadows with views of Maastricht and Sint Pietersberg, lies Maastricht Sculpture Garden, where the stone sculptures are one with nature.

No additional information.