Toughing it out on the pedals of your mountain bike

It doesn’t get any better than this: unpaved trails, big altitude variations, and a varied landscape. The MTB routes on the Sallandse Heuvelrug are among the best in the Netherlands. With flowy single tracks, extreme curves, steep climbs and fast descents, this is a great place to explore or push your boundaries. Don’t forget to look around and smell the roses now and then, if you will, to stop for a moment and enjoy the wondrous vistas thanks to the big altitude variations (by Dutch standards, anyway). In other words, nature is as overwhelming here as are the various tracks. Wild pine forests, enchanting moors, and changing sand drifts, you will find them all right here.

Nationaal Park Sallandse Heuvelrug

Up and down the hills

Most of the Sallandse Heuvelrug is devoted to silence and not accessible to mountain bikers. A few highly varied mountain biking routes have been created, however, allowing you to climb, jump, turn and descend. These well-maintained routes on paved and unpaved tails lead through heather fields and forests, and across sand hills. At the end, you will be tired but happy.

The different routes
You can take your pick from the purple, blue, green, orange, and Reggeland routes, all of which encompass steep climbs and fast descents. The Staatsbosbeheer Buitencentrum sells a map with the MTB routes. Don’t know how to choose? The purple (18km, 205 altitude meters) and green (18km, 190 altitude meters) routes should definitely be on your to-ride list, since they are among the ten best MTB trails in the Netherlands. The Hellendoorn mountain-biking route (purple) is even considered one of the most beautiful biking trails in the Netherlands. 

Oktober is misschien wel een van de mooiste maanden om hier te fietsen. De mooi verkleurde bossen maken dat iedere kilometer anders is.

Aniek Rooderkerken www.avontuuropreis.com

Plenty of options

If mountain biking is a little too extreme for your liking,  don’t worry. There are plenty of other options for one or more active days in nature. Whether it is running along centuries-old oaks, a multiple-day hike, or participating in one of the many challenging outdoor sports events, the Sallandse Heuvelrug is the leading outdoor sports region in the Netherlands for a reason. If you are willing to take on the challenge, check out this outdoor sports bucket list.

Boating on the Regge

Along the eastern edge of the Sallandse Heuvelrug, you can find the delightful Reggedal (valley of the Regge) with its Regge river. This region is best explored from the water. Rent a canoe or electric boat and enjoy the swish of the water, cows mooing in the meadows, and the many beautiful birds. It is, in one word, blissful!

The multifaceted Buitencentrum

In addition to serving as an information point for MTB, bicycle and hiking routes with signage, the Buitencentrum or outdoor center run by Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch Forest Management Department, is a perfect spot to relax after a challenging tour through nature. It boasts a restaurant with fireplace and a pleasant terrace, as well as an exhibition space, telescope room, and an actual planetarium.

You can also refuel at the Buitencentrum after your mountain biking adventure. Book a picnic basket with wonderful organic delicacies and pick your spot outside. The Buitencentrum can be found on Grotestraat 281 in Nijverdal.