Discover the versatile landscape of Friesland

Cycling through the Natural Parks and Landscapes!

The National parks and landscapes of Friesland


In Friesland you will find no less than four National Parks and two National Landscapes. These areas are characterized by rare and distinct landscape qualities, both nationally and internationally. In these areas you can enjoy cycling. This way you can fully enjoy all that nature has to offer.

In Friesland there are several National Parks and National Landscapes that are great to cycle through. The variety of plants, trees, birds and other animals are a feast for the eye. Each park has his own panoramic views and activities. You can read more about it below.

National Park Drents-Friese Wold

This park is situated on the edge of Drenthe and Friesland. It is one of the largest nature reserves in Friesland. With more than 6.000 hectares of woodland, heathland, shifting sands and river valley grasslands there is plenty to see and experience. Right next to the beautiful bike paths, there are plenty of activities for the children in the so-called play forest. They can build huts, climb and jump ditches. You can have a nice rest on the benches provided for this purpose at the edge of the tracks. More information about this area can be found on the following website of this national park.

National Park Schiermonnikoog

The first Dutch national park is the National Park Schiermonnikoog. Schiermonnikoog is the only island that has been attached to the rest of Friesland for a longer time. It was released from the mainland through the floodings and became a real island in 1287. The other Wadden islands have arisen before. This was after the last ice age. At that time the sea level was many levels lower than today. This is logical with all the huge chunks of ice during these times. With the melting of the ice at the time the sea level rose and the contiguous shoreline broke in several places. The Wadden Islands had emerged. The National Park which is located on Schiermonnikoog has an area of 72 square kilometers and thus covers almost the entire island. It is wonderful enjoying yourself in this area. It is quiet, vast and very unique with the sea and dunes that characterize the island. Discovering the flowers and plants while tasting the salty taste of samphire and smell scent of the mud flats, who would not want that! Discover more about this piece of nature on website.

National Park Lauwersmeer

In 1969 the Lauwersmeer area was one that resembled the Wadden Sea area. The tides characterized the landscape, where fresh and salt water blended together. With the fear of floods, it was decided to build a dam in 1969. The former seabed became a base for a beautiful new park. With numerous birds it is a real bird paradise. In this park you can now undertake various activities and enjoy cycling. You can have a boat tour or go bird watching in one the birdwatch huts . Children can even bake their own bread over the campfire or build a hut. So enjoy with the whole family! Read all about it on the website of the Lauwersmeer area.

National Park the Alde Feanen

Between Leeuwarden, Heerenveen and Drachten, the heart of Friesland is a beautiful piece of nature. The peat swamp De Alde Feanen is a 4.000-hectare park. The lakes, bog holes, reedbeds, swamp forest and brushwood make this area very varied and well worth the effort. The area is rich in animals and plants. Every part of the swamp area has its own inhabitants. Fish are found in the open water, while grassland birds perch on the flower-rich wet grasslands to nest.
Each nature lover really finds the right spot here, it’s the right place for young and old and there are numerous recreational opportunities.
Both cycling, hiking and canoeing can be done in the Alde Feanen. Children can be real adventurers with the material that you can borrow at the park. Catching frogs, discovering plants and bird watching are the things that can’t be skipped of course! At the end of each year, a race that lasts 6 hours takes place. People are divided in groups of four to go running, canoeing, swimming and mountainbiking. More information can be found on the website of the Alde Feanen.

National Landscape of Southwest Fryslân

Southwest Fryslân is a special area where the meadows with dikes, terp villages, picturesque towns and vast lakes blend into the words of Gaasterland. Openness and water contrast with relief and seclusion. The area has many historic towns and villages, each with their own story. On the water, where fishing and commercial shipping used to take place, nowadays you will find mostly recreational boating, harbors and entertainment. This is partly due to the introduction of the Afsluitdijk.
It is wonderful to sail through these waters and dock in one of the historical villages along the shore.
The Gaasterland, with which the area of the high moraine is meant, runs from the lake area to the IJsselmeer. The cliffs at the coast clearly show you the elevation of this area. The most famous cliff, the Red Cliff in Warns, is one of the best known and a historical place. Both the lake area which was formed during the last ice age and the peat extraction in the province are very characteristic for Friesland. It is one of the largest and most important recreational areas in Western Europe. Water sports enthusiasts, recreationists, but also cyclists and hikers ashore come here to enjoy the versatility that Friesland has to offer.

National Landscape Noardlike Fryske Wâlden

In the Frisian Forests, the alder canals( elzensingels), hedgerows and pingo are typical for the area. The area is located in the Northeast of Friesland. The trees in this area are constructed to reverse the cattle and are now getting good recognition for this area. You can still recognize and see the traces of the past. With 25,000 hectares of land there is much to see here! Between the tree girths are small water pools that represent remnants of pingos from the last ice age.
Except for the breeding season (April to July), it is allowed to ride your bike on the designated paths. Trees and ditches placed in long lines define the appearance in this area. Trees often stand elevated on a one and a half meter high wooded bank. These are called Dykswâlen. At the Alder Singels the trees are placed at the sides of the ditches.You will also find many dirt and cobblestone roads in this region. They are constructed in the time of the Middle Ages to shorten the routes to monasteries, farms and churches. Riding your bike there is a lot to discover in this area .

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