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Along the Pijp

Groote Peel

De Groote Peel National Park is a beautiful hiking area with a rich nature. The former peat bog area also has a special history, many traces of which can still be seen in the field. The history of peat extraction and other uses of the peat also lives on in the many field names.

Distance: 15 km.

Time: 3h30.

Grade: Moderate.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: No info.

Trail: 98% unpaved.

Marking: See PDF route description.

Hiking shoes recommended.


The Vossenberg.

Field names such as 't Eeuwig Leven, Aan' t Elfde, De Pijp, Koe-uier and Lumme Buske are some of the many field names in this area. Each of these names says something about the particular piece of peel, such as 't Eeuwig Leven. This place was once home to an inn with that name, a beautiful name for a place of rest in a dangerous peat bog with treacherous drifts in which you could just disappear. The Pijp after which this route is named are places where people smoked a pipe during the breaks of working in the Peel. Due to the fire hazard it was forbidden to smoke anywhere else. This only happened in the pit or in a place where it was not a fire hazard. The Peel workers also had a silver cap on the pipe to prevent sparks from coming off. Moreover, they did not smoke when they were on their way home from the pit to beyond the Peel. Furthermore, the walking tour goes through the Vossenberg, the highest part of the Peel, so named because foxes liked to make their holes in this sand hill. Due to its high and dry location, it also seemed an ideal place for the army to use for defense in World War II. The casemates that one passes on Vossenberg have been part of the Peel line of defense (1939-1940).

Groote Peel

Download PDf for route description.

This hike cannot be done during the breeding season from 15 March to 15 July and during the bird migration from 15 October to 30 November, parts of the area are not open to the public during those periods.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - The Pelen.

There is only one way to explore the De Pelen and that is with sturdy, waterproof hiking boots on. On the border of North Brabant and Limburg, Mariapeel, Deurnsche Peel and National Park Groote Peel form an impressive swamp. Here the landscape can be read as a history book. The vast majority of the peat bog was excavated by peat cutters and sold as "the gold of the Peel". The traces of this are still present everywhere. Once an impenetrable swamp, now a landscape of water, heaths, sand ridges, birches and open plains overgrown with pipe straw. A paradise for nature lovers and walkers. The tranquility of the Groote Peel attracts more than a hundred species of breeding birds and migratory birds, such as the trumpeting crane, settle here. But beware, don't just look up. A good amount of water is sometimes hidden beneath the soil of peat moss.